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What is Ikebana?
Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. It is much more than mere floral decoration. It is an art like painting, calligraphy, sculpture and bonsai are arts. It has a recorded history, specified principles and theories, requires highly developed technical skills, and most importantly, it is a creative means of expression.
Ikebana, one of the traditional arts of Japan, has been practiced for more than 600 years. Its beginnings are traced to the introduction of Buddhism to Japan in the 6th century when offerings of flowers were placed on the altar, and later in containers, in honor of Buddha.
Over the centuries, ikebana evolved from the temple to the castle and, eventually, to the Japanese home. Many different styles and schools of ikebana developed along the way. Today, there are over 2,000 different schools of ikebana. They include both classical and modern avant garde styles.
What is Ikebana International?
Ikebana International is a non-profit, cultural organization dedicated to the promotion and appreciation of ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement. The late Ellen Gordon Allen founded the organization in 1956 to promote friendship among the peoples of the world through their mutual love of nature and enjoyment of ikebana. Today, there are 161 chapters of Ikebana International in over 50 countries / areas with a membership of approximately 7,600 persons.
Ikebana International does not teach any single type of ikebana; rather, it encompasses many different schools. Some schools of ikebana stress classical styles; others focus on contemporary forms; and some blend the two. At Ikebana International meetings, students and teachers share their own school’s inspirations, styles, philosophy, history and techniques. Many of the members have studied ikebana; some have not. Membership is open to anyone interested in learning about this beautiful art.
Washington, D.C. Chapter No. 1 of Ikebana International is an organization of ~240 dedicated members, including many talented teachers. The Chapter sponsors three general workshops and three luncheons per year, which feature demonstrations. An exhibition is held annually at the U.S. National Arboretum at which members may exhibit without charge. Special events with the headmaster or high-ranking professor are held periodically. Members receive periodic newsletters, a membership directory, and a full color magazine published three times each year by headquarters in Japan. There is also the opportunity to join smaller area workshops that conduct activities from September through June.
The headquarters of Ikebana International is in Tokyo, Japan. Every five years, it sponsors an international conference for members from all over the world. To learn more about this dynamic organization, visit the website of Ikebana International at http://www.ikebanahq.org.
Our motto is “Friendship through Flowers” and new members are most welcome.
Ikebana International Washington, D.C. Chapter No. 1 Board 2015 -2016:
- President: Bruce Wilson, 1-703-594-6499
- Vice-President: Joyce Overholtzer
- Second Vice-President: Connie Forster
- Third Vice-President: Motoko Shimizu
- Recording Secretary: Elizabeth Biddle
- Corresponding Secretary: Vacant
- Treasurer: Elise Shoux
- Assistant-Treasurer: Avis Black
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