Episode 205- Traditional Japanese Flower Arts
Host J Schwanke explores the wonderful traditions of Japanese Flower Design: Ikebana flower arranging, Zen gardens, and bonsai. He visits a Japanese garden, speaks with a Bonsai Club, and shares his knowledge of Ikebana Flower Design.
This week on J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom- were experiencing Traditional Japanese Flower Arts. I was very fortunate at a very young age to visit both Japan and China with my parents for a Society of American Florists post-convention tour. My father was the President of the Society of American Florists- and the convention was in San Francisco- and reconvened in Hawaii- and then we flew on to Tokyo and visited many locations in Japan.
I was very fortunate that my room mate for this trip of a lifetime was another florist- whose family was Japanese. This allowed me to attend local events- and my friend Toshi- spoke Japanese fluently- thus allowing me to experience so much more of the local flavor and interests. This adventure also allowed me to study and attend the Ikenoba School – of Japanese Ikebana Flower Arts. This was an amazing opportunity- and it was important to my family to have me classically trained in Japanese flower arranging- to help with my upcoming career as a florist back in the USA.
I share some of this formal training in this show as I create a Ikenoba inspired flower arrangement. The Art of Ikebana – is never truly mastered- it is felt that process of learning- continues for a lifetime – and each arrangement is an experience- and a journey- as well as an education and expression of art… thus no one ever really completes their study- they continue to grow and attempt to perfect the art of Ikebana and Japanese flower arranging.
The Art of Ikebana is also viewed as a form of worship- and observation- many times the flowers are placed on ‘altars’ in the home that are reserved for honorable pieces of Ikebana Art create with flowers and plants. In this show- I also share one of my favorite books- that was a gift from my brother-in-law- and it’s a treasured reference – that has greatly helped my education and enlightenment with the Japanese Art of Flower Arranging.
I also visit with my Friend Dusty Brown- who is a professional photographer and avid Bonsai Hobbyist. Dusty shares his passion for Bonsai as well as some of his favorite tips- and helps to inspire me -to give the Art of Bonsai- a try!
Go BEHIND the BLOOM with Dusty and his Bonsai Trees HERE- in this Exclusive Video!
The Japanese Flower Arts- also influence my cooking and beverage skills. In this show- I share how to make a Sushi Rose- using Ahi Tuna and some vegetables from the garden. Check out the Recipe for the Sushi Tuna Rose Here! I step behind the bar to create a Ginger Saké Orange Blossom cocktail – that includes a flower-inspired Saké! Here’s the Ginger Saké Orange Blossom Flower Cocktail Hour Recipe!
As a child growing up in the flower industry- I formed a lifelong friendship with other florist’s children- and none has been as meaningful and rewarding as my friendship with the Kitayama family- specifically Robert and Stuart Kitayama- and their Cousin Dave Kitayama. We visit their family flower farm in California- and they share the philosophy of their Japanese Heritage- and how it has positively affected their career and success in the Flower Industry!
Go BEHIND the BLOOM with my Kitayama Friends- HERE in this Exclusive Video!
The Fuji Chrysanthemum is our Featured Flower. This classic Japanese flowers is named for Mount Fugi in Japan – and we learn more about this classic flower – that is used frequently in Japanese Art and Flower Arranging.
I try my hand at creating a Zen Garden- using a wooden container and sand. I use classic miniature tools- and even a few flowers and plants to my interpretive Zen Garden.
It’s time to bring a bit of Zen and Calm into our lives- courtesy of the Japanese Flower Arts…I hope you enjoy this episode of “Life in Bloom” that is inspired by the Artful Culture of Japan!