Spring season starts in UAE with popular Sakura Ikebana class｜Arab News Japan
ABU DHABI: A cherry blossom Ikebana workshop was held in Ocha Cafe Sakura at Abu Dhabi’s Kinokuniya bookstore March 12 by the Ohara School of Ikebana.
The workshop featured two groups of people in two sessions, where they were learning the concept of Ikebana and the basic form of it by using Sakura.
Amani Alshehi is the first United Arab Emirates national to obtain the certification of Ikebana Instructor from the Ohara School Japan.
She told Arab News Japan what made the workshop “special” was the cherry blossoms.
“What made the workshop special is that we brought the spring season in Japan here by using the cherry blossoms (Sakura) imported from Japan,” she said.
“As many people know, the cherry blossoms represent the new beginnings in Japan such as the Japanese new year where schools in Japan start in April as well the new facial year over there,” she added.
Michyo Chiba, founder and owner of Sakura Japan Sweets said she was “glad to have a Japanese traditional culture event at Ocha Cafe Sakura. At the workshop, participants each made a different design using Sakura cherry blossom, which made us feel real Japanese spring. This workshop will work for introducing Japanese culture well and hopefully we will have it again next time.”
Ikebana, or the Japanese art of flower arranging, dates back 600 years and focuses on simplicity, asymmetrical beauty, and seasonal elements. Ikebana is distinguished from other arts related to flower arrangements around the world by its interest in the aesthetics of free space.
The Ohara School was founded by Unshin Ohara in the late 19th century when Japan was opening up to the Western world. Unshin created the Moribana scene, which is the defining expression of the Ohara school. He designed the shallow, wide container most suitable for moribana arrangements. Moribana, which are arranged in low, wide containers, and hika, which are created in tall cylindrical vases, are the two primary methods of flower arrangement in the Ohara school.
Today, the school continues to thrive under the direction of the current and fifth principal, Hiroki Ohara. The Ohara School has offices in Tokyo and Osaka with 144 chapters in Japan and over 134 international classes and study groups with more than 300,000 members worldwide.