Where would you go if you wanted to experience authentic Japanese culture? Most people choose a tea ceremony or samurai theater. But the trend could change soon. Ikebana is where you can really dive in and experience authentic Japanese culture.
Ikebana Lets You Express Yourself
Ikebana is a traditional Japanese flower art, but Kimiko Yamamoto, a professional Ikebana teacher at Ami Kyoto, says, “You don’t need to know the correct techniques to do Ikebana.” According to Kimiko, all you have to do is to use your imagination and creativity with flowers, even though there are basic rules about Ikebana.
“Each Ikebana work shows the guest’s heart and personality.”
This is Kyotogram’s work. Kimiko prepared three types of flowers—plum, iris, chrysanthemum—and lemon leaf for Kyotogram.
First, we listened to Kimiko’s basic instructions and explanation about Ikebana. After that, we just went for it!
Kimiko told us that Ikebana is interesting because each work shows the guest’s heart and personality. What personality traits do you see in Kyotogram’s Ikebana work?
We were surprised to hear that there is never the same flower combination in a class, even though Kimiko’s career has lasted more than 15 years. That means that both you and Kimiko experience each flower combination and its art for the first time.
Unlike other traditional activities, Ikebana is a highly active experience. Kimiko says, “Guests make their own pieces freely. Even I learn a lot from them because they give me inspiration.”
“I just assist my guests.”
Maybe you’re wondering if Kimiko’s job is just to explain Ikebana’s history and the basic rule. Of course, it’s not!
When we were working on our Ikebana, Kimiko would sometimes advise us on a more beautiful look. But the goal was not to make the art “normal” or “decent” but rather to show our utmost creativity.
Kimiko says, “I just assist my guests so that they can express what they want to as much as possible.” Thanks to her advice, we created high-quality work.
In Ikebana, we enjoy not only the beauty of the flowers but also the space between the flowers. In our work, for instance, the gaps between the plum branch, iris, lemon leaf, and chrysanthemum create space.
The Whole House Is a Traditional Japanese Experience
When you visit the house, you’ll notice that it is an old type of Japanese house called machiya. You can see lots of Japanese decorations, like Japanese dolls and calligraphy. They make a cozy but unique traditional Japanese atmosphere.
Kimiko is a tea ceremony instructor too, and you can try calligraphy with other professional teachers. The house is located near the famous Heian Jingu shrine and Nanzenji temple. Why not visit Ami Kyoto and participate in updating Japanese culture?