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42nd Ikebana International Exhibition

By: Kotoko Chinen

Date Posted: 1999-04-16

Many of the island's most talented ikebana exponents took part in the recently completed Ikebana International Flower Exhibition, held at the Event Plaza in Okinawa Mitsukoshi department store from April 6 to 8. Approximately 150 beautiful and elegant works by members of 17 local ikebana schools were on display.

The Ikebana International, Okinawa Branch holds the charity ikebana exhibition in the first week of April every year in their efforts to exchange friendship between America and Japan and most importantly to raise funds for Okinawa's needy.

After an opening address by the U.S. Consul General, Robert Luke, president of Ikebana International, Okinawa Branch Angie Stout, expressed her gratitude. "We are happy to share in our motto, 'Friendship Through Flowers' with you. Please, enjoy all of our members' beautiful flower arrangements."

Ikebana, or flower arrangement, is a traditional art dating back to the 6th century and the Shinto era, when people would use plants and flowers to summon the gods. Its fundamental concept is to express three elements - heaven, earth, and mankind.

Ikebana has received little international attention for quite some time. But it appears that more and more foreign residents are now enjoying this ancient Japanese craft. With the growing number of ikebana schools and international exponents enjoying this unique art form, it only goes to show that ikebana is no longer considered only for the Japanese. And it showed at the exhibition, with a good percentage of international guests enjoying the delightful offerings on show.

A number of Ikebana, from the traditional - cherry blossoms and pine trees - to the unique - broccoli and bananas - were on display, while the hall was filled with beautiful hues and the gentle scents of flowers.

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