Ancient Japanese Art of Flower Arrangement Exhibited on Campus

3By Jessica Itzep

Floral students displayed their works in an Ikebana exhibition at the College of Southern Nevada Summerlin campus on April 14 to 17.

Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement, according to Ikebana International, a group that promotes peace through this artistic expression.

“Ikebana is a disciplined art form in which the arrangement is a living thing where nature and humanity are brought together,” according to Ikebana International. “It is steeped in the philosophy of developing a closeness with nature.”

Ikebana was started as an offering to the Gods of fresh flowers in 500 A.D., according to Chieko Fukushima, member of American Institute of Floral Designers and lead faculty for the CSN floral design program. AIFD is the floral industry’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to establishing, maintaining and recognizing the highest standard of professional floral design, according to its website.

When Buddhism was spread from India, China through Korea to Japan, Prince Shotoku stayed in Rokkakudo-Temple located in central Kyoto. The priests of this temple arranged beautiful flower offerings to Buddha that became sought after.

5“[Ikebana] materials are living branches, leaves, grasses and blossoms,” according to Ikebana International. “Its heart is the beauty resulting from color combinations, natural shapes, graceful lines and the meaning latent in the total form of the arrangement. Ikebana is, therefore, much more than mere floral decoration.”

“We have been studying three basic styles such as: rikka, shoka and free style,” Fukushima said. “Each style has many different concepts and designs. Therefore, continuous study of Ikebana is a lifetime process—appreciating all nature surrounding us. It’s a human spiritual experience through arranging flowers.”

Springtime was welcomed in by CSN students who displayed their talent and creativity through their artistic Ikebana works at the exhibition. Dozens of sculptural and beautiful floral arrangements were shown.

“All of my students were prepared a few weeks prior to the exhibition,” Fukushima said. “They select which props they are using and what flowers they wish to use for their designs.”

4“The exhibition was very wonderful,” said Melanie Roberts, guest at the event. “The students did a good job on their pieces and I was surprised how beautiful they came out. It was hard to pick one out; they all had unique details that it was so hard to look away.”

Connie Jo Casey-Harris, teacher assistant for the floral design program who works with Fukushima, said, “I fell in love with [Ikebana] and wanted to give students my knowledge about it. I absolutely love it.”

Casey-Harris though the exhibition went well and was proud of her students.

Students who are in the floral-design program at CSN have an opportunity to learn skills that transcend into the professional environment. Companies including Bellagio, Cosmopolitan and Mandalay Bay are partners with our program and often hire students from the floral design internship program.

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