Thursday, January 8, 2015

Flower arranging (生け花)

My re-arrangement of Ikebana flowers after class
The semester is soon coming to a close.  Today I had my very last Ikebana (生け花) class.  It was a good experience, especially because although it was a very fun class, we were still graded on how well we arranged each week's flowers.

Ikebana is a very hard art form to master.  Despite being a popular easy class, our teachers graded us critically and would point out whose arrangement was the best in the class each week.  Ikebana requires good math skills especially in geometry; angles play a big party in the art.  There were a lot of times when I wanted to give up because my own arrangement wasn't aesthetically pleasing or correct.  In fact, I think each arrangement I did had a mistake in it that the teachers would correct.

Still, despite the struggles, it's a part of the Japanese culture.  Flower arranging can be very soothing, in the right situation and atmosphere.  Maybe I cannot focus or relax in a classroom setting, or maybe to me the concept and reasoning behind flower arrangement isn't clear to me yet.  I still learned a lot, and I learned a new Japanese art (even if I'm poor at it).  I don't regret taking it at all, and if I don't get that A I thought I would, it's still fine.  Because if there's one thing I've learned while I'm in Japan, it's that the grade doesn't matter as much as the experience.  Sometimes you sacrifice a little to gain something immeasurable.

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