The Kitano Hotel is resplendent in fall foliage as it hosts Ikebana International New York’s Autumn Flower Exhibition until Sunday, October 11. The opening reception, Aki no Kokoro – Autumn Portraits in Ikebana and Koto, was held on the evening of October 9, showcasing the works of 22 flower arrangers from five different schools of Ikebana.
Arrangement by Shoko Iwata, President of Ikebana International New York Chapter #7
Established in 1956 in Tokyo, Ikebana International combines all schools of ikebana to pass down the Japanese craft and tradition of flower arranging, whose history dates back to the Muromachi Period (late 14th century to mid-16th century). Schools represented in this exhibition are Ichiyo, Ikenobo, Ohara, Ryusei, and Sogetsu.
The Kitano Hotel provides a lovely backdrop for the arrangements, which use various vessels to hold the autumn-themed flowers.
A couple sits in front of an arrangement by Noritaka Noda of the Ikenobo school, the first school of Ikebana. The Ikenobo family members are the descendants of Ono No Imoko, who established the first Buddhist temple in Kyoto. It is thought that Ikebana’s origins are rooted in the Buddhist practice of offering flowers to the dead.
As different schools grew from the practice of Ikebana, different styles began to take hold. Some are more decorative, some have a vertical style using tall vases, some prefer using lower containers with more spread-out arrangements.
Beverly Hashimoto of the New York Area Chapter of the Ohara School of Ikebana poses beside her creation.
Koto player/composer Kento Iwasaki and soprano/violinist Hirona Amamiya performed several pieces, including two from Iwasaki’s “portable opera,” Beloved Prey.
Ikebana International’s Autumn Flower Exhibition is on display at The Kitano Hotel in the lobby and on the mezzanine level from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 11. The exhibition is free and open to the public.
For more information about the New York chapter of Ikebana International, please visit the organization’s website.