Ikebana

There was great glee the last time I went to the dentist about 2 weeks ago. Obviously having a molar pulled out is always a source of joy but also Mori sensei, who has a boat at Ginowan marina, announced that the rainy season was officially over and from here on in it was blue skies and fair winds.

Not so.

I stupidly took off my cockpit cover and of course there has subsequently been a series of thunderstorms. On Saturday morning I go to Ginowan and hobble to the boat.

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I rush back home and change out of drenched clothes. I then head out to the Tou Cafe and Gallery, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tou-cafe-and-Gallery/1459048500785253 where Okubo sensei is giving an Ikebana workshop. I am apprehensive. I have never done classical Japanese flower arranging before! My apprehension grows when I get to the cafe as I am the only man and the only non -Japanese. The other participants are beautiful, graceful women.

I should not have worried. I have a wonderful time. Tomomi sensei first demonstrates basic techniques. She starts with a wide bowl using a small, round, spiked block called a kenzan.

Spot the kenzan.

Then we move on to taller, narrower vases, in which Tomomi sensei shows how to build an internal grid made from flower stems that can support the flowers or leaves of the final display.

We then all get the same selection of flowers and leaves and are told we can select any of the wonderful Yachimun, Okinawan pottery, bowls or vases on display in the restaurant.

My only previous experience of flower arrangement is getting a big bunch of flowers and dumping them into a vase. This is very different. Tomomi sensei stresses harmony, aesthetics, minimalism and matching the display to the container. I do what I can with my thick clumsy fingers!

The atmosphere is wonderful, so relaxed and non-judgmental. We all giggle like schoolgirls, especially me. Listen to the movie.

Everyone is so happy.
My final piece.

Thanks to Tomomi, the Matsuda sisters, who run the place, and all the other participants for such a cool afternoon!

I then rebalance by rushing off to watch the Crusaders play the Jaguares in the final of the Super Rugby championship.

Very close.
We get to keep the Yachimun and the flowers!
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