Ikebana Schools
Ichiyo
Ichiyo
Ikenobo
Ikenobo
Ohara
Ohara
Saga Goryu
Saga Goryu
Sogetsu
Sogetsu
Wafu-kai
Wafu Kai
   

Highlights of Our First Forty-Four Years

San Diego Chapter #119 of Ikebana International
Chartered, 1968

Motto: Friendship Through Flowers
Emblem: Cherry blossom spray

In 1968, several women, who were intrigued by the beauty of ikebana, formed the San Diego Chapter of Ikebana International. One is still a member: Sadako Oehler.

From its beginning, the chapter created great interest in ikebana in San Diego with reports on television and articles in the newspaper. On 8 September 1969, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors declared September 1969 to be "Ikebana International Friendship Through Flowers Month," and the City of San Diego's 200th Anniversary Committee honored the Chapter with a certificate.

From 1968 to 1971, the chapter met in the Floral Building (now part of the House of International Relations) in Balboa Park with its meetings alternating between days and evenings. On 17 November 1971, the chapter was the first organization to meet in the new Casa del Prado after its opening on 14 November 1971.

From its beginning, the chapter has been fortunate to have as members highly ranked teachers from the various ikebana schools. These schools include Kofu, Ohara, Shogyoku, Shogetsudo Koryu, Ichiyo, Shigisan Shinka-Ryu, Chikoh, Sogetsu, Ikenobo, Saga Goryu, and Wafu Kai. Related arts have also been represented by many excellent teachers. These arts include the tea ceremony (Omote Senke and Ura Senke), silk painting, kimono dressing, koto music (Sawai Koto School), and sumi-e brush painting.

The chapter has sponsored demonstrations by headmasters and grandmasters from the Ikenobo, Kofu, Enshu, Ichiyo, Chikoh, Ohara, and Saga schools. Delegates have been sent to regional conferences and world conventions, and the chapter managed the 11th North American Regional Conference in 1988. The chapter's school program captivated grade-school children for 20 years.

Chapter members support the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park by providing ikebana arrangements for its tokonomo display and the Museum of Art in Balboa Park by creating arrangements for its Art Alive exhibition. Tokonomo arrangements have been provided to the Japanese Friendship Garden for 15 years, and the Art Alive arrangements have been provided for the 32 years that the event has been held. Many other organizations in San Diego County are also supported by demonstrations and workshops done by chapter members.

The chapter donated flowering trees to Balboa Park and $10,000 to the Japanese Friendship Garden, and reseeded an acre in the San Diego's back country after a devastating wildfire. A $2,000 donation was sent to Japan after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Chapter members have enjoyed cooking lessons; kimono dressing and style shows; holiday parties and the Salvation Army Children's Choir; bus trips and martial arts demonstrations. They have learned about pottery and fabrics; sumi-e painting and kabuki costumes; bonsai and bankei; silk painting and origami; and folk dances and wood block prints. They were taught how to wrap gifts, how to preserve weathered wood, and how to prepare for the Spring Flower Show.

Under the guidance of successive boards and many volunteers, the chapter has prospered. The shared knowledge and abilities of the many teachers of ikebana and related arts have helped chapter members grow, flourish, and mature. The 45 years of the chapter have been productive, memorable, and enjoyable. The future of the chapter is unlimited, as it looks forward to new opportunities in sharing the art and friendship of ikebana.

Friendship through Flowers.

Originally written by James H. Ard
Updated August 2013

 

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