About Sogetsu Mercer Island Branch
Mercer Island Sogetsu Branch is a nonprofit group established in 1990. We celebrated our 25th anniversary in March 2015. Mrs. Mitsuko Hakomori, the founder of the group, started teaching ikebana at the Mercer Island Community Center in 1983. In 1990, Mercer Island Study Group was officially named and Mrs.Hakomori was appointed as Chairwoman by Iemoto Hiroshi Teshigahara, the headmaster of Sogetsu School in Japan. We were granted Branch status in March 2001 and the Charter was signed by Iemoto Hiroshi Teshigahara just prior to his passing away. Ever since inception of the Mercer Island Branch, Mrs. Mistuko Hakomori has been the Director of the Branch until her retirement in April, 2015. The current Director is Ms. Fanny Yau.
Our mission at the Sogetsu Mercer Island Branch is to promote this unique Japanese art form, Ikebana, to showcase our work to the public, in order to generate interest in the art of Ikebana.
Our regular activities include:
February – Ikebana arrangements donated from the group for raffle to the Seattle Conservatory as part of their Valentine event
March –Mercer Island Sogetsu Branch Annual exhibition , a free admission event where individual members display their work and present live demonstrations of putting together Ikebana arrangements
October – Flowalk in Pioneer Square where individual members of the group display their work at participating galleries
October through November – Ikebana arrangements from the group are displayed at the Seattle Conservatory as part of the Mum Season celebration.
In addition, we also hold workshops periodically for members. For an up-to-date listing of current and planned events, click here.
About Sogetsu School
The basic principle of the school is that ikebana can be done anywhere, anytime, and with any material. Its curriculum, divided into 4 basic courses and freestyle work for advanced students, encourages the application of art principles over the more traditional, rigid rules of arrangement advocated by other schools of ikebana. The Sogetsu School is headquartered in Tokyo and has 120 branches and study groups around the world.
In 2017, Sougetsu School will be celebrating its 90th anniversary. Its modern and art- focused approach has gained popularity internationally as well as with artists working with other media. Read more about the Sogetsu School and explore our Headquarter’s website.
What is Ikebana?
Although it is difficult to identify the true origins of Ikebana, the general belief is that it stems from the offering of flowers to the Buddha. At the beginning of the sixth century, when Buddhism was brought to Japan, the custom of dedicating flowers came with it . It was this custom that developed into the art of Ikebana. Another view is that customs of ancient times, such as putting up evergreen trees and arranging flowers to call the spirit-gods, developed into Ikebana.
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