Copyright © Sogetsu Mercer Island Branch

​​Sogetsu Mercer Island Branch

Fanny Yau, Director

Fanny Yau, currently a first grade Komon teacher of Sogetsu School, began her Ikebana studies in 1986 in Hong Kong under the guidance of Mrs. Mina Young.  In 1992 when Mrs.Young moved to Australia, Fanny became the student of Mr.Tetsunori Kawana, a bamboo installation artist and master instructor from Japan.  Because of her passion and desire to continue studying Ikebana, she joined the Mercer Island Sogetsu Branch in 2000 after she moved to the United States.  She has been studying under Mrs.Mitsuko Hakomori, the founder of the Branch since 2000.  Fanny was appointed Deputy Director of the Mercer Island Sogetsu Branch in 2004 and became the Director in April 2015.

Over the past decades, she has actively participated in Ikebana exhibitions and demonstrations.  She traveled as an assistant to Mr. Kawana for his bamboo installation project “ PASSAGE “at the Mint Museum, NC in 2011,
“ WEST MEETS EAST” at Denver Botanical Garden, CO in 2012, and “WATERWAY” at Moscow State University Botanical Garden, Russia in 2014.

 She believes that the essence of Ikebana is to reveal the inherent beauty in any and all materials with one’s passion, patience, observation, imagination and creativity.  The challenge to transform ordinary, uninteresting materials into beautiful, inspiring, and engaging works of art is the core of Ikebana practice and a source of joy for the Ikebana artist.


Shirley Hill, Deputy Director
Shirley Hill has been active in the Sogetsu School of Ikebana flower arranging since 1987.   She received her first teacher’s certificate in 1991.  Through her love of Ikebana and continued studies she has subsequently achieved higher levels of certification from Sogetsu School Tokyo Headquarters.  She currently holds the ranking of Komon.

Shirley is a member of the Sogetsu Teachers’ Association in Tokyo and is the Sogetsu Mercer Island Branch Deputy Director.  She is an active member of Ikebana International Seattle Chapter 19.  She served as the Chapter President from 2007-2009 and continues to serve on the Chapter board.

Shirley promotes Ikebana through demonstrations, classes, ikebana events, and arrangements for exhibits by I.I. Seattle Chapter and Mercer Island Sogetsu Branch.  She regularly volunteers to display arrangements at the Seattle Art Museum and the Seattle Asian Art Museum.  Shirley uses leaves, branches, seasonal flowers and her collection of unique vases for her arrangements.

She has been an active Ikebana teacher since 2003.  She teaches her students to create arrangements with natural plant materials and the expression of “Balance, Color, Depth, Form, Line, Movement and Space” for their arrangements.