IKEBANA INTERNATIONAL: Seventh World Convention,1996

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Ikebana International Seventh World Convention
October 3-7, 1996
Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan

Main Programs:
Ikebana Demonstrations by  Headmasters,
Ikebana Exhibition by Worldwide Members,
Ikebana Workshops, Japanese Cultural Programs,
World Convention and Business Meetings, Dinner Parties, Tours, etc.


Ikebana International held the Ikebana International Seventh World Convention at the Nagoya International Convention Hall and the Aichi Art and Culture Center in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. In 1996, Ikebana International celebrated its 40th anniversary.

Her Imperial Highness Princess Mikasa, Honorary President of Ikebana International, officially opened the Convention, and was present throughout the week, attending all the major events.

A wide variety of programs was offered throughout the week to provide attendees with the opportunity to discuss the future direction of ikebana, deepen their knowledge and understanding of ikebana methods, and promote mutual understanding and exchange.

Over 1,000 Ikebana International members from over 50 countries, belonging to many different ikebana schools, were registered for this international convention which is held once every five years.
Many more people attended some of the programs by buying tickets for individual events.

"Ikebana: A Bridge to the Next Century" was the theme of the Convention. The main attraction of this Seventh Convention was the demonstration of the highest form of ikebana art by seven schools' iemoto (headmasters). The program also included an exhibition of members' and headmasters' ikebana arrangements, and a "flower performance" by two well-known flower artists.

Convention participants had the opportunity
to explore the city of Nagoya and its surrounding area.

Chiko School
Hachidai School
Ichiyo School Ishida School
Koryu Shoohkai
Ohara School
Sogetsu School
Mami Flower Design School


Headmistress Naruse working on part of the arrangement with her assistants.

Although Headmistress Naruse and her family escaped injury in the Great Hanshin Earthquake in Kobe in January 1995, the Chiko School building and the headmistress's home were destroyed, together with many priceless artifacts that the Chiko School had collected over many years which were an integral part of Chiko School arrangements. Here, the headmistress describes her experiences in the earthquake; the model building next to her was one of the few of her objects that survived.


The Hachidai demonstration, with folded cranes flying high over the floral scene.

Hachidai Headmaster Banko Ohsawa, standing in a misty cloud, describing his arrangement.

The headmaster and his assistant, working on a small portion of the overall arrangement. Hachidai ikebana combines both traditional and free styles.


In the Ichiyo demonstration, water was an important theme, with water-filled plastic bags forming a base for each portion of the arrangement and also hanging from the "sky" like outsized raindrops.

Headmaster Akihiko Kasuya and his assistants balancing a basket suspended from a branch. When completed, the baskets were raised into the air, hanging from the branches as shown in the first Ichiyo photograph.

The headmaster inserting branches into a woven basket that formed one portion of the overall arrangement.


Musicians can be seen at the right.

Headmaster  Shusui Ishida working with an assistant on a portion of the overall arrangement.

Headmaster Ishida preparing one part of the ikebana work.
The headmaster has a strong interest in internationalizing ikebana, and his demonstration at the Convention brought together various Asian themes.

At the conclusion of the Koryu Shoohkai demonstration, the boats seen in the background in this photo were lifted skyward, to the accompaniment of a traditional hymn.
The final words of the hymn are:

"And our ways are ways of gentleness,
And all our paths are peace."

Headmaster Rihoh Semba (at right) shows a slide of an arrangement done in the Edo Period (1615 - 1868) in the same format as the one he is doing. In both the Edo Period work and in Semba's work done at the Convention, several ikebana arrangements are displayed on a frame.
This frame (or iko in Japanese) is actually a hanger for kimono. The headmaster explained that in the Momoyama period (1573-1615), such a hanger was used to display ikebana. By the time of the Edo Period, this had become "the hana iko style of ikebana".

In his demonstration, the headmaster intended to communicate the feelings and spirit of our predecessors in ikebana, and the essence of the techniques and means of expression that they have handed down to contemporary ikebana artists. In this photo, the headmaster and his son Takashi are working on a seika arrangement, a portion of the overall demonstration.

Headmistress Wakako Ohara speaking of her father,
the late Headmaster Houn Ohara
The arrangement, prepared under the overall direction of Ohara School Professor, Kazuhiko Kudo, was done in three sections.
Each of the sections was an arrangement in itself.
Then, the three sections were pushed together, as in the first photograph.
After the audience had enjoyed the Ohara view of nature as expressed in ikebana, each section was then turned around so that
what had been the back was now toward the audience.
This too made a dramatic ikebana arrangement.

After the demonstration was completed, a dancer moved slowly in and out of the floral materials.

In this picture, Sogetsu School Vice President Akane Teshigahara is putting the final touches on a small portion of the overall arrangement.

Headmaster Teshigahara explaining the overall arrangement.

The final display of the flower performance by Toshiro Kawase,
Kajin. During the performance, materials used for one arrangement were changed and transformed to become materials for another arrangement, and changed again into yet another. Mr. Kawase combines the two formative styles of ikebana -- tatehana, which is the original form of ikebana, and nageire,
which emphasizes free individual design -- into his own creative style of ikebana.
Kajin Toshiro Kawase

In this work, Keita Kawasaki, Vice Principal of the Mami Flower Design School, intended to express a new relation between the interior and exterior of a design. Rather than the flowers being contained within the frame,
they burst out of the frame, yet are held to it by their roots, which extend into the space within the frame. At the right, a three-person jazz group sings specially composed music commenting on this idea.

Another flower design by Vice Principal Kawasaki, in which light plays an important role.