Dear Members of Ikebana International,
It is a great honor for me to accept the Presidency of Ikebana International for 2016-2017. This is my second term. When I look back over my first year as President, I realize that I had no time to think. Many things came at me like waves. The huge responsibilities of the President were beyond my imagination. It was really a challenge for me. But the board members and the Past International Presidents supported me a lot. This year will be very hard and busy due to the 11th world convention and other issues. However, I am confident that with the new International Board standing by me, as a team we can achieve our goal of promoting ikebana around the world.
Our objectives for 2016-2017 will be to promote ikebana to the world, especially to younger generations. We are now preparing an ikebana book for children. I am very sure that this book will show children the charm of ikebana. Please join me in looking forward to seeing this book.
Ikebana International will continue to do Public Purpose activities, which include publishing the Ikebana International Magazine, holding Regional Conferences, and supporting the Ikebana Grand Prix and the Next Generation Project. I am very proud of our magazine, which features ikebana by the iemotos of nine schools. You can see current work by the iemotos and also read about Japanese traditional beautiful culture through the articles in the magazine on special topics. We keep the quality of the magazine high so as to make our members feel privileged to belong to I.I.
We will also continue to give positive support to the Next Generation Project. Now, many Chapters hold workshops for younger generations. Members of the International Board and other I.I. members from the Tokyo area have been providing ikebana lessons for students at four schools in Japan. We will continue to encourage the overseas Chapters to have Next Generation Projects.
The 11th World Convention will be held in Okinawa in April 2017. The following have agreed to be sponsors of the Convention: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Japan Foundation, the Nihon Ikebana Geijutsu Kyokai, and Okinawa Prefecture. More than 1,000 I.I. members have registered for the World Convention. I will do my best to make the 11th World Convention successful with the world convention committee.
Ikebana International will hold a New Yearfs Party on January18, 2017, at the Palace Hotel in Tokyo. This party is open to all members, offering the opportunity to participate in an event together with our Honorary President H.I.H. Princess Takamado, iemotos of many schools, and members from many Chapters. On this occasion, Headmaster Designate of Ikenobo, Senko Ikenobo , Iemoto of Ohara school, Hiroki Ohara and Iemoto of Ichiyo School of Ikebana, Akihiro Kasuya will demonstrate on the theme of Pine,@Bamboo and Japanese apricot. I am sure that this party will be very special.
I.I. added 195 members in 2015-2016, perhaps due to the upcoming 11th World Convention; now, we have 7,670 members. I hope that we can increase the number of members further after the World Convention.
I am going to do my best for these activities with our board members. I want to contribute to the improvement of Ikebana International under the motto of gFriendship through Flowers!.