Monday, 15 November 2010

Stylized Gestures

One thing that fascinates me about traditional Japanese culture is the thoroughness - the focus on the details. I've been writing in earlier posts about practicing ikebana as a flower ceremony with a set of rules for how to move. It's similar to tea ceremony in the movements and is still practiced by some traditional ikebana schools.

I found this video on YouTube and decided to post it on the blog because of the gestures of the kadoka, the ikebana artist, as she creates a traditional Seika arrangement in what looks like a bamboo vase. The school is Saga Goryu, an ikebana school that goes back to the Emperor Saga in the 9th century and the style of flower arrangement that is said to have been created by him.

The motto of Saga Goryu is "to unite flowers and religion". The students practices a ceremony of floral tribute to Buddah. Notice the stylized gestures and movements of the ikebana artist in the video as she takes out her fan from the kimono belt, bows, and dries off the vase. Since this is a demonstration in front of a public the branches are prepaired, cut and bended in advance. Fortunately you can see some of the bending in the video as well. At the end the assistant also bows, takes her fan out, and carries the ikebana vase to the tokonoma alcove.

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