Ikebana International JB celebrates Oshogatsu

Ikebana International Johor Baru (IIJB) Chapter 235, recently celebrated Ohsogatsu, the Japanese New Year with the event, Shoshun Early Spring.

IIJB president, Datin Ong Kid Ching [Right] with best-
dressed winner, Shizuyo Hiroi [2nd from Right] and members
who dressed in Japanese inspired outfits and accessories
Graced by charter president, Tunku Shahariah bte Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman, members and guests were encouraged to dress in Japanese inspired outfits and accessories to welcome the new year.

“We are pleased to start the year with 10 new members and one transfer member from Tokyo,” said IIJB president, Datin Ong Kid Ching, in her opening address.

To explain the significance of the Japanese New Year, the Johor Baru Japanese School principal, Hideaki Fujita, was invited to share insights into their new year culture and traditions.

Chris Parry demonstrating his second arrangement
designed in the Ohara school of Ikebana
Using photographs for illustrations, he described Japanese traditions in spring cleaning, rice cake eating, bell-ringing at temples, greeting the royal family, visits to the shrine, festive food and postcard greetings.

The highlight of the event was the demonstration of floral arrangements by advance students in their respective schools of Ikebana.

Chris Parry, who holds an Assistant Teacher Certificate from the Ohara school, created two arrangements entitled, “January” and “March” using only native plants from his own garden and neighbourhood.

Angela Kek demonstrating her second arrangement
designed in the Sogetsu school of Ikebana
Angela Kek, a third grade Sankyu Shihan diploma holder of the Sogetsu school, showed one arrangement in the variation one style and another in freestyle.

In line with the chapter’s mission to celebrate the art of Ikebana and Japanese culture, guests at the Japanese themed event received a charming kimono origami attached to a nengajo, a traditional Japanese new year’s card, as souvenirs.

Elegant in a traditional kimono, Shizuyo Hiroi, was recognised as the best-dressed person among guests and members who wore Japanese inspired outfits.

Origami folded as a charming kimono attached to a nengajo, a traditional Japanese New Year's card
Chris Parry with his sensei or tutor in the Ohara school of Ikebana, Datin Ong Kid Ching
A version of this was published in The Malaysian Insider on 8 Jan 2016

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