Of all Japan’s traditional arts, perhaps the most famed and actively practised today is Ikebana, the art of flower arranging. It is more than simply putting flowers in a container. It is a disciplined art form steeped in the philosophy of developing a closeness with nature.
What distinguishes ikebana from other floral arrangements is its asymmetrical form and the use of empty space as an essential feature of the composition. A sense of harmony among the materials, the container and the setting is also crucial.
The Sogetsu School style of ikebana was introduced to Australia in 1960 by Norman Sparnon who had studied in Japan under Sofu Teshigahara for several years after the end of World War II.
The Western Australian Branch of the Australian Sogetsu Teachers' Association was founded in 1968 with 13 members and has remained active since then. This small but enthusiastic branch holds regular meetings, each followed by a small group workshop.
The WA Branch of ASTA has hosted visits from Master Teachers from the Sogetsu Foundation, Tokyo and members have participated in ikebana activities throughout Australia and in Japan.