Sunday, 15 November 2015


At the November meeting our guest speaker was Dr Hironobu Kitaoji, Director of Japan Seminar House. 

He spoke about various aspects of the haiku poetry form and its evolution from the 12th to the 19th century. This included the observation that as art forms both haiku and ikebana were indicating something beyond what was immediately present in the work itself. He also pointed out that the reader of haiku was able to discover something new, by the poet shifting the point of view in the second part of the poem.

By illustration he proposed such subtle interpretations as the idea that a storm wind was chasing flying blossoms rather than causing the blossoms to scatter.

"chiru hana o   iokaketeyuku   arashi kana"

"Oh, the storm! Chasing the scattering blossoms"
Fujiwara no Sadaie, 1162 - 1241

In addition Dr Kitaoji spoke warmly about the late Norman Sparnon. He said that in the aftermath of WWII Norman's eyes were opened with wonder when the people of Tokyo came in huge numbers to look at the beauty of an ikebana exhibition even though they were surrounded by the devastation of the city.

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Following the guest speaker, a demonstration was given by Keiko Mii, of the Ohara School. 

Keiko said:    My haiku is Matuo Basho's (1644-1694)

あじさいや かたびらどきの うすあさぎ
紫陽花や 帷子時の 薄浅黄

Ajisai ya    Katabira doki no    Usu asagi 

        light blue in 
                   hemp kimono

Katabira (帷子) in this haiku is a hemp kimono for summer wear, whose colour is pale blue, like that of Hydrangea.

  Below are some ikebana made by members at the meeting.

Chieko Yazaki

Oh what a glorious sunlight, shining over the young green leaves in the Nikko mountain.                   
                                                          Matsuo Basho

Eiko Roskam 

Sitting on open veranda
facing new bamboos
how much I miss my late mother.
                                                             Hakyou  Ishida

Sally Wilkinson

Lighting one candle
With another candle
Spring evening                                        
  Yosa Buson

Additional photos of ikebana created at the meeting.

I would also like to draw your attention to the launch of I.I. Melbourne Chapter's new website. The address is: 

Please check it out and save the address to your 'favourites'                                       

Christopher James