Ancient form of Japanese flower arranging leads students to find peace, nature
'I call it a moving meditation, that why it's so peaceful'
The Japanese art of flower arrangement is an ancient art form with the goal to help students find peace and beauty while connecting with nature.
"Theoretically we are supposed to work in silence," says Jean-Marcel Duciaume, a teacher at the Edmonton Ikenobo Ikebana Study Group.
"I call it a moving meditation, that why it's so peaceful."
However, the origins of the art form may have been less contemplative, Duciaume said.
Monks would offer flowers to Buddha, but began competing with one another as to who could offer the best floral arrangement, he said.
In the 1400s, monks wrote the first book on the Ikenobo school of floral art.
This week Duciaume's study group was honoured with a rare visit from a professor of the art form.
Mayumi Chino, a professor at the Ikenobo School in Kyoto, Japan, dropped in to inspire the group's students.
Chino said the difference between Ikebana and North American flower arrangement is one of space.
"Ikenobos see something between the flowers. In the space, sometimes (we) feel the wind and sometimes we see the rain."
Duciaume said working with Chino will leave a lasting impact on his students.