What is Ikebana?
We welcome all experience levels to this class. Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement, also Known KADO (the way of flowers)
“Ikebana” is from the Japanese IKERU (“keep alive, arrange flowers, living”) and HANA (“flower”). Possible translations include “giving life to flowers” and “arranging flowers”.
The Ryusei-ha School was founded in 1886 by Yoshimura Kaun and the present fourth head master is Yoshimura Kasyu (吉村 華州).
The Ryusei-ha School has maintained a continuous tradition of teaching ikebana for over a century. You begin studying with the Ryusei-ha School of Ikebana. We will start with arrangements in the free style. The textbook, contains introductory (Nyumon) and Elementary (Shoden) courses.
The Free Style of Ikebana: Giving Free Rein to Individuality
Free style ikebana is ikebana which gives rein to the free sensibility of our modern daily lives. The ikebana you create will be a style of your own, the light, relaxed style of contemporary living, free from the constraints of convention but true to your own personal lifestyle.
Since the free style takes its inspiration from this sensibility, there are no set rules. The ikebana comes into being in a dialogue between the natural plants and your individual personality.
However, it is surprisingly hard to work without set rules. If people are handed a few flowers and told “Arrange these any way you like,” they often do not know where to start or what to do next. No doubt that is way you came to the Ryusei-ha School in the first place to learn a particular method. What’s more, people do not always know exactly what they like.
The Unique Curriculum of the Ryusei-ha School: The Basic Styles
To overcome these difficulties, in the basic Free Style courses the Ryusei-ha School has established units which we call the basic styles and their variations. By the time you have completed these courses, you will be trained in the essentials of the Free Style. The techniques you will learn for stabilizing materials on the Kenzan, deciding the direction of branches and flowers, capturing their expressions, and creating spaces with them will lay the foundation for the many years of ikebana that lie ahead of you.
The Ryusei-ha School, with well over a hundred years of teaching experience to draw on, has designed its own unique curriculum from the viewpoint of the beginner, who wants to know how he or she can learn both accurately and quickly.
Masako Gibeault was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan and started to study Ryusei-ha School of Ikebana when she was 18 years old. She received the Master Degree of Free Style when she was 24 years old. Ryusei-ha School had become independent from Ikenobo School, the oldest ikebana school, 130 years ago. It was founded by Yoshimura Kaun, and known as their traditional style, Rikka and Seika, later on they added modern free style of ikebana by his successor, Kakyu Yoshimura. Yoshimura Kasyu, the current headmaster, is the fourth generation ikebana master in the family.
She was very active in participating at many ikebana exhibits in Japan. She moved into New York City in 1998, later she relocated to Vermont and lived there for 12 years. She taught Ikebana for Fine Art Class at Green Mountain College in Vermont in 2010. She held many ikebana workshops and exhibitions to the communities in Vermont for introducing as the Traditional Art of Japan.
Currently she lives in NYC and a member of Ikebana International New York Chapter. She serves as one of the board members. Her arrangements have been seen at The Metropolitan Museum, Tenri Gallery, Ikebana International Flower Shows and other venues. She had Demonstration at The Metropolitan Museum March 25th 2015.