The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania


2021 Japan Lecture Series - Ikebana: more than just pretty flowers

  • Thursday, April 29, 2021
  • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Eventive


Registration is closed

The Japanese art of flower arrangement has its origins in the formal offering arrangements used in the altars of Buddhist temples, but became more prominent in daily life with the development of the architectural feature tokonoma, or alcove. Join us for a presentation on the relationship of ikebana to the practice of tea as well as to daily life from the 1600s to today. We will look at how ikebana was part of an expansion of artisan products and landscape design in the last four centuries, and how that has carried through to today’s use of flower arrangements in Japan. Some attention will also be given to the balance between control and lack of control in ikebana, for much like the art of landscape design, there is a interaction between the designer and the natural features of the plants and environment in these types of arts.

Following the lecture,  the Maridon Museum will present a floral Imari plate from their collection. Then we will be showing the short film Ikebana, a multifaceted perspective as both a documentary cataloging Ikebana and as an experimental art piece that images Ikebana’s abstract art concepts as cinema. Directed by master practitioner (and son of the founder of the Sogetsu school of Ikebana) Hiroshi Teshigahara, the film maps the role of Ikebana in modern, post-war Japan. The film uses different cinematic traditions, including animation and abstraction, to play with tradition and modernism, concepts which drove Japanese art in the latter half of the twentieth century.

Following the film, attendees will have the opportunity to observe an artist demonstration and Q&A with local Pittsburgh Sogetsu instructor Reiko Nakajima.

Dr. Jordan is the Director of the University of Pittsburgh national coordinating site for the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia (NCTA) and the Japan Studies Coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh Asian Studies Center. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Kansas specializing in 19th Century Japanese art history. Dr. Jordan specializes in the history of Japanese art, particularly the paintings and woodblock prints of the 19th century.

Watch the recorded lecture on YouTube. The documentary has been removed for copyright.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh national coordinating site for the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia (NCTA).

**Teachers wishing to receive Act 48 credit or certificate of completion (for teachers outside of PA) and the book for this lecture should enter their full mailing address at registration.**

Lecture Series Sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc.

This lecture is supported by a Japan Foundation New York Arts & Culture grant.

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