On six Saturdays between September and January, 15 to 20 mothers gather at Saint Maur International School in Yokohama with their children in tow, to learn ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement) from Yogetsu Yamamoto, the head of the Kofu School of Ikebana.
The Kanagawa Office of Cultural Affairs subsidizes the “Mother–Child Ikebana Project” in an effort to proactively preserve and promote Japanese traditional arts, such as shodo (calligraphy), sado (tea ceremony), and togei (ceramics), which are sadly losing popularity among the younger generation.
One-third of the “Mother–Child Ikebana Project” participants are from Saint Maur and the immediate international community, and they are eager to experience Japanese culture through ikebana with their children. The rest of the participants are Japanese mothers from outside Saint Maur. All participants are clearly aware of the part they are playing in keeping this traditional art alive by sparking their children’s interest in ikebana through active participation at an early age.
Saint Maur International School is honoured to support the efforts of the Kanagawa Office of Cultural Affairs by providing the Japanese and international communities with a venue for this cultural preservation project, and hope that many people will have an opportunity to view the “Mother–Child Ikebana Project” New Year’s Exhibition, January 10–12, 2015, at the historic Erisman Residence located in Motomachi Park, one block from the Saint Maur campus (directly across the street from the Bluff Clinic). Admission is free. — PHYLLIS ENGSTROM