Saturday, August 29, 2015

Day 42 - Ikenobo: the Origins of Ikebana

Because we decided to do our washing yesterday not before late evening, we went to bed late and slept in today - missing our appointment at the Ikebana Museum this morning. The Ikebana museum is special in many regards. First it doesn't exhibit Ikebana displays, but instead documents and items related to the 1000-year history of Ikebana. You cannot just walk in, but need to apply for a visit and get an appointment. Because we did not want to miss this experience, we tried our luck in the afternoon.

Ikebana is strongly linked to the Rokkaku-do temple in Kyoto. From early traditions of flower offerings to Buddha in the 7th century, the art of flower arrangements was more and more formalized. About 1000 years ago, formal flower arrangements became popular not only at temples, but also in royal palaces and more and more private homes. The art of arranging flowers became codified by priests of the Rokkaku-do temple and other places in script rolls and was refined over the centuries. From an early, famous style in the 16th century, very formal and strict styles in later centuries developed, which are nowadays accompanied by more relaxed, flexible designs. Since it origins, Ikebana is related in Kyoto, and therefore the World Ikebana Headquarters and its Museum can also be found here, right adjacent to the Rokkaku-do temple.
The friendly staff at the Museum apologized because a manager couldn't greet us - which was of course our fault because our appointment was in the morning, not after lunch. It was so nice that they nevertheless let us in and opened the museum for us two, only. The museum is only one floor, but exhibits many significant historical artifacts, for example very old wand screens with drawings from Ikebana arrangements, Ikebana catalogues and guidebooks from the first headmasters centuries ago, or rare early vases.

In the temple next to the museum building, ikebana had its origin.

Sad saying goodbye again, this time from Kyoto. We stopped our bikes on one of the bridges crossing Kamo river that we often used to drive on during our four weeks here. Sunset in the background, very emotional again... So sad that we have to leave - on the other hand we need a change. Back in our rental home we started packing our things again - even now it seems to annoy me so hard........

What I learned? If you don't know a food item, never buy too much. Because I wanted to try these triangular shaped sweets so badly, I wanted to try different flavors for sure. So I bought the big pack with four flavors. Three flavors were not sooo delicious, but I recommend the green tea flavor (what a surprise, green tea...)...

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