Ohara grandmaster’s lifetime of teaching

After first being encouraged to take lessons from her aunt in Japan, Hisako “Shofu” Shohara embarked on a lifelong appreciation of nature through the art of ikebana. Jane Matsumoto, her eldest daughter, said her mother, at 94-years-old, still has a sharp mind as she continues to exhibit and teach for the Ohara School of Ikebana. […]

Ikebana showcases nature’s beauty

Ikebana can help one see nature with a different perspective, particularly as practitioners bring beauty into their homes, said Thanh Nguyen, president of the Ikebana Teachers Federation.  Ikebana can teach people “how to take the beauty from nature and apply it to your normal life,” she told the Nichi Bei Weekly in a phone interview. […]

Ikebana to go: Kiyo’s Floral Design delivers ikebana-inspired creations

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — For designer Lisa Taira, every flower arrangement she creates is one that comes from the heart — even if it’s just one flower. “It’s not just a single flower because it has so much meaning to the person who is actually buying it to give to someone,” said Taira, the owner of […]

Ikebana teacher follows family’s legacy of service, sees “revival” in the art

Her grandfather, the Rev. Shozen Naito, was a minister at the Buddhist Temple of Alameda before World War II; her grandmother taught Sogetsu ikebana in the 1970s and Japanese language at the same temple. Her father, Kiyoshi Naito, served as the temple??™s board president for three different terms. Following two generations of family leadership at […]

Molly Kimura, last known licensed biwa instructor in U.S., passes at 92

Miyako Molly Kimura, the last known licensed teacher of the biwa (Japanese lute) in the United States, peacefully passed away May 12, 2016 in Sacramento, Calif. at the age of 92. She was born March 1, 1924 to Nobujiro and Motoyo Nakamura in Yuba City, Calif. The Nichi Bei Weekly previously reported that the Nisei […]

YOUNG LEARNER: Sogetsu instructor Kika Shibata’s ikebana interest started early

After a few busy weeks of work, 13-year Sogetsu ikebana practitioner Yasmin Spiegel arrived at the Shepard Garden and Arts Center in Sacramento, Calif. with a creativity block and little inspiration to create her pieces for that weekend’s ikebana show. While mentally listing the many things that needed to be done to prepare for the […]

Zen living in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. — Aside from running the renown jazz club and Japanese restaurant Yoshi’s in Oakland, Calif., the club’s owners and former married couple Yoshie Akiba and Kaz Kajimura share a uniquely Japanese home in the Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland. The home, built in the early 1960s next to a great brick Catholic priory, features […]

Japanese cultural arts classes

Editor’s Note: Don’t see your cultural group listed? Contact us at cbfguide@nichibeiweekly.org to add your group to our cultural arts class listings. Daion Taiko Location: Orange County Buddhist Church, 909 S. Dale Ave., Anaheim, Calif. Contact: (714) 827-9590, daion78@gmail.com, ocbuddhist.org Drum Revolution Location: Belmont, Calif.; Orinda, Calif. and El Cerrito, Calif. Contact: (510) 926-9780, info@drumrevolution.com, […]

Japanese cultural classes

Taiko San Francisco GenRyu Arts Location: Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, 1840 Sutter St., S.F.’s Japantown Contact: (415) 420-3151, info@genryuarts.org, www.genryuarts.org Maikaze Daiko Location: Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St., S.F. Contact: (415) 513-7798, info@maikazedaiko.org, www.maikazedaiko.org San Francisco Taiko Dojo Classes: 212 Ryan Way South San Francisco, CA  94080 Contact: (415) 928-2456, […]

TRANSFORMING TRASH INTO TREASURES: Sogetsu ikebana as a means of expression

When people use the phrase “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure,” it often refers to someone’s desire to collect unusual items. For an ikebanist, however, this trash can make up the final component of a beautiful piece of art. “We always look out for things … that you can incorporate with fresh material or […]