Advertisement

The Insider’s Guide to Healthy Hawaii: Peace, Harmony and Ikebana

The Insider’s Guide to Healthy Hawaii: Peace, Harmony and Ikebana

Whether I’m writing a blog or drawing a picture, there has to be a “first thing.” It’s that single initial step that gets the creative juices flowing and nudges you down the path to your next masterpiece. It’s the same with ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging.

To learn more about this revered Japanese art, I reached out to May Hiraoka-Tomita, the local chapter president of the Ikenobo Ikebana Society. She said ikebana begins when you hold a single, beautiful flower in your hand and think about how you’re going to display it. Then, you decide on a vase, which can be a favorite cup, dish, vase or bottle. From there, you embark on an artistic journey to making your own unique floral arrangement. “Ikebana is a way to express one’s feelings with each individual flower. Therefore, the same floral material and vase used by different people can result in completely different arrangements,” she said.

Ikebana originated at the Rokkakudo Temple in Kyoto, Japan, more than 550 years ago. The art eventually spread to Hawaii in 1925—first on Hawaii Island, then later to Oahu in 1933.

If you’ve ever seen an ikebana arrangement, you probably noticed how elegant and minimalistic they look. You’ll never see one that is “over the top” with a riot of color or too many flowers. Hiraoka-Tomita, who has been taking classes and practicing ikebana for over 20 years, explained, “The basic philosophy of wa, or peace and harmony, is the focal point in the arrangement of flowers.”

Like most artistic activities, ikebana is good for your health. Hiraoka-Tomita said, “When I create a flower arrangement, the beauty of the flowers mesmerizes me, and any stress from a busy workday disappears. Ikebana gives me a sense of peace, brings me close to nature and brightens my day.”

If you’re interested in giving ikebana a try, Hiraoka-Tomita encourages you to visit the chapter’s Facebook page. Classes are available on Maui, Hawaii Island and Kauai, as well as at several locations on Oahu. You can also email ikenobohonolulu@gmail.com for more information.

This content originally appeared on Well-Being Hawaii.

Medically reviewed in February 2018.

The Insider’s Guide to Healthy Hawaii: Healthy Pita Christmas Trees for the Holidays
The Insider’s Guide to Healthy Hawaii: Healthy Pita Christmas Trees for the Holidays
Bring that Tex-Mex flavor to your holiday party with these festive pita trees, made with guacamole, pita wedges and tomatoes. The guacamole serves as ...
Read More
The Insider's Guide to Healthy Hawaii: Getting Rid of Ukus
The Insider's Guide to Healthy Hawaii: Getting Rid of Ukus
Now that children are back in school, there’s more opportunity for them to get something many parents dread—head lice, or ukus as we call them in Hawa...
Read More
Hawaii Health Alerts: Don't Wait, Hydrate!
Hawaii Health Alerts: Don't Wait, Hydrate!
We all know how important it is to drink water. But sometimes we’re having too much fun hanging out at the beach, hiking or even walking around the ma...
Read More
The Insider’s Guide to Healthy Hawaii: When in Hawaii, Eat Like the Romans
The Insider’s Guide to Healthy Hawaii: When in Hawaii, Eat Like the Romans
On a recent trip to Italy, I immersed myself in the three Ps—pasta, pizza and panini. Every eatery featured these delicious dishes. I was in carb heav...
Read More