Ikebana finds tropical roots

loading Mountains and Seas.

Simplicity is a virtue in ikebana, the Japanese traditional flower arrangement. And in the tropics where colours – and
cultures – often mesh in dizzying patterns, embracing ikebana philosophy is not a bad idea.

Those who think that flower arrangement is a pastime for women are dead wrong – at least where the Japanese are concerned. Machiko Nakayama, who has made Penang her home for the past 27 years, explains: “Ikebana is simple, but beautiful. People think that it’s merely a hobby, but it has the power to touch people,” she claims. “It is good for the body and spirit. Having evolved from flower arrangement for religious purposes by Buddhist priests, traditional ikebana became a way of life. During the Edo period, before battles, warriors and shoguns would practise flower arrangement as meditation.”

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