The Ichiyo School of Ikebana was started in 1937 by a brother and sister–Meikof and Ichiyo Kasuya. They sought to create an original ikebana what was suitable for the modern lifestyle. What was started as a small endeavor now has grown to include chapters and practitioners all across the world.
The first headmaster of the school was Ichiyo Kasuya. Eventually, her brother (Meikof Kasuya) took over as the second headmaster. He helped with establishing the school and with publishing of books displaying the Ichiyo type of ikebana as it continued to grow under his influence.
But as time continued on, he passed on leadership of the school to their son–the third headmaster–Akihiro Kasuya. Each headmaster brought their own creativity to the school and Akihiro Kasuya was no different. Even though his style was a bit different from his parents it still had the Ichiyo School of Ikebana flavor. He tirelessly help spread further the Ichiyo style of ikebana across the world to many countries. I had the great privilege to work with him for stage-sized demonstrations in various parts of the United States as the headliner to many several conferences. He amazed me at the ease at which he could create the most beautiful arrangements from the very small to the very large. He was always kind and an innovator bringing many new ideas to this modern form of ikebana.
Unfortunately, due to illness, he died on January 31st of 2019. He passed on the leadership of Ichiyo School of Ikebana to his second son–Naohiro Kasuya in an installation as the fourth headmaster on January 20th of 2019 who now brings his own unique freshness to the art.
As well as teaching ikebana, Naohiro Kasuya has been displaying his works at solo and a wide range of exhibitions. Some of his large exhibition arrangements are show above. He gives ikebana instructions and artistic support for movies and TV programs. He is also passionately involved in collaborative works with artists of different fields. He conducts “Ikebana LIve” and workshops not only in Japan but also overseas such as in the USA, New Zealand, Australia, India, South Africa and the Ukraine, including an ikebana demonstration at the New York Metropolitan Museum. He August, 2018, he demonstrated at the Ikebana International Ninth European Regional Conference at Bruges, Belgium. Presently, he holds positions in the Japan Ikebana Art Association as a standing committee member and as an associate board member of the Ikebana Association.
He brings his own innovation as seen by the pictures shown above. Presently, he also regularly conducts video workshops via Zoom for practitioners all across the world. As soon as the COVID restrictions end, he will be back at traveling the world to spread this wonderful art. We are all looking forward to learning from him as he develops ikebana–the Ichiyo style–even more.