One of the best ways that the different schools of ikebana share with one another is through exhibitions. Prior to the COVID restrictions, the Ikebana International Rochester chapter had regular public annual exhibitions. And at these exhibitions, all the different schools were represented by their respective arrangements. Also, during these exhibitions, demonstrations would be done in which the person doing the demonstration would tell a bit more about their schools style and perspective on the expression of ikebana.
Another way ikebana schools share with one another is through workshops at their monthly Ikebana International meetings. Each school would take turns presenting a workshop on a particular type of arrangement from their school. And after making several arrangements, the teacher would go around the room critiquing the students arrangement. This back and forth flow interaction helps the student and the teacher grow in their expression of the art. In the schools there are different points of emphasis in terms of making arrangements at different times. And different schools may create new types of arrangements for their students to make. Learning about these changes in different schools may inspire and help increase one’s creativity in their own school.
Of course with the COVID restrictions, these in-person workshops and demonstrations have been put on hold. But, on our website, at-home arrangements through Zoom workshops have been posted. And more is to come until we are able to once again meet in person.
Also, being a member of Ikebana International and getting their complimentary magazine helps the student to see the differences in the schools and stimulates new ways of making arrangements.
Even though there is this back and forth flow of information among the different ikebana schools in this modern age, one still tries to maintain the integrity of their own school’s style. Learning from other schools is a great opportunity, but it is important also to see the diversity also.