Navigation Links
Japanese Flower Art Helps Calm a Frantic Moscow

As Moscow watched the Soviet empire collapse around it in 1991, an expert in the ancient art of Ikebana flower arranging flew in from Japan.

For most of the 16 years since, Midori Yamada has taught Russians to search for harmony in the lines of branches, flowers and vases -- as attempted coups, and spectacular booms and busts played out on the streets outside.

"Our school is very strict, each flower has its laws," she said. "With constant work you finally learn them, but it is not the head that learns, but the heart," she said in a north-western Moscow apartment, transformed to feel like a little corner of Japan.

Yamada is one of dozens of masters sharing the ancient secrets of Ikebana with students seeking refuge from the frantic pace of the booming capital.

"The city drains your energy and this creativity revives you. It allows you to defend yourself, to become a normal person again," said Dina Gorodetskaya, 47, a student at a Moscow school. Popular when the pace of life was slower under the Soviet Union, the art is today taught by Yamada and her fellow teachers as an antidote to the frantic existence in the new capitalist Russia.

"It's an immense pleasure, it gives you energy," said biochemist Yulia Yarlykova, 40, a 10-year veteran of the art. Her teacher, Moscow native Olga Fomicheva, is equally wrapped up in the lines of composition.

"When the weather is very hot, it is vital to evoke an impression of freshness," she told a class in Moscow recently. "If your composition is too dense, it will not quiver." Back in 1991, Olga was a young researcher for the Soviet space programme, when she realized the upheavals shaking her country might endanger her job.

Inspired by Ikebana, her hobby at the time, she began to organize floral decorations for one of the first luxury hotels in the capital. Today she directs the Russian subsidiary of the Sogetsu school, which was founded in Japan in 1927 to free the art from its very strict rules, allowing the use of everyday objects: from nails to multicoloured coat buttons.

With a curriculum controlled from Tokyo, the school today boasts 200 pupils in Moscow. Olga also travels across Russia, where followers of the discipline are relatively young, often decorators keen to improve their skills. Her colleague from Japan -- Yamada Sensei as her students call her -- teaches the very traditional Ikenobo school. "One does not simply arrange a flower in Ikebana, it is absolutely necessary that there are branches and leaves," she explained.

Before coming to Moscow, Yamada spent years in Japan teaching the art of the teas ceremony, flower arrangement and painting -- before suddenly giving up on her harmonious life at 54 to learn Russian in Moscow.

"I began to think, 'I have such a calm life, it's not good. My brain is growing dull,'" she said. Arriving in late January 1991, she moved into a freezing hostel amid the food shortages of the dying days of the Soviet Union, which would cease to exist in December that year.

Invited by chance to teach Ikebana, already very popular in the Soviet Union through the support of the Japanese authorities, she jumped at the chance. Throughout the turmoil of the post-Soviet transformation, her life has remained dominated by the ancient arts. Most days she ends a class with a tea ceremony in a room that whisks its visitors to Japan with its simple decor and traditional Tatamis floor covering.

She leads the women, in light summer kimonos, in silence through each gesture of the ritual, filling her small corner of the Russian megalopolis with a perfect calm.


Related medicine news :

1. 45 People die in West Bengal due to Dengue and suspected Japanese Encephalitis
2. Japanese And Chinese Pharmaceutical Companies Join Together In Drug Testing
3. Woman Tests Negative For Japanese Encephalitis: Health Minister
4. Japanese-Indonesian Joint Venture To Produce Bird Flu Vaccine For Farm Animals
5. Schools set to offer Japanese language course
6. Girlie Needle And Thread help Japanese Men to De-Stress
7. Japanese Encephalitis Immunization Programme in India
8. Leprosy Cured People In India To Be Trained By Japanese Trust
9. Uttar Pradesh To Prepone The Japanese Encephalitis Immunisation Drive
10. Japanese Face High Risk Of Heart Attack And Stroke, Metabolic Syndrome to Blame
11. Japanese Scientists Develop Thought-Controlled Robotic Hands
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Consistent with the Radiology Business Management ... Radiology Marketing Programs meeting will showcase some of the best 2015 radiology ... Palace in Las Vegas with a pre-conference session on a collaborative approach for ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Minn. (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... start failing. Secura Consultants has prided itself for not only fulfilling the needs ... income protection solutions at an affordable price and providing top-tier customer service. However, ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... largest, most successful and prominent nonprofit healthcare organizations in the country. They have ... with various organizations, and helped advance the healthcare industry as a whole through ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the world-class ... (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 product line. , Making the change ... version of Asterisk that will receive not only security fixes, but feature and ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... CognisantMD ... for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo region. Using the Ocean Platform, family physicians ... directly from their electronic medical record (EMR) without the need for redundant patient ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 On Tuesday, ... federal bellwether trial against Wright Medical Technology, Inc. ... their Conserve metal-on-metal hip implant device, awarded $11 ... a two week trial and three days of ... hip device was defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  Henry Schein, Inc., the world,s ... office-based dental, medical and animal health practitioners, will unveil ... Henry Schein ConnectDental® Pavilion , which brings together ... open solutions designed to help any practice or laboratory ... for a schedule of experts appearing at the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN ) today ... New York State Attorney General,s Office to ... and other statutes with the Attorney General over the decision ... marketing and selling the now generic version of memantine immediate ... liability, has released its counterclaims against New York ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: