Home Community Early September Japanese Cultural Events: Quiet, Rural, Thoughtful & Restorative

Early September Japanese Cultural Events: Quiet, Rural, Thoughtful & Restorative

    By David Yamaguchi The North American Post

Photos: DY, Jim Diers, Gwen Shigihara, and DY, respectively.

The period between Saturday Sept. 10 and Wednesday Sept. 14 proved sunny and warm around Greater Seattle. The pleasant conditions proved helpful because a flurry of small but nonetheless meaningful Nikkei cultural activities occurred across it.

Roots and Branches ikebana arrangement Melanie Milnes Sogetsu School

On Saturday, teachers and students of the Senke and Sogetsu Schools of Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement) held their exhibi t , “Root s and Branches,” at Nalanda West, a small Buddhist center on Woodland Park Avenue North.

There, even the non-practitioner could learn a few basic points. Ikebana evolved from the encounter of sixthcentury Buddhism, which used flowers as temple offerings, with the Japanese Shinto practice of placing flowers in the tokonoma alcove of homes as an offering to visiting spirits. Over time ikebana developed into a vertical, 3D endeavor.

From there, various schools split off, each with its own flavor. The two schools exhibiting, Senke and Sogetsu, contrast in that Senke is a traditional style, dating back to the early 16th century, while Sogetsu is a contemporary art, founded in 1927 by Sofu Teshigahara.

Japanese Festival Mukai Farm Garden

Also on Saturday, dancers were circling at the Japanese Festival at Mukai Farm & Garden, Vashon Island.

Of the event, Director Tina Shattuck said, “With over 1,000 people in attendance, Saturday’s return to a live and in-person Vashon Japan Festival for the first time in three years brought out the local community as well as our API neighbors — and we were so happy to celebrate with everyone!

Board member Rita Brogran added, “We are so grateful to our volunteers, presenters and
community for making Japan Festival a joyful and meaningful event.”

On Sunday, Lane Shigihara gave an artwork of the Takeuchi family mon (crest) to the Takeuchi family that runs Terry’s Kitchen. Shigihara made the crest from 1001 origami “tsuru” cranes, which he also folded. The gift was to commemorate the Takeuchis recently learning about their mon through research. Restaurant guests will be able to see the display when they dine there.

Lane Shigihara left Justin Terry Takeuchi with new mon artwork at Terrys Kitchen

On Wednesday, there was a dedication ceremony marking the installation of a new Tsutakawa gate at the Washington Park Arboretum. The original gate made by master artist George Tsutakawa was stolen shortly after the start of the pandemic when no one was around. While part of the gate was recovered, it was too damaged to reuse. Bronzesculptor son Gerard built the replacement from his father’s drawings. To reduce the possibility of future theft, the new gate was installed further inside the arboretum. Thus, it is no longer an exterior security gate accessible to the public when the park is closed.

artist Gerard Tsutakawa<br >assistant Laura Pavola and their new Arboretum gate