Flowers have bloomed from season to season for the longest time in Japan. They have flowed along the current headed toward the ocean, become a part of the people's coexistence with Mother Nature, and spanned a long history.
The Iemoto Ikenobo flower arrangement has a history of over 550 years. It has responded to the changes of times while protecting the good things in life as well as the teachings of the old.In this day and age when globalization continues to advance, "tradition and innovation" coexist with the "Japanese spirit" that crosses races, generations, and gender and accepts other cultures with an open mind.
At this year's KNF, we will express the world of Hatsune Miku and Sword Art Online through ikebana.
A grave game of life and death that lasts only for a moment, in the short life span of flowers.
In this fall season, ikebana and anime fans alike will have the chance to feel the burning spirit of plants and flowers at Kitano Tenman-gu in Kyoto.
Flower arrangements have always played a significant part in traditional Japanese culture. The roots of Iemoto Ikebono flower arrangement, which boasts the highest number of followers in Japan, go back 550 years and are recorded in the history books.
The ikebana theories were already established by the second half of the Muromachi period, and ikebana was a complex medium meant to deepen the social aspects of morality, faith and education just like a genuine "culture".
In addition, Ikenobo has since been observing the so-called "elegance of plants", or the plants' own beauty. By combining the spirit and culture of Japan with the innate vitality that dwells in these plants' original form, Ikenobo has been representing the world of plants and flowers in line with the times since its very creation.
In occasion of KYOTO NIPPON FESTIVAL 2019, to be held this fall at Kitano Tenman-gu, Japanese culture will surely find a way to present new values to the world.
Kyoto, one of the most popular destinations among foreigners.
The traditional culture of flower arrangement, with its 550 years of history and the more recent anime popular culture.
Both have become increasingly popular aspects of Japanese culture overseas.
These traditional and modern facets of the same culture seem to have nothing in common; yet, they come together at KYOTO NIPPON FESTIVAL 2019, joined in the name of innovation, where a virtual space becomes the stage for real ikebana arrangements.
Ever since I was born, I had a disability in my eyes.
My field of view is narrow, I'm color blind and night blind...
For as far as I can remember, I have been actively interacting with a wide variety of people in various places around the world to learn about cultures and the world itself, in order to broaden my true perspective and not just the scenery that my eyes can see.
My parents encouraged me to start listening to music and touching melodies that I could enjoy with my ears and my five senses.
I played the piano with my senses, spun melodies and drew lyrics.
Once again I'm full of gratitude for being able to make this into a job.
The first time I stood on the Kaguraden stage of Kitano Tenman-gu must have been the first edition of KYOTO NIPPON FESTIVAL.
Under an unfortunately cloudy sky, I played the keyboard in that sacred place, in front of the eyes of the many foreigners gathered in Kyoto for the event.
What I felt at that time was a deep sense of gratitude for being born and raised in the prosperous country of Japan.
I studied in London as a teenager, started co-writing music with Swedish colleagues in my twenties, and later made even more music with creators from various countries including the United States, the United Kingdom and Slovenia. Anyone with some sort of work experience abroad will surely know what I mean when I speak about Japan's goodness, unique culture, generous heart and hospitality.
I feel that someone as myself, who often interacts with foreigners, has the special job to convey and spread Japanese culture to the world.
I think KYOTO NIPPON FESTIVAL 2019 is a crucial event that wonderfully fits the spirit of someone like me, and the idea of bringing our beautiful Japanese culture to the world.