Miffa Chan

Ikebana – 生け花 ó いけばな and Cha-na-you – 茶の湯
May 25, 2009, 9:18 am
Filed under: Japan, Travel

This is really hard! I love Japanese culture, but, it´s taking a lot of time and effort to learn things properly. Of course, I do my best, as Father Bunny has promised me that all the Bunny Family will travel soon to Japan. But still you know that I don’t like to work hard.

Well, let me explain for all the bunnies, what I have learnt. Ikebana ( 生け花 ó いけばな) that means “ to set up the flowers “ or “ to arrange the flowers “

My teacher told me that I had to go shopping and to bring all the stuff to the class. I bought the following things :

  • One porcelain tray . I bought a black one, really, really, nice.
  • One kenzan. This is a really dangerous thing. It is like a mattress full of needles and you can put the branches on the top.
  • A few flowers and branches

The teacher explained to us that the oldest Ikebana´s school is called Ikenobô and it dates from the XVII century. However, she thought that it was much more appropriate for us to learn the Naguire School, which is specially aimed for the tea ceremonial.

Well, just imagine a small bunny like me at the class. First of all, I took the kenzan and one big flower. I cut the flower’s branch in order to be twice as long as the porcelain’s tray. I cut the flower’s branch inside a bowl full of water so as not to fill the branch with air. Once I had the right length, I stitched the branch on the Kenzan. The teacher suggested that I should look at the front side of the flower and then I should turn the flower a little bit to the side.

It took me half an hour just to set up the first flower. For the second one, I thought that it would be much easier and quicker. I take one flower, I cut it to the right length and I put it on the Kenzan. However, for the second flower I had to take into account a couple of extra things. First of all, the second flower should be half length of the first one. So, I had to measure it properly and cut the branch . Secondly, the shorter branch´s flower should be facing the largest branch´s flower.

How difficult it is !! I thought that Ikebana was only about to buy a couple of flowers and put them in a tray!!

I was about to finish , but, the teacher said to me :

“Miffa, look at your Ikebana. It looks a little poor !!”

You only have 2 flowers in the tray. You should now give a kind of movement to your Ikebana. So, she suggested to put on the Kenzan a couple of branches, which made nice curves. I took a couple of them and I put them on the Kenzan.

Once I was finished, I starred my small Ikebana. How nice !

Now, I deserve a couple of Japanaese tea !!

At that point, I was about to go home and relax, but, the teacher said to us that we had an extra class on that day. Uff !! This is really tyring. I am a small bunny used to enjoying life!!

Well, let´s see, what the second class is about. CHA NO YU ! (茶の湯)

Well, that should be easy for a chinese bunny. I prepare some boling water , I take a couple of tea spoons inside the hot water and that´s it.

Of course, things are not so easy when you go to class. The teacher took us to a tea house closed for our class. First of all, she explained us that the house had a small door. Well,, I thought that this was a “ bunny size door “ , but, she explained to us that the door is smaller, so that people bend themselves , when they go through the door.

She went to change clothes. She came back with a KIMONO. Then, she showed us, how the room should be set up for the tea ceremonial. A part called TOKOMONO had a paper hanging on the wall with nice relaxing words written on it . She said to us that we had to remember last week´s class “ SHÔDO “ and why SHÔDO was so important in Japan. Then, she showed to us a nice IKEBANA in the room . Then, she set up O-KÔ, incense for the tea ceremonial.

At that stage, she requested to all the bunnies to sit down on the TATAMI, while she was preparing the tea . She took a TÔGEI, a kind of bowl. She put hot water in it and then a couple of spoons full of green tea in powder.

She stirred the tea inside the bowl and she asked me to drink a little bit. So, I was going to grap the bowl and drink a little bit , when she said to me .

“No , Miffa, stop , stop!!

“First of all, you should put the bowl on the Tatami mattress, look at your bunny next to you and tell her that you are going to be the first one to taste the tea, if they allow you so.”

Then, you take the bowl and drink a little bit.

Wonderful taste !!

The teacher said to us at the very end that the tea ceremonial is about :


Just before finishing the class, she said to us : “ ICHI – GO- ICHI –E

note: we can’t take pictures in our class so I have searched for some in wikipedia.

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

It’s great to see that you are making progress with your Japanese study. Keep at it, Miffa! When are you going to Japan? Don’t forget to pack the surgical masks to prevent swine flu!

Comment by nijntjeinsitu

Wow!My grand mother is Ikebana master!We would like to show you her work.

Comment by CafeMiffy

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