Sogetsu School of Ikebana experts from Japan to teach Zimbabweans in Harare

Amos Masango of the Embassy of Japan in Harare contacted us yesterday with the following information.

At the end of October 2012, the Japan Foundation responsible for the international dissemination of Japanese culture, in cooperation with Sōgetsu School of Ikebana (a school of Ikebana, or Japanese floral art founded in 1927 by Sofu Teshigahara) will hold a lecture- demonstration and workshop on Ikebana at Celebration Center in Harare.

Ikebana is more than simply putting flowers in a container. It is a disciplined art form in which the arrangement is a living thing where nature and humanity are brought together, a philosophy of developing closeness with nature.

And Celebration Centre is a symbolic place of learning for Steppes in Sync because this is where our founder took his first driving class in the parking lot of this Pentecostal church situated in a leafy suburb of Zimbabwe’s capital.

The experts that travel all the way from Japan include Ms Misei Ishikawa (Sogetsu Head Office Lecturer), Ms Seika Kasuya (Sogetsu Head Office Assistant Lecturer), Mr. Kouji Kurata of Publisher Sogetsu Bunkajigyo as well as Sihan Ishikawa who has more than 40 years of experience of extensive lecture tours and exhibitions in India and Kenya among other countries. She is also an experienced potter extremely skillful with both vases and flowers.

This is not the first time that creatives from Japan visit Zimbabwe. Earlier this year, Japan’s allegedly greatest living ‘world music’ exponent Sakaki Mango and Limba Train Sound System were stopping over in Harare before moving on to Maputo and Johannesburg on their southern Africa tour. Multi-instrumentalist, Sakaki Mango studied the Swahili language at the Osaka University of Foreign Studies, where he also began his research on the music of Tanzania. He traveled to Africa to receive direct training from the late Hukwe Ubi Zawose (then the lead limba player of the Tanzanian National Theatre) on the limba, and from Galikai Tillicoti on the mbira. In addition to the limba and mbira, Sakaki Mango also plays the electric likimbe, a Congolese amplified lamellaphone. Sakaki’s music is described as ‘a cross-breed of African sounds with Japanese effects and mixes, and lyrics in both Japanese and Swahili.’

Sakaki Mango and Limba Train Sound System in Mozambique (Photo from Sakaki Mango’s Facebook page)

With these cross-cultural inspirations from the African instruments played by the Japanese musicians, please bring your friends and family to Celebration Centre and enjoy the charm of Ikebana that harmonises Japanese sense of beauty and African flowers.

The events will be free of charge.  Please pre-book a week in advance. This is because of limited space.

Once again, the Ikebana events details:

Date: Monday 29 October, 2012 14:00-16:00 Lecture-demonstration

Tuesday 30 October, 2012 14:00-16:00  Workshop

Venue: Celebration Center Triumph Hall II (162 Swan Drive, Gunhill, Harare)

Contacts:  tel +263 4 250025 or e-mail

See related material

Africa-Asia prospects I: Japan’s dilemma of North or South

For Chornobyl with Love: strumming Ukrainian pain in Japan and relieving the one in Japan

The Perks of Traveling by Rail in Zimbabwe (if any)

Toyota encourages Zimbabwean kids to dream up the cars they will drive when they grow up

Taiwanese: Taiwan better suited than the mainland to export Chinese culture

Photograghy traits of Xinhua in Africa

Wikipedia aricle on Ganguro (ガングロ), an alternative fashion trend of blonde, pink or silver hair and tanned skin among young Japanese women.


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