Consulate-General of Japan in Houston


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Remarks by Consul-General Nozomu Takaoka
at a formal dinner to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Ikenobo Society of Texas
at the Post Oak Hilton Hotel
on May 28, 2015

May 28, 2015

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen.

Tonight we come together to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Ikenobo Society of Texas.  On this exciting occasion, I am pleased and honored to welcome today here in Houston, Texas, the Headmaster of Ikenobo, the Honorable Sen’ei Ikenobo who graciously joins us from Kyoto, Japan.

I would also like to welcome Professor Akino, Professor Sakaguchi, and Professor Inoue also from Japan, and Managing Director of Ikenobo America, Mrs. Kurashige from San Francisco.I also extend my thanks to Chapter President, Ms. Yoshiko Smith, and all members of the Ikenobo Society of Texas for their commitment to promoting Japanese culture and international exchange.

And I would like to express my respect to those of you from Houston and Texas for your inclusiveness and subtlety in appreciating the beautiful Japanese culture and spirit of Ikebana.

Ikebana, or flower arranging, is a distinctive art form and even a philosophical way of life in Japan. Started by Ikenobo Family in the 15th century, it is more than 550 years old. The Honorable Sen’ei Ikenobo has been the 45th Headmaster since 1945.

What I am grateful for is the Headmaster’s honorable initiative to harmonize this long celebrated tradition with modern, contemporary spirits and thus introduce Ikebana to global audiences. Thanks to Ikenobo, Ikebana has become the signature traditional beauty of Japan now enjoyed worldwide as it has the universal appeal of flowers matched with a sense of seasonal beauty and spiritual subtlety.

From providing weekly lessons to exhibitions at Japan Festival, the Ikenobo Society of Texas has delighted many Houstonians and reached audiences as far as San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin. And, I understand that beginning tomorrow they will begin a two-day special workshop for 40 practitioners visiting from all across the US and Canada.

Therefore, I would like to conclude by wishing for the success of this event and for the continued prosperity and success of the Ikenobo Ikebana Society of Texas in the years to come. Thank you very much and congratulations.