On March 6, the Ikenobo Ikebana Society Honolulu Hawaii Chapter celebrated its 40th anniversary with an opening ceremony for its two-day exhibit at the Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin.
The exhibit was supposed to be held at the Hawai‘i Convention Center as part of the Honolulu Festival. However, on March 3, a press release from the Honolulu Festival committee announced that the festival was “cancelled to help prevent the potential transmission of the coronavirus …”
The exhibit featured 80 floral arrangements — made by artists from Hawai‘i and Japan — out of the 140 intended for the celebration.
The opening ceremony started with a welcome message from Junko Hagio, president of Ikenobo Ikebana Society Honolulu Hawaii Chapter. The Consul General of Japan, Koichi Ito, followed with a congratulatory message, praising the society for sharing ikebana with the community as it “encourages exchange through [an] appreciation for nature.”
Masafumi Ikenobo, secretary general from the Ikenobo headquarters in Kyoto, thanked everyone for adapting to the changes caused by the cancellation of the Honolulu Festival. “Ikebana heals many people’s hearts and gives people courage and hope,” said Ikenobo.
To officially open the exhibit, two Ikenobo members held a maile lei, which was ceremoniously untied by Ikenobo and Hagio. After a group picture with guests, attendees could view the exhibit and chat with the ikebana floral artists who showcased their arrangements.