I have decided that this week will be Japan Week! I will be sharing some photos inspired by Japan. Since I was a child, I have been intrigued by the Japanese culture and sense of design. I have poured over books about Japanese art, gardens, food, music, the language, and the people. I honestly do not know why I have such a connection with this culture, but it truly brings me joy and endless fascination. The Japanese simplistic, yet strong aesthetics will always inspire me when producing my own work.
Today, I chose to share some images featuring nature. Nature is an important element in Japanese design. It appears in kimono patterns, food, art, etc. and is incorporated into the daily lives of Japanese people. They are a nation that embraces each season and chooses to take advantage of all that nature has to offer.
Ikebana is a specialized type of flower arranging and is considered a disciplined art form in Japan. There are certain rules one must follow and each element is added with intention. I honestly did not follow these rules perfectly and was just trying to demonstrate the concept of ikebana in my arrangement above. I love the whole idea of "less is more" and I appreciate that ikebana can highlight a specific flower without distraction. Ikebana is also focused on the natural shape and deviates from the Westernized symmetrical bouquets and arrangements.
These aren't the clearest of images, but in a moment of serendipity I came upon the end of a tea ceremony at Duke Gardens a few months ago. The ladies looked breathtaking in their kimono. The tea house is one of my favorite spots in these gardens. There is a certain serenity about the area and I feel relaxed when I visit.
It is my dream to be able to visit Japan with my husband some day... perhaps this is what some of the gardens will look like?