Hina-matsuri- Ikebana for Children
In Japan, Hina-matsuri (Girls’ Day/ Dolls’ Day) is celebrated on March 3rd. At home, families set up red-covered tiered platforms adorned with Hina-Ningyou dolls. Although our display is a lot less elaborate, my daughters still take great pleasure in setting up our Emperor and Empress to celebrate the day.
Once again, my daughters decided to create a joint arrangement. This year we decided on a Kabu-wa-ke style arrangement, with a twist. In Sogetsu Ikebana, a Kabu-wa-ke arrangement comprises of two groups of arranged material (kabu) placed on different kenzans, within the same suiban. We decided that my younger daughter would make the taller kabu, representing the Emperor, and her older sister would create the smaller kabu, symbolising the Empress.
As pink and yellow flowers are traditional in Hina-matsuri arrangements, my daughters used Prunus from our garden, pink Gerberas and Rapeseed flowers, which grow in abundance in vacant lots and by the roadside.
One of the important points of consideration in Kabu-wa-ke arrangements is the negative space between the two kenzans. The kenzans were placed in the vase with space between so that the surface of the water was clearly visible.
Each of my daughters created their respective sides of the arrangement, conscious of the need to create harmony though asymmetry and unity between the two kabu. They achieved this by varying the size and quantity of the material and maintaining space between the two kabu.
Once they were finished, they added the Emperor and Empress from our small set of Hina-Ningyou’s.