NHK Interview of Headmaster Sen’ei Ikenobo

Mr. Sen’ei Ikenobo, the Headmaster of Ikenobo accepted the NHK interview, describing his thoughts about the ikebana arrangement displayed at Takashimaya Department Store, Nihonbashi in Tokyo and also the culture of Kado (ikebana).

Mr. Sen’ei Ikenobo is the Headmaster of Ikenobo, the origin of ikebana. These years, he is handing over some duties to Headmaster Designate in order to gain the experience of Headmaster Designate. However, in the new era of Reiwa, hoping for the connection with the next generation, the Headmaster specially accepted our interview.

Mr. Sen’ei Ikenobo is 86 years old. He is the Headmaster of Ikenobo, the origin of ikebana with the history over 550 years. This time of each year, he will arrange a large ikebana arrangement at a department store in Tokyo. The theme of the ikebana this year is “Praying.” The branches of weeping willows with fortune slips are also a part of the arrangement.

Mr. Sen’ei Ikenobo said, “We humankind should live in our time and pass what we have to next generation. I believe that it is our mission.”

Rokkakudo Temple in Kyoto is the birthplace of ikebana. The ikebana arrangement of Mr. Sen’ei Ikenobo uses branches and flowers which are familiar to people at this Temple. The weeping willow is one of them. People visit the Temple tie the fortune slip on the branches of the weeping willow with their praying. And the weeping cherry blossoms are also used in the ikebana arrangement and telling people the coming of Spring.

Mr. Sen’ei Ikenobo said, “Ikebana is living. Lives of living things are transient and we should cherish it. I hope people can cherish people’s heart humanly and live for every day.”

Ikebana started from flowers to the Buddhist altar. The Headmaster of Ikenobo is also the head-priest of Rokkakudo Temple and passing down the spirit of ikebana for generations.

Mr. Sen’ei Ikenobo said, “Flowers bloom and fall silently; however, we can feel something wonderful that cannot be seen by our eyes from the silence. Although we cannot see people’s hearts, we can understand people’s feelings through flowers. I think that it is most necessary.”

At Nihonbashi in Tokyo, as the rising sun of dawn, the ikebana arrangement brings warm light and courage to move forward.
This ikebana arrangement is with Mr. Sen’ei Ikenobo’s praying for future.
He said, “Flowers reflect humankind. We can think about the meaning of flowers as the mirror of our hearts. I am looking forward to the arrangement tomorrow.”

Next morning, the ikebana arrangement of hospitality attracts the eyes of visitors.
The visitors expressed their thoughts. Such as: “The contrast of the blooming cherry blossoms and buds is wonderful and refreshing.” “Very beautiful. The outbreak of Corona Virus is serious now. But my heart is calm down when appreciating flowers.”

The flowers reflect people’s hearts.
The praying of Mr. Sen’ei Ikenobo is indeed touching the hearts of people who viewed the ikebana arrangement.
He said, “Arranging ikebana is that you have to pin your mind on flowers and connect hearts. I believe that Ikebana will be the peace of our mind and will continue forever.”

The ikebana arrangement is displayed at Takashimaya Department Store at Nihonbashi in Tokyo until 17th March.