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Jiyûka mit Kirsche

ichi-go ichi-e is a Japanese saying that can be translated as "one time, one meaning". This concept emphasizes the appreciation and value of the moment by pointing out that every meeting or encounter is unique and unrepeatable.

Jiyuka Sakura

My Ikebana colleague Sabine had recently made contact with the company Historische Bauelemente in Marwitz, which offers pretty much everything you need to restore an old homestead or villa on 46,000 square meters: "Historic building elements and antiques from the Renaissance to Bauhaus and GDR objectivity". So on April 6, we - Sabine & friends - had the opportunity to present Ikebana to an interested audience from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. This set the stage for such an ichi-go ichi-e moment.

Originally, this wisdom comes from the tea ceremony, a traditional Japanese ritual that symbolizes a special form of hospitality and respect. During the tea ceremony, every moment is considered precious and participants are encouraged to fully experience the moment without worrying about the past or the future.

ichi-go ichi-e reminds us that life is a succession of moments that are constantly in flux. Every moment we experience is unique and can never be exactly repeated. We should therefore consciously perceive and appreciate each moment without allowing ourselves to be distracted by thoughts or worries.


This weekend, Hanami was celebrated in the Gardens of the World and the Japanese cherry is currently in full bloom all over Berlin. So the material I wanted to use for my arrangements was clear to me: once again - or still - it should mainly revolve around cherry blossoms. On Saturday morning, three other Kadoka joined me in Marwitz. One colleague even traveled all the way from Gera. We had booked perfect weather for our outdoor workplace: sunshine and 24 degrees.


However, the presentation location for our arrangements was not quite so perfect or easy, as we were supposed to set up our ikebana among the antiques, next to the café. The background was very restless. So we needed jiyûka with mass and strong colors. We were also able to work with the utensils for sale. However, as it is usually necessary to think about the size of the arrangement, the fastening technique, the choice of flowers - in short, a concept - in advance, each Kadoka brought two or three of their own vessels and the corresponding materials. But special containers found on site were also used. A voluminous arrangement was required for a large chest of drawers directly opposite the entrance.

For this space, I had brought my three large glass containers in the form of bamboo poles and a large white Mitsumata branch, which was joined by dark pink cherry blossom branches, two orange ranunculus, some white daffodils in the background and large, interesting Aucuba japonica leaves. A jiyûka with the emphasis on 'line' that creates width.

Jiyûka mit Kirsche 2
Jiyûka mit Kirsche 2a

The second arrangement was to find its place on a high, round roll that directly adjoined the café and stood in front of a colorful wall border. Here, too, mass and color were required. This time, the Japanese cherry known as 'Kanzan', which is famous for Hanami, was used. In combination with eucalyptus, willow catkins, cheerful daffodils and euonymus, they did a great job and were perfectly color-coordinated with the wall border. The photos show the view from two perspectives.

Now there were still some quince branches in the luggage, which found their place with white tulips on a second slightly lower red roll, in a container discovered on site.

Jiyûka mit Quitte
Jiyûka mit Kiefer
There was also a somewhat quieter jiyûka with pine. A short-needled pine from Usedom, picked up on the ground after a storm, was used with cyclamen in two 'kabu'. Towards the end, we had the idea of photographing our arrangements again in front of the beautiful blue outer wall, which produced correspondingly colorful results.
Jiyûka mit Kirsche 3
Jiyûka mit Quitte 3a
Last but not least, I was able to drape my remaining white cherry blossom branches in a brown bottle discovered among other antiques in the outdoor area. As I really liked it in this container even without any other material, I stuck with this simple and somewhat atypical variation for Ikenobô Ikebana.

My Ikebana colleagues also let off steam with various shapes and colors and so it was a colorful coexistence of four different schools: Ikenobô, Saga Goryu, Sogetsu and Kaden Ryu. We were able to fortify ourselves with coffee on the house, also brought by Beate, or with potato soup from the café. Sabine had baked a cheesecake and I had made a carrot cake. So we were able to spend the whole day concentrating on our arrangements and enjoying ourselves. Only the photographer, who frequently buzzed around us with his camera and drone, distracted us from our ikebana in this perfect ichi-go ichi-e moment.

ichi-o ichi-e

The ichi-go ichi-e wisdom can be applied to various aspects of life, be it personal encounters, professional challenges or simply enjoying a quiet moment in nature. By focusing on the present moment and living it consciously, we can develop a deeper understanding of the beauty and fleeting nature of life. In a world that is often hectic and stressful, the teachings of ichi-go ichi-e can inspire us to be more mindful and experience life in its fullness. By becoming aware of the uniqueness of each moment, we can find more gratitude, serenity and fulfillment in our lives.

With this in mind, I would like to thank the owners of Historische Bauelemente for giving us the opportunity to arrange the ikebana on site and present our works; the kind visitors for their many positive responses and interested questions; my colleague Sabine for organizing this wonderful moment, and my other colleagues Beate and Annette for the nice company on this day. Last but not least, of course, the weather gods, who spoiled us with sunshine and warm temperatures on this day and thus ensured numerous interested visitors. THANK YOU so much for this wonderful and unique ichi-go ichi-e moment!