Ikebana arrangement by Nana Bellerud
Carolyn Alter performing ikebana demo in the Cultural Corner
Photo by Peter Friedman

The Ohara School of Ikebana

The Ohara School of Ikebana emphasizes connecting with nature season by season, utilizing the materials individual character and arranging it in a naturalistic way. The Ohara School became famous with its introduction of landscape arrangements and in its use of the colorful western flowers arriving in Japan at the turn of the 20th century. Thus, a new form of Ikebana was born called moribana. It is now known as the beginning of modern ikebana.

Carolyn Alter

Carolyn Alter began studying in the Ohara School of Ikebana under Sensei Kitty (Natsue) Akre in 1993. She began teaching weekly classes and founded Wednesday’s Flowers in 2012. She is a long-time member of Portland Japanese Garden, Ikebana International and the North American Ohara Teachers Association. She has attended numerous ikebana conferences in the US and taken classes in Japan, chaired many exhibitions, given numerous demonstrations, and is certified as an Associate First Term Master of the Ohara School of Ikebana. She is also the Head Teacher and Treasurer of the Oregon Chapter of the Ohara School. As a physical therapist for more than thirty years, she appreciates the healing aspects of nature through practicing ikebana. She loves being outdoors, gardening, and the beauty of Japanese culture.

Photo by Peter Friedman

Ryusei-ha School of Ikebana

Ryusei-ha ikebana consists of the free style, in which the arranger expresses his or her individual personality, and the classical styles carried on since the school’s founding. In the free style, the designer captures the essence of the plants according to their own sensibility and arrange them however they like.

Reiko Granade

Reiko is the only teaching Ryusei-ha ikebana master in the United States specializing in the avant-garde Ryusei-ha school.

David Komeiji arranging ikebana for Hanakago Art in the Garden exhibition
Photo by Jonathan Ley

Saga Goryu School of Ikebana

The aims at Saga Goryu are to be traditional but vital and to introduce visual and spiritual pleasure into daily life. To do this, the School teaches techniques of floral decoration, and the skills to recognize the delicate beauty of flowers and their artistic value. According to Saga Goryu, ikebana is more than a classical art of ancient origin to be appreciated by an exclusive group of specialists. It is an art form that is still relevant today.

David Komeiji

David Komeiji is the current leader of Ikebana Saga Goryu-North America Branch. David has been mentored by Master Teacher Hoin Wako Henjyoji since 1992 and has studied with many of the preeminent teachers of Ikebana Saga Goryu: Hoin Shugetsu Minami (Hokkaido Shisho cho), Hoin Seifu Noguchi (East Shikoku branch director and former director of Ikebana Saga Goryu Academy), Fukucho (former director of Saga Goryu Academy, Heian Shishocho), Hoin Etsuho Kakihana, and at Saga Goryu Kado Shoshisho Daikakuji. Through the teachings of these instructors he has achieved the current status of Soumokudai (Senior Professor).

The Sogetsu School of Ikebana

Photo Courtesy of Nana Bellerud

The Sogetsu School is distinguished by its free style and abstract arrangements which use objects of sculptural intent and character. The three main elements designers use are line, mass, and color, with an emphasis on the designer’s individual artistic expression and creativity.

Nana Bellerud

Nana Goto Bellerud has been studying the Sogetsu School of ikebana for 14 years and continues to be inspired and have new insights from its teachings.  Nana demonstrates, exhibits, and teaches ikebana at a wide range of venues including Portland Japanese Garden, Portland Art Museum, Oregon Historical Society, and Leach Botanical Garden.  Through her demonstrations and workshops, she seeks to introduce others to the art of ikebana and to intrigue and inspire them.  Beyond simply producing a beautiful work of art with flowers and natural objects, she shows her audience how ikebana explores artistic concepts such as balance, contrast, and negative space.  Nana is currently serving as Branch Director of Sogetsu Portland and is a past President of Ikebana International Portland Chapter #47.