Etymologically, the origins of the name Ikebana comes from two Japanese words: ikeru, which means to give or conserve life, and hana, which translates as flower. There is an old Japanese saying relating to Japanese flower arrangement that goes kokoro wo ikeru, which literally means to give life to your heart. In all cultures, nature has always been an essential source for healing of the soul. In Japan, the use of flowers to enrich the spirit has been part of the culture since ancient times. By extension, Ikebana is also considered a form of artistic expression meant to enrich and heal the spirit.
My Personal Journey to the Way of the Flower _ I am a native of Shikoku, the smallest and less populated of the four main islands that comprise the Japanese archipelago. I was born and raised in what was then known as Iyomishima, a small town located between a backdrop of beautiful mountains and the Seto Inland Sea, the waters that separate Shikoku from Honshu, the main island of Japan. Without a doubt, the rich natural settings that I enjoyed at my birthplace throughout my childhood and youth, had a profound effect in how my sensitivities for nature and art developed over time, and to this date.