My Ikebana: Lily on Black and White

Added on by the ikebana shop.

This is a composition using unconventional materials--a piece of black board and a white board with a round hole, which is a part used to secure an air-conditioner's ventilation duct!

Together with a white container, I constructed a black-and-white background with a geometric nuance.

Here is the whole arrangement.

I hope you like it.  --Miyako

My Ikebana: Maple And Mum

Added on by the ikebana shop.

This arrangement uses maple branches just as the leaves are sprouting.  The green spider mums on the edge serves to connect the maple branch and the container.  The gypsophilia keeps the arrangement fluffy and light.

The bottom part of the container is intentionally left empty, showing only the anchored maple branches.  It provides a gentle climbing feeling to the arrangement.


Here is the whole arrangement.

I hope you like it.  --Miyako

"Sō" Magazine June 2018

Added on by the ikebana shop.

Miyako's ikebana display last year at the Halifax Public Gardens is featured in the June 2018 edition of "Sō" (「草」) magazine, the official publication of the Sogetsu Teachers' Association.  This display was part of the celebration for Canada 150, the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, and was held in cooperation with the Atlantic Rhododendron and Horticultural Society.


Just For Fun: Ikebana'GGuy

Added on by the ikebana shop.

Three years ago, we had some fun building a miniature soba shop. Remember?  This year, we made a miniature of our shop...and then some!

Before anything else, a little background.  Let us introduce Petit'GGuy (pronounce "poochi-guy").  Gunpla fans will be familiar with him.  He has a mascot-like existence in the Gundam franchise. He stands 36 feet tall and is very cute. He is also adept in the martial arts. ;-)



We made our version and called him "Ikebana'GGuy". (After all, "Gunpla is freedom!" right?)  He has our logo as his helmet.  The big Q on his chest stands for "Quinpool"--our street!  Here he is standing in front of our shop.  This is in 1/144 scale.

Let's compare the miniature shop with the real one!

And, to spice it up a bit, we installed LED lights!

Next time you visit the shop, say hello to Ikebana'GGuy...and turn his lights on!

My Ikebana: Rhody and Lily

Added on by the ikebana shop.

Every year, when it's time to prune the rhododendron bushes in Halifax, we are fortunate to have friends who generously allow us to clip away as many branches as we like! (Thank you Sue C.!)

Even the worm-eaten leaves are appreciated in ikebana.

I put together a simple arrangement of rhododendron and lily.  Here is the whole arrangement.

I hope you like it.  --Miyako

Moribana Containers From The Past

Added on by the ikebana shop.

It is not unusual for us to receive our supply of flower containers wrapped in newspaper.  Well, recently 2 suiban arrived bundled in very old, yellowing newspaper...from Sep 30, 1972!  Apparently, these containers had been forgotten in some storeroom somewhere and were only unearthed recently.  Don't ask us how we found's a trade secret! 

Check the stock prices! Canon Inc on Sept 30, 1972 was worth 206 yen.  As of June 15, 2018, it's now worth 3752 yen!

Old newspapers are like time capsules.  See what's all the rage back then...

The latest automobile from Nissan, the Laurel. 
The latest microwave oven from National (Panasonic).
The latest 4-channel stereo from Toshiba...featuring The Beatles!

Oh, we almost forgot to show you... This is the suiban, half-moon in bright orange.  If it is still available, this link will bring you to our online shop.

My Ikebana: No Kenzan With Wisteria

Added on by the ikebana shop.

In ikebana, water not only serves as a means to sustain the flowers. Water in itself is usually an integral part of the arrangement.  Arrangements using suiban (flat containers) without kenzan allow us to appreciate the beauty and clarity of the water more precisely because it there is no kenzan to distract us!


This arrangement uses wisteria branches to create the structure.  Chrysanthemum and eryngium add colour and character.

Here is the whole arrangement.


I hope you like it.  --Miyako

My Ikebana: Watering Cans As Container

Added on by the ikebana shop.
Green bamboo tubes and simple rustic jars also make the best containers.
— #32 from The Fifty Principles of Sogetsu, Textbook 5

Taking inspiration from this principle, I look around the studio to see what can be used as an unlikely container.  And right there in front of me are the watering cans that we use for our ikebana lessons!  They usually play a supporting role in our ikebana; but today, they are the stars!

Here is the arrangement.


I hope you like it.  --Miyako

Friendship: Ikebana Exhibition

Added on by the ikebana shop.

The Friendship: Ikebana Exhibition was held for 2 days (May 26-27, 2018) at the Halifax Central Library.  Miyako and her students shared their ikebana to the Halifax public not only by showing their work but also by being there to talk about ikebana with the people who came by.  We are very happy that many people visited to enjoy and learn about ikebana.  The live demonstration was a quite a draw as well! Thank you to all who visited us!

Photo credit: Media C.


This exhibit is also part of the celebrations across Canada commemorating the 90th anniversary of Japan-Canada diplomatic relations. Incidentally, 10 years ago, Miyako held a solo ikebana exhibit to commemorate the 80th anniversary!  (Click here to see the 2008 exhibit.)

We are extremely grateful to the Halifax Public Libraries who generously allowed us to use their beautiful space at the Central Branch.  Special thanks to Hilary S-N, programming manager, who was very patient and helpful with our numerous little requests as we prepared for the exhibit.  As well, our huge thanks to Joanne and Heather who were wonderful during the set-up and exhibit days. Everything went smoothly because of you!

Our sincere thanks to: Val S., Media C., Robert L., Odessa G., M.S., and Cody O.  They worked hard for this exhibit: designing arrangements and staying on during the exhibit to help explain what ikebana is all about to our curious visitors.  Your dedication and hard work in the study of ikebana has not gone unnoticed and seeing how people enjoyed and appreciated your work is great validation of your ikebana!  

Joint Arrangement by Miyako and Val S.

Arrangements by Val S.

Arrangements by Media C.

Arrangement by Robert L.

Arrangement by Odessa G.

Arrangement by M.S.

Arrangement by Cody O.

Arrangement by Miyako

Thank you all for coming!  We hope you enjoyed our little ikebana exhibition.  We hope to do another one some time soon!

Press Release: Ikebana Exhibition in Halifax

Added on by the ikebana shop.

For Immediate Release - May 22nd, 2018

Friendship - Ikebana Exhibition will be held at the Halifax Central Library lobby this coming weekend (May 26-27).

Ikebana is the art of Japanese floral arrangement.  Although ubiquitous in Japan, authentic ikebana is not often seen in Halifax.  This exhibition offers a rare glimpse of what ikebana is like...and a glimpse of one facet of Japanese culture.

2018 is the 90th anniversary of Japan-Canada diplomatic relations.  Across Canada, there are many events happening to commemorate this milestone. Through this exhibition, Halifax joins in the Canada-wide celebrations.

More information about the 90th anniversary here.
List of other events in our region here. (Note that NS is overseen by the Consulate General of Japan in Montreal.)

The exhibition will be presented by Miyako Ballesteros (Sogetsu School of Ikebana) and her students.  Back in 2008, Miyako held her first solo exhibit in Halifax in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of Japan-Canada diplomatic relations!  From then on, she started teaching ikebana and now 10 years later, she and her students will share with Halifax their ikebana.

Admission is free.

Friendship - Ikebana Exhibition

May 26th (Sat) 12 - 6 p.m.
May 27th (Sun) 12 - 5 p.m.
  (Short live demonstration on Sunday, 2 p.m.)

At the Halifax Central Library lobby. (5440 Spring Garden Rd., Halifax NS)

We hope to see you there.