The Sogetsu School of Ikebana has recently introduced a new textbook, Textbook 5: Technique & Creation, to its curriculum. Completion of Textbook 5 is now a prerequisite in order to obtain the Teacher's Diploma 4th Grade. Iemoto Akane Teshigahara and other Sogetsu masters have been conducting seminars for Sogetsu teachers to update them regarding the instruction of Textbook 5. It is important to note that only teaching members of the Sogetsu Teachers' Association (STA) who have successfully completed the Textbook 5 special training sessions are qualified to teach Textbook 5.
Unfortunately, there has been no opportunity yet for a Sogetsu master to visit Canada (let alone little ol' Halifax!) to conduct a training session. So this summer, Miyako travelled to Tokyo to attend the Iemoto's seminar at the Sogetsu headquarters! We are happy to announce that Miyako successfully completed the seminar so all of her students who have finished Textbook 4 may begin challenging Textbook 5!
So what's new with Textbook 5?
The greatest impact of the introduction of Textbook 5 is the standardization of the curriculum on the way to obtaining the Teacher's Diploma 4th Grade. In the past, after finishing Textbook 4, students needed to take more preparatory lessons before applying for the Teacher's Diploma. Those lessons fell into a kind of grey area where the content was based on the individual teacher's discretion. The old system did work in the sense that the teacher was able to re-direct the student's attention to themes that needed reinforcement. However, the system also resulted in differences in training experience, depending on what one's teacher decided to focus on. Textbook 5 replaces that "grey area" and provides a standard and solid lesson plan for Teacher's Diploma preparation.
The content of Textbook 5 is described by four key words: "technique", "materials", "placement", and "creation". Above all of that is the emphasis on self-knowledge. Only with profound self-knowledge could one uniquely express oneself through ikebana and have the confidence to become another's teacher.
There are many, many things to look forward to in Textbook 5...from new techniques in securing an arrangement in a spherical tsubo vase (if you thought nageire was difficult, think again!) to creating an arrangement from behind. Textbook 5 also shows us examples of arrangements in situ...i.e. in the the actual locations where the arrangements were meant to be placed. It gives us fresh ideas on where ikebana can be incorporated in our living space. Indeed, ikebana arrangements are meant to be placed somewhere....not just at a photographer's studio! Other samples of interesting challenges are the use of mizuhiki (paper cord) for celebratory arrangements and creating ikebana to complement an art work. We will stop here and let you explore Textbook 5 on your own!
Browse through Textbook 5 next time you are in the studio for your lessons and see what you can look forward to! It is available to students who have completed Textbook 4. (Please note: We do not sell Sogetsu textbooks to the general public.)