Ikebana workshop at the Ikebana workshop

KARACHI: A total of 50 participants were awarded certificates for completing an Ikebana workshop at the National Art Gallery on Thursday. They also displayed the floral arrangements they designed during the week-long workshop, said a press release issued by the Japanese embassy.

Ikebana, which is the Japanese art of flower arrangement, literally means “flower kept alive”. Developed into a distinct art form in Japan in the 15th century, it is now practiced all over the world, said Toshikazu Isomura, the embassy’s counselor and head of public affairs section.

He explained that the attention given to the choice of flowers and containers, the placement of branches, combinations of the flowers, leaves, stems and the branches, and the relationship of the arrangement to the container and the surrounding space, has sublimated this work into the art, distinguishing it from simply decorative uses of flowers.

Furthermore, he appreciated the services of Prof Asifa Ataka, for teaching the art of Ikebana to the Pakistanis, especially women for the last many years. Ataka was specially invited from Karachi to demonstrate at the workshop. She has taught the art in the country since year 1994 in the manner of the Ikenobo School, one of the leading flower arrangement schools in Japan.

Moreover, Isomura paid homage to the Pakistan – Japan Cultural Association President Syed Ijlal Haider Zaidi, who played a vital role in enhancing the cultural understanding among the people of Japan and Pakistan. The workshop was organised by the Japanese embassy in collaboration with the Pakistan National Council of the Arts.