Convention Top Ikebana International Ninth World Convention 50th Anniversary
Essence of Ikebana Opening Ceremony Demonstration Meeting Culture Program Exhibition Banquet
Opening Ceremony and Welcome Dinner
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Greeting, Meeting, Sharing

Opening2What would the world be like if over 1,000 wellwishers from 33 countries assembled to celebrate the 50th birthday of every person on the planet? A ridiculous rhetorical question? But that is just what happened at the Ninth World Convention and 50th anniversary fete. This gala event was so popular that, unfortunately, not all applicants could be accommodated. How fortunate for I.I. to have such staunch friends and members. Representatives of 92 chapters were seated at 96 tables in the Hiten Hall.

Quietly and with dignity the epochal event began. The 50th anniversary celebration infused the entire Ninth World Convention with a happy and festive mood. This joyful occasion was also a time of reflection and thanks.

The opening speech by International President Nadia El Borai was followed by congratulatory speeches by Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado and President Sekiho Hihara of Ikebana Geijutsu Kyokai.

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Then tributes to Ellen Gordon Alien and Fay Kramer were presented.

The first was given by Mrs Kobai Naruse, Soke of Chiko School: "Congratulations to Ikebana International Ninth World Convention. My relationship with Mrs Alien goes back to the Second World Convention. She graciously invited me to her home and showed me the ikebana there. Mrs Alien mentioned that when she passed away, she would like to become a butterfly and attend future conventions. That's why I use butterflies a lot in my work. I also knew Mrs Kramer, the first president, who was a very respectable, kind, and friendly person."

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After floral tributes to the two ladies by past presidents, Honorary Advisor Etsuko Hattori spoke about the important roles in the early years of 11 of three distinguished ikebana masters, Houn Ohara, late lemoto of Ohara School, Sofu Teshigahara, late lemoto of Sogetsu School, and lemoto Sen'ei Ikenobo, and the great contribution of Mi Kazuo Ishikawa of Shufunotomo Co., Ltd. and Mr Eikichi Yokohama of K. Mikimoto & Co, Ltd.

She also recounted that during the past 50 years, I.I. was supported by many ikebana schools and by the general membership.She then went on to a few individuals no longer with us: Mr Norman Sparnon of Australia, Lady Delamare of Great Britain, and Past President Martha P Neese.


The formal prelude to the Welcome Dinner ended with Convention Chairperson Yoriko Ikezawa citing the work and efforts of many people in Japan and throughout the world that contributed to the holding of the convention. The Welcome Dinner started with a toast by Mr. Rerjiro Hatton, Honorary President of Seiko Watch Corp.

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The artistry of master guitarist Mr. Sunken Nagano started off the entertainment of the evening, with his performance of variations on the theme Sakura Sakura. Two dance troupes enlivened the evening. The joyful and festive Sado Okesa dance from Sado Island was performed by Wakanami Kai, and a vigorous Onidaiko (roughly "Demon Drums") dance derived from sacred Shinto kagura dance/drama was performed by the Wassaki Omdaiko Preservation Society.

This dance evoked the unruly power of natural forces, and the drumming was unusually complex and interesting. The program closed with vibrant energy and bright anticipation of events to come.

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