Book 5 Seminar in Mexico City

Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico City for the Book 5 Seminar taking place. A teacher I greatly admire, Ishikawa Misei, had flown in from Japan to hold the session. So exciting!

It was a nice break from Vietnam's own chaos, and my visits to Los Angeles. The most refreshing thing was to meet the kind and welcoming members of the Sogetsu Mexico group. They have three branches/study groups in Mexico: DF (Mexico City), Puebla and Monterrey. Some attendees traveled a long distance to go to this seminar; what determination! 

From there I found out that the Mexico City group has classes each week, and their own little building solely for classes. The main teachers there also make their own ceramic containers. (Information regarding classes is at the bottom of this post). 

Our seminar had long, but fun days. I'm surprised at how lively Ishikawa-sensei is after such a long flight, but a short trip condensed to solely ikebana. We had different workshop lessons regarding book five, but the most critical themes that need to be learned and practiced regularly are regarding technique. This means, knowing how to make vertical and cross bar fixtures, or balance and arrangement without use of a kenzan. Creativity is, of course, critical, but if a viewer can see your method to arranging the magic is gone.
 

Book lesson 5-8: Improving Your Technique Without a Kenzan

Book lesson 5-8: Improving Your Technique Without a Kenzan

The various ways of securing materials without using a kenzan. 

The various ways of securing materials without using a kenzan. 

 

The event took place at the Nichiboku Kaikan, which houses a variety of events and classes relating to Japanese culture. It was lovely to eat our lunches alongside the garden.
 

(Left to right): Ishikawa Misei, Kasuga-sensei of Mexico City branch, and myself (Auralynn Nguyen)

(Left to right): Ishikawa Misei, Kasuga-sensei of Mexico City branch, and myself (Auralynn Nguyen)

A big thank you again to Kasuga-sensei, President of the Mexico City branch, for approving my attendance. I'd also like to thank Ishikawa Misei for her encouraging of my attendance, and the wonderful people I met during this time. I'll see you soon Renata, Alma, and Lily!

With Renata, a member of the Mexico City group. She was so kind and inviting for my visit. Thank you for your friendship! 

With Renata, a member of the Mexico City group. She was so kind and inviting for my visit. Thank you for your friendship! 

The Sogetsu Mexico City group offers classes on Wednesdays, Thursdays (twice), and Saturdays. 
You can find more information by contacting the Nichiboku Kaikan:

144 Calle Fujiyama, Col. Las Aguilas, C.P. 01710, México D.F. 
http://www.asociacionmexicojaponesa.mx