Way of Flowers


TUJ OSS coordinated an ikebana workshop to be run by our residence hall. This was held in our Kitazono’s own traditional Japanese room.


Our instructor (left) is a really sweet woman that really just let us go ahead and dive right in. She only speaks Japanese so communicating with her is fun for me because there winds up being a lot of pointing, smiling, nodding and uncertainty. Others that know some Japanese wind up being able to translate pretty decently.

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Laura (center) completed her arrangement in record time, while Jess (right) took her time. Everyone was welcome to work at their own pace. Then our instructor would come around when each student was done and make alterations to improve the look of the arrangement.


This student was working in a separate room to create a really gorgeous arrangement. Her name is Saori and she is very friendly and huggy and later we went to get crepes but the crepe truck we wanted to go to was not there, so instead we shared macha ice cream bars that Jess treated us to because Jess is awesome.


Having some fresh flowers on display really brightened up my desk and boosted my spirits when I was stuck in my room working that following week, At home, my mom always has tons of flowers out so this gave me a small sense of home.

My residence hall held a second ikebana workshop, and a few of us were able to attend that one as well. The instructor had these snacks waiting for us on our desks when we arrived, which was so sweet of her.

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The flowers were selected to reflect springtime and we were given the challenge to try and work in a diagonal shape or direction with this arrangement.


Maddie and Jess were giddy at the prospect of welcoming spring in this way.


Flowers were arranged and friendships were made!

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There are other girls that have more experience with ikebana that also meet during our workshop time. They’re really nice and friendly. This is an arrangement one of them made. The idea is that all of these individual branches are arranged in such a way that looking from the front, they look like they stem from one branch.


About Christine Boegemann

A recent graduate with a BA from Temple University's Film and Media Arts Program, Christine Boegemann has spent her undergrad years working to foster creative growth everywhere she could find it – in herself and others. Her list of college activities include working in working at Temple's film lab, acting as VP for a student organization that produces its own short films and film festivals, and serving as head of art department for a sketch show called Temple Smash. She has interned at two VFX houses - one in Manhattan, New York and the other in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She also studied abroad in India in the summer of 2012 as a member of the 2012 cohort of the Vira I. Heinz (VIH) Program for Women in Global Leadership. She spent spring 2013, her final semester, studying art and animation in Tokyo, Japan. During her time there, she worked as a photo blogger for Temple Study Abroad. She also worked as a conversation host at an English café in Shibuya. Now back in the US, Christine is currently working as a producer for the feature film, The Youth Washed Up. She is also continuing work on her own independent project rooted in sharing the work and experiences of women she met during her time in India.

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