Two teams of ikebana artists will present a Hana-Awase performance to live music. The teams collaborate to create a harmonious work of art.

Historically, Hana-Awase is a game that became popular among the aristocrats during the Heian period. Participants would choose a seasonal flower, compose a waka (Japanese poem) to accompany it, and then gather in two groups, competing to determine the elegance and excellence of their creations.

Our Hana-Awase is a mindfulness practice, letting us be “present” in the moment, aiming to bring the flowers to life. Each artist is focused on what is emerging in front of them. Without any previous planning, each team of four ikebana artists will make an ikebana work collectively, like a relay.

The first artist creates a basic framework in 9 minutes. Then, each artist adds their contribution to the existing work using one type of material within 9 minutes. Inspiration flows from one member to the next, with each member of the group building on the ideas of the previous artist. Immersing themselves in the flow of ikebana and music, each artist focuses on letting each flower live and allowing the whole work to emerge naturally and instinctively.

Finally, the works of the two teams are assessed by the audience in terms of how harmonious the ikebana arrangement connected with the music.