"Iris" and "Aoi Festival" [Flowers of June as seen by Ryuho Sasaoka, head of the Mishoryu Sasaoka School, Kyoto in June]"Iris" and "Aoi Festival" [Flowers of June as seen by Ryuho Sasaoka, head of the Mishoryu Sasaoka School, Kyoto in June]


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Ryuho Sasaoka, head of the Misho School of Sasaoka, “Monthly Flowers, Monthly Kyoto”


"Hydrangea" and "Chinowa" [Flowers of June as seen by Ryuho Sasaoka, head of the Mishoryu Sasaoka School, Kyoto in June]

1919(Taisho 8), a new style using Western flowers."Sasaoka style Morika""Mishoryu Sasaoka" is known for inventing the "Flower of the Month, Kyoto of the Month" flower. The current head of the school, Ryuho Sasaoka, is attracting attention for his activities in a wide range of fields, not only expressing traditional flower arrangement but also collaborating with other genres such as musicals and kyogen. In the series "Flower of the Month, Kyoto of the Month," Sasaoka, who lives in Kyoto, talks about the flower of the month and the scenery of Kyoto for that month. In June, the flowers are "hydrangea" and "chichi no wa."

When I was a child, I loved staring blankly at the hydrangeas in the garden from the veranda.

I tried arranging a wild hydrangea, close to its original species, in a vase. The large-flowered Western hydrangeas are gorgeous at this time of year, but the simple wild hydrangeas are also elegant. I think the sharp straight lines of the tortoiseshell vase and the graceful curves of the wild hydrangea's branches make an interesting combination.

The location is the Tsukubai in front of the teahouse at the Iemoto's residence. There have been mountain hydrangeas in the garden of the Iemoto's residence since ancient times, and the mountain hydrangeas arranged this time were cut from the garden. As a child, I loved to stare blankly at the rain-soaked mountain hydrangeas from the veranda. Mountain hydrangea flowers change from white when they first bloom to pink and then purple as the days go by. The beauty that changes with time and the transience that coexists with it are the indescribable charms of mountain hydrangeas. Western hydrangeas are also made up of small individual flowers that come together to form a large flower. It is very heartwarming to see them all working together.

Hydrangeas are surprisingly difficult to keep in water.

Hydrangeas are often used in June, but they are surprisingly difficult to keep in water. When cutting the stems, it is important to leave the light brown part near the base. If you cut the stems near the base of the flower, where the flower is still soft and yellow-green, they will weaken quickly. Also, don't forget to pour plenty of water into the vase.

During this rainy season, there are many times when the rain is heavy and we feel depressed. At such times, the refreshing cool colors of blue and blue-purple can be a breath of fresh air for a gloomy mind.

Sanzenin Hydrangea Sanzenin Hydrangea

Sanzenin Temple in Ohara, where thousands of hydrangeas bloom, hosts the Hydrangea Festival from June 6th to July 6th, attracting many visitors.©Akira Nakata

A vase is a casual way to arrange flowers. Please give it a try.

In a sense, a vase is something you can arrange casually. Having a vase with a single flower in a small corner of your home can make you feel very enriched, so I recommend that you just try arranging flowers without thinking too hard about it.

In fact, I once wrote a blog called "As I Go" in which I would put a single flower left over from my lessons into a vase and upload the photos to Facebook. I did this 105 times, and it was a very interesting and valuable experience. It was not only the arranging that was important, but it also made me realize how difficult it is to take a good photo. Even if it's just a single flower, the expression can change completely depending on the direction you take the photo. You also have to think about the background and other things. As I continued to take photos with my smartphone, I began to want a high-performance camera like a single-lens reflex camera.


We pass through the fields of thatch to perform the summer purification ritual. There's only a little time left until the Gion Festival.

In late June, straw rings start appearing at shrines all over the country. In particular, on June 6th, when half the year has passed, the "Summer Purification" ceremony is held. This is a Shinto ritual to purify the impurities of half the year and pray for good health for the remaining half, and it is said that if you pass through the straw ring at this time, you will be granted good fortune.

Also, a Japanese sweet called "Minazuki" always appears in June. It is a triangular sweet made of Uiro (a type of rice cake) topped with red beans, and it is said that the Uiro represents ice and the red beans represent protection from evil. Once you pass through the Chinowa and eat "Minazuki", July is just around the corner.

If you walk down Shinmachi-dori or Muromachi-dori in the evening, you can hear the sounds of flutes and bells coming from the second floor of a townhouse. The Gion Festival is just around the corner. The musicians are practicing hard.

Chinowa Chinowa

Most shrines set up their straw circles in late June, but the one at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine appears on June 6st.©Akira Nakata

Ryuho Sasaoka Ryuho Sasaoka

photography by Takeshi Akizuki

Ryuho Sasaoka


Head of the Sasaoka school of Misho-ryu. Born in Kyoto in 1974. He graduated from the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Kyoto University. In 2011, he succeeded as the third iemoto of Sasaoka Misho-ryu. He was in charge of the floral decorations at the G7 venue held in Ise-Shima. He pursues the potential of ikebana as a performing art and has performed ikebana at official events both in Japan and abroad. She is a visiting professor at Kyoto Notre Dame University and Taisho University. She has written many books, including her recent book ``Ikebana'' (Shincho Shinsho).

Text by Masao Sakurai (Office Clover)


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