top of page

New Year's Luncheon and 65th Anniversary Celebration Recap

Photo: 2023 Annual Luncheon

I am pleased to announce that Ikebana International Los Angeles Chapter#4 was able to hold the 65th Anniversary Celebration and New Year's Luncheon on January 8, 2023. Please take a moment to remember all loved ones and friends who have passed. We are all very lucky to have been able to gather together, and let's be grateful we have each other and our health.

Our master of ceremony for the day was Leonard Brinkers. I thank him for keeping the program moving forward. A lovely toast was given by President Emeritus Pearl Ahn, “Kampai!” Attendees were also fortunate to be greeted by Mr. Kenko Sone, the Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles at this year's event. He gave a lovely congratulatory address.

Spring Katen Preview

A small Ikebana Katen by various schools was presented and enjoyed by all. In addition to being a colorful backdrop to our celebration, the arrangements were a great preview of our Sping Ikebana Katen in March. I'm grateful to each member who participated, they include:

  • Gabriel Pacheco

  • Fukuyo Tanaka

  • Katey Ho

  • Rei Moira Strong

  • Toko Okada

  • Valeria Brinkers

  • Leonard Brinkers

  • Alfredo Valenzuela

  • Izumi Minamitani

  • Amy Hsu

  • Tina Fu-Ting Yang

The Silent Donation

Our silent donation was a huge success. Thank you to everyone who participated by donating items or to those who were able to take home new treasures. We were able to help cover the added cost of this year's luncheon. I'm grateful to Jessica for starting this tradition in 2019. I hope the next board keeps it going.

Several pieces this year were donated by family members of former Ikebana artists. I would like to extend my thanks to the Horiuchi Family for donating vases that belonged to their Aunt and Uncle. Additionally, the son of Katsuko “Katie” Arimura reached out to us to donate his mom’s modernist vase collection. She had her teaching certificates in Sogetsu and Ikenobo. She also was a founding member of Ikebana International Sapporo Chapter #69 and Ikebana International New Orleans Chapter #97. In a future blog post we will share her story. I’m grateful to each family for reaching out to Ikebana International Los Angeles Chapter #4 via the website. The donated vases and kenzans will be given new life by our members. If you were able to take a piece home after the luncheon, please send us a photo of them in use.

Our group is always open to helping those who want to share their family members' old Ikebana vases and supplies with currently practicing students. Please consider donating them to our Chapter.

Sogetsu San Fernando Valley Branch Demonstration

After our lunch feast a demonstration by the Sogetsu San Fernando Valley Branch was held. After participating in last year's Katen, many members from Sogetsu SFV have joined our Chapter. I'm truly honored to have them all play an active role in Ikebana International LA activities.

Ms. Patricia Ziggler did an amazing job introducing and narrating each presentation. Here's a bit about each person and their work.

Kevin Umbricht

In 2015, Kevin began taking classes in the Sogetsu school of Ikebana, where he studied under Sensei Kyoko Kassarjian. Having garnered his fourth teaching certificate, Kevin is honored to complete his first solo demonstration for Ikebana International.

Dr. Sofia Vaisman

Sofia Vaisman came to the US after studying medicine in Moldova, one of the Republics of the former Soviet Union, now a separate country.

Sofia owns a large number of fabulous vases like the one she is using today.

Sofia also has recruited others to join in the study of Sogetsu, sharing her enthusiasm.

Dr. Pilar Mina

Pilar had to take 10 years off from her studies while working but now that she is a retired physician she finally has time to enjoy her artistic interests. Her name is Keishu, which her Japanese colleagues told her means excellent student, but HUMBLE.

Gabriel Pacheco

Originally from Santiago, Chile, Gabriel earned his degree in forestry at Catholic University of Chile. He received formal training first in Western and then in Japanese Ikebana styles leading to his initial floral design certification in 2003, whereupon he inaugurated Gabriel Pacheco Flower Design. His growing fascination with Ikebana naturally led Gabriel in 2004 to the Sogetsu School of Ikebana flower arrangement at UCLA. Since then, his love and dedication to Ikebana resulted in Gabriel being awarded a high-level teaching certificate from the Sogetsu headquarters school in Japan and becoming an Ikebana instructor at UCLA.

I'm thankful to each person who participated and shared their Ikebana with us. I am also proud of all the people's who's first time it was doing a demonstration. You did great and I hope you are inspired to continue sharing your Ikebana craft for many years to come. I'm hopeful other members give demonstrating in front of our chapter a try. This is where I was able to hone my skills and love that our chapter provides a positive space to make mistakes.

Happy Anniversary!

To commemorate this Chapter's 65th Anniversary, the board has prepared rakugan from Japan and shared it with everyone. Rakugan is a Japanese sweet made by mixing wasanbon sugar (Japanese sugar), starch syrup, rice flour, and natural food coloring. The expiration date is in one year. Please enjoy it with tea or coffee.

For those who needed to cancel their attendance to the luncheon, do not fret we have your box of Rakugan for you. Please ask me when you participate in the next workshop or Katen.


Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
bottom of page