The faces of Fujino
Shino is a certified expert of ikebana (traditional Japanese flower arrangement) and phytotherapy (the use of plants and plant products for medicinal purposes). Her work has been featured on the Japanese public TV channel NHK, and in numerous magazines. She is the founder and president of the Fujino phytotherapy Heart Garden Association. If your visit timing is lucky, you can view one of her unique flower exhibitions that are periodically on display in Fujino.
Shino grew up in a flower arrangement household. Her grandmother was a professor of ikenobō, the original form of Japanese flower arrangement from which numerous variations of ikebana emerged over the past 550 years. Ikenobō values the open flower and the unopened flower bud as sources of life energy. The various stages of blossoming represent the past, present, and future of the plant and the observer within the ever-changing environment. Incorporating her childhood exposure to ikenobō, study of phytotherapy in Scotland, ikebana training in Japan, and other life experiences, Shino captures the essence of being in her personalized ikebana style.
Tell us something about yourself.
I combine Japanese tradition with the mysticism of the universe to arrive at my own style of ikebana. Flower arrangement teaches us how to see the positive in all things. When we select a particular flower at a certain point in its blossoming cycle and we choose the positioning of the flower that is most attuned to our feeling, we learn about our inner-self. In Japanese, the word flower arrangement is “ka-dō” which means “the path of the flower.” When we find the arrangement that most appeals to us, we also find our own path in the universe. In this way, the flower arrangement that I instruct connects the flower, the environment, the arranger, and the universe. I want to help people understand themselves more intimately through the experience of flower arrangement.
What is something special that you like about Fujino?
The Fujino culture empowers people to try new things. People join and collaborate on initiatives they find interesting. Likewise, there is no social pressure for people to continue activities in which they lose interest or enjoyment. A motto that I hear throughout Fujino is, “Do as much as you want for how long you want, and keep it fun.” I think this Fujino culture promotes creativity, new initiatives, and progress because extended projects that invariably go through multiple phases need a continuous influx of new ideas, skills, and energy. In a culture of tolerance for people to join and leave community activities, people are freer to try, contribute, and make way for new members when the time is right. I think this is why Fujino always has new, fun, and interesting activities with wide community involvement.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Fujino has many people who know how to enjoy life. I have lived in several placed in Japan and in Scotland, but for me, Fujino is the easiest and most fun place I have lived.
I conduct a full day flower arrangement workshop that blends nature, beauty, and self-introspection. My workshop is unique because we walk into the forest to observe and select flowers or plants we use for our ikebana. I recommend this workshop early in your Fujino schedule for you to compose your arrangement in the common room of your Fujino accommodation and enjoy the beauty of your creation throughout your Fujino stay.
See other Fujino residents.