This is the website for the Ikebana Artist / Floral Designer Akiyo Sano.


Akiyo Sano

Akiyo Sano (Ikebana Artist / Floral Designer)

Akiyo Sano is an Ikebana artist / Floral designer based on Los Angeles. One of Akiyo's specialties is to explore, embrace, and express the sheer beauty of the line of plant materials in her Ikebana.

1990 Began studying Ikebana of Sogetsu School under Sosho Tsukamoto.
1995 Received 4th Teacher's Certificate and was given the flower name 萌昌 - Hosho.
1996 Started to work for a major flower company in Tokyo.
Was involved in wedding and party work, restaurant display, retail sales, product planning and bouquet arrangement in hotels and retail stores.
2000 Founded her own western style flower arrangement class in Tokyo after 3 years experience as an employed instructor.
2005 Received The New Face Award at 87th Sogetsu Exhibition.
2007 Received Sogetsu 1st Teacher’s Certificate Jonin Somu.
2008 Won The 7th Sogetsu AT Award.
Started to live in New York.
2011 Moved into Los Angeles.

Why I arrange Ikebana?

In the summer of 1994. When I visited Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, I met the mobile by Alexander Calder. At the time, I was a college student majoring in art history, but I didn't know the name 'Calder' and the existence of his work dubbed 'mobile'. The museum hall that I visited on my journey on a whim and that had big windows open to the terrace along the canal. The mobile calmly hung on in its room where soft sunlight was pouring down kept my eyes and heart completely riveted. The mobile was not going to keep having its same figure and showing me something inspiring and evocative because of people going in and out of the terrace to enjoy the August sun and slightly damp winds from the window. In a strange sensation as if my body was a part of the mobile, I was feeling, "This guy must be fascinated by the force of plants like me and replaced it with visible things, being pushed by the force of life."

I think it was about four years had passed since I began to learn Sogetsu Ikebana at that time. Although I still had been learning basic curriculum, I gradually began to feel that something, which I could not feel when I worked with clay or drew pictures, appeared only when I arranged Ikebana. That, which is act of processing self-complete material of plants in a sense, was premonition which my straight way of expression would be. I have loved to watch flowers since I was a little girl and have become to feel sigh of pleasure to watch one branch, one petal, and one leaf arranged since I began to learn Ikebana. When I indefinitely began to want to do the movement of my heart by the force of plants to something have a shape without losing the force of plants, I met Calder's mobile. That looked like one of my answer, or my new issue.

Since then, I have visited many places where I could meet his works and have become to feel his expression, not only plants but movement of life in itself and primordial power of life which includes cosmos and nature. To reflect that, I have become to feel that my act to arrange Ikebana could be to shape my alive and moving heart, feeling life through the plants, being inspired by the power which my end of fingers feel or using the power. Plants never stop their movement, so Ikebana cannot be free from time. During seeing the momentary material, my feeling that I want to shape my momentary heart has been stronger than the time when I met Calder for the first time and keeps catching my heart, being strong impulsion.

In the spring of 2005, I visited Peggy Guggenheim Collection again to meet Calder. When I stood at that hall which welcomed me in the same way as then, I felt like I kept watching the mobile in that summer and I was asked by me of 1994. "You have been arranging Ikebana for a long time, but have you ever been for once able to express vital force lightly and freely like Calder?" I cannot answer this question with confidence yet now. But if the meaning of arranging Ikebana is that feeling the force of life which touches someone's heart and shaping so that inform it to someone, I feel like my answer is that keep pursuing my heart which does not have clear answer.

Translated from あなたはなぜ花をいけるのですか Sogetsu Green Project Oct. 2008