Founded in Kyoto, the Mishoryu-Sasaoka School of flower arrangement is known for its unique combination of tradition and innovation.
Now a collaboration between Ryuho Sasaoka, Head of the Mishoryu-Sasaoka School,
and Kagayoi has given birth to a line of jewelry that expresses the seasonal beauty of flowers.
The art of flower arrangement embodies the living beauty of flowers throughout the four seasons, beginning with Japan's traditional New Year's pine boughs and continuing through delicate plum blossoms, lush cherry blossoms, and the elegant Japanese iris. The changing of the seasons can be clearly felt as the arrangements change over the course of the year. The beautiful arrangements enable us to savor and share the joy of experiencing the changing seasons.
The Mishoryu-Sasaoka School's flower arrangements are known for a minimalist sophistication that has been called "the aesthetics of subtraction." All overlapping branches and leaves are severely cut back to emphasize the contours of a single flower or a single leaf. One of the most prominent characteristics of the Mishoryu-Sasaoka School's style is its logical approach using guidelines that specify the length, positioning, and angle of the flower stems in arrangements devised by previous masters.
The Mishoryu-Sasaoka School's symbol flower is the Japanese iris. The Japanese name for this flower is "kakitsubata," and the Mishoryu-Sasaoka School is known throughout Japan by the name "Sasaoka Kakitsubata." The flower's purple color is considered a harmony of yin and yang energies, and it has been revered in Japan since ancient times. The dimensions and leaf arrangement of the Japanese iris are also specified in the Mishoryu-Sasaoka School's guidelines.
Japan's love of the changing seasons and the flowers representative of each season has been embodied in the eternal brilliance of jewelry designed to recall the rush of feelings of beauty that fill the heart when viewing a lovely flower. The Japanese iris is distinctive for the elegant white lines that accentuate its purple color. In the Mishoryu-Sasaoka School's flower arrangements the long green leaves are a key element, and the number and length of the leaves are precisely specified. To design jewelry capable of expressing that beauty, detailed advice was sought from Ryuho Sasaoka, especially in regard to the direction of the points of the leaves, in order to create a brooch with a strikingly attractive contrast between the flowers and leaves.
The Shikisorezore Series is born of the superb skills of master craftsmen. Meticulous attention is given to the stone settings to make the prongs as discreet as possible. Each stone is positioned according to its size, and adjusted using a special chisel and a microscope. This incredibly time-consuming procedure requiring expert skill is justified by stones with an amazingly flush surface not possible using any other setting method. The result is a three-dimensional expression of the beauty of a living flower.
Profile of Ryuho Sasaoka
Head of the Mishoryu-Sasaoka School of flower arrangement. Visiting professor at Kyoto Notre Dame University and Taisho University. As an ambassador for Kyoto City's "DO YOU KYOTO？" project, he is active in calling public attention to the importance of environmental conservation.
Born in Kyoto in 1974. Graduated from Kyoto University, Faculty of Engineering, Undergraduate School of Architecture. From the age of three he was instructed in the art of flower arrangement by his grandfather Kunpo Sasaoka, the second head of the Mishoryu-Sasaoka School. Became the third head of the Mishoryu-Sasaoka School in 2011. Developed the potential of Japanese flower arrangement as a performing art and has conducted numerous flower arrangement performances, including at official events overseas like the Celebration of 150 Years of Diplomatic Relations Between Japan and Switzerland. Was in charge of the flower arrangements for the 2016 G7 Ise-Shima Summit venue. Author of the recent book "Ikebana" (published by Shincho Shinsho).
Photography by Yasuo Kubota （STUDIO BOW） FUJINGAHO（Hearst Fujingaho Co., Ltd.）published in January 2013