I commenced studying Sogetsu Ikebana in 1998, in Tokyo, Japan at the ikebana atelier of Yoka Hosono, a Master Instructor at Sogetsu Ikebana Headquarters. In December 2000, I was awarded my Sogetsu Ikebana Teacher’s Certificate by the former Iemoto of the Sogetsu School, Hiroshi Teshigahara. I currently hold a Jonin Sanyo level teacher’s certificate.
I am a registered Sogetsu Ikebana teacher with membership to the Sogetsu Teachers' Association in Japan, the Sogetsu Azalea Studygroup, Belgium, Sogetsu Branch Netherlands, and Ikebana International- Madrid Chapter. In November 2020 I became the founding Chairperson of the Sogetsu Madrid Study Group.
Since moving to Spain, I have established Studio Yōrin Ikebana, an atelier dedicated to ikebana in the capital, Madrid. I am passionate about promoting Japanese culture, and in particular ikebana, in Spain. Since January 2020 I have been the resident ikebana teacher at the Madrid Flower School, teaching stand-alone ikebana classes as well as the ikebana component of the Flower School’s Professional Floristry Program. I regularly teach ikebana classes to children, and have taught ikebana within the Spanish primary school system. In an effort to encourage more people to teach ikebana to children, I established a blog in which I post weekly lesson ideas and topics specifically designed for teaching ikebana to children. In 2018, both of my daughters, aged 6 and 8 years, won the Sogetsu Ikebana Ikeru-chan Prize, and in 2020 my eldest daughter was awarded the Sogetsu Ikebana Ikeru-chan Prize for the second time.
In 2021 I established an International Sogetsu Mentor Program to provide online classes, support and mentorship to high level Sogetsu Ikebana students who were left without access to ikebana teacher’s during the Covid-19 pandemic. My mentorship program currently includes students from Sydney and Canberra, Australia, the Congo, northern Spain, and France. In late 2021 I will expand the program to include students from Singapore, Japan and the U.S.A. I teach weekly in-person ikebana classes from my atelier in Madrid, as well as online private and group ikebana classes.
In my endeavour to promote Sogetsu Ikebana across multidisciplinary art forms, I have collaborated with many non-ikebana artists, including ceramicist and designer Akiko Tsuji, USA based potter Sam Deering of Spotted Horse Pottery, and Award Winning Spanish painter and poet Maria Luisa Valero Espinosa. Large installation collaborations include the Christmas installation for Hotel Tótem, Madrid, Spain, and the stage design for Japanese singer/composer Youmi Kimura’s ('Alway's With Me' from the Studio Ghibli film Spirited Away) performance in Canberra, Australia.
In keeping with the notion of 'Friendship through Flowers', I have worked alongside internationally renowned ikebana artists including Ilse Beunen (Belgium) , Yoshiro (Seiseki) Umemura (Australia), and was a member of the team assisting Master Instructor Tetsunori Kawana (Japan) prepare and present an ikebana demonstration at the Embassy of Japan, in Canberra, Australia.
I have participated in ikebana exhibitions in Japan, Australia, Spain and Belgium, and have presented live ikebana workshops and demonstrations in both Australia, and Spain. During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic I presented virtual demonstrations for the Sogetsu Branch Mumbai, India, and the Azalea Study Group, Belgium. I have participated in virtual exhibitions for the Sogetsu Branch France, The Sogetsu Branch Netherlands, Sogetsu Branch Moscow, the Singapore Sogetsu Association, the Kanreiki Birthday Celebrations for Iemoto Akane Teshigahara in Japan, and was invited to participate in the Ikebana International Moscow Chapter virtual exhibition.
In addition to being an active participant in exhibitions, I also enjoy curating them. In 2020, I conceived the idea of and curated a global Virtual Ikebana Exhibition Fundraiser for the Australian Bushfires. In 2021 I curated the online inaugural exhibition for the Sogetsu Study Group Madrid.
I will conduct future international demonstrations and workshops for the Sogetsu Branch France, in Paris, the Sogetsu Branch Netherlands and the Sogetsu Branch Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2021 I was awarded a grant from the Iwaya Fund, based in North America to create an educational video for the North American chapters of Ikebana International. The aim of the video is to assist and encourage ikebana teachers from all schools to teach ikebana to children.
My published work includes Stichting Kunstboek 'Masterclass Ikebana' (2020), Terra Firma Magazine’s 2019 Diary, and ‘Vase and Flower’ by Akiko Tsuji (2018).