The current headmaster, Sen’ei Ikenobo, created Shoka Shimputai (modern shoka) to sync with an ever-changing Japan. Most Japanese now have smaller homes or apartments, without tokonomas–where a shoka shofutai (traditional shoka) would have been placed. Global influence and the availability of many non-Japanese Western plant and flower materials led the headmaster to see the need for a modern arrangement, usually consisting of only three materials. There is the shu (main stem), the yo (a contrasting or responding stem) and the ashirai (assistants) which complement, balance, and often add more color to the arrangement.
In keeping with the freedom of expression this allows, our arrangements were very varied. It was so much fun to see how everyone showed their “originality and ingenuity.”