Shoka Aspidistra Workshop

David Payne

Before our workshop began, Linnéa Storm was presented with her next certificate.  Congratulations on achieving the next level on your ikenobo journey!

David Payne led the class in arranging an isshuike (one material) shoka arrangement.   This arrangement is often created using aspidistra leaves.  These leaves symbolize improving fortunes in japanese culture and are considered the ideal green leaf for use, alone or in combination with almost any flower, in any style of ikebana.

They are ideal for understanding the concept of in and yo in shoka arrangments.  Each Aspidistra leaf has a front yo side and a back in side. Each leaf also has a wide yo side and a narrow in side.  Leaves grow bigger in the sun yo and smaller in the shade in.  The first step in choosing our leaves was to determine if our shin leaf as seen from the back, was larger on the left or right side?   In our lesson we arranged 5 leaves or 7 leaves. There are always an odd number of aspidistra leaves in shoka, with Shin in the center and the same number of leaves in front of shin as behind shin.  Since all the leaves wide sides must go towards the yo side it means that you will always have shin and the leaves in front of shin with the same wide side, and all the the leaves in back of shin with the opposite wide side.  You must maintain the proper height ratio, (7,5,3) in your arrangement.  In addition, each leaf should be able to be seen in the completed arrangement. Whew!  A lot to remember!