Kabuwake means a two-group arrangement. In Sunday’s workshop, the participants presented divided shoka shimputai arrangements. They needed to choose a shu (the most important element in the estimation of the arrangement’s creator), a yo (the element that creates the harmony in the arrangement), and possible ashirai (which can often strengthen the shu or the yo).
Since this was a shoka arrangement, there needed to be a mizugiwa, and the bases of the stems needed to still be in a straight row. The two groups sit side by side and express the response of the two groups to each other. As Sensei Linnéa pointed out, the division should create a space which allows for imagination.
This type of arrangement allows for great creativity, because shu and yo may be separated, one in each group OR shu and yo may be together in one group OR the two groups may each have a shu and yo.
With so much latitude, you can see why the pictured arrangements look so different from each other. Each expresses the thoughts and feelings of its creator.
The workshop was a fitting end to our year of Ikenobo ikebana lessons.