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Ikebana and Japan's Postwar Economy

April 18, 2012 - 12:00pm
Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor

CEAS Japan Brown Bag

Nancy Stalker Associate Professor, Department of Asian Studies, University of Texas at Austin

Despite a five hundred year history, ikebana, the art of Japanese flower arrangement, was not practiced on a massive scale until the twentieth century, especially after the Second World War.During the Edo period the  largest school claimed tens of thousands of students, overwhelmingly male.In contrast, in the late 1960s, the top three schools had over a million students each and twenty more schools had over 200,000 followers, with 98% of the total population female.  The number of schools multiplied from five hundred in 1930 to over three thousand by the late 1960s, when the headmasters of the largest schools were among the wealthiest people in Japan.This presentation focuses on the three largest schools of ikebana during the 1950s and 60s (i.e. Ikenobo, Ohara and Sogetsu) to investigate the organizational and competitive strategies behind the transformation of an elite traditional art to a massive popular phenomenon with ten million practitioners and international appeal.

Free and open to the public.

Event Sponsor: 
Center for East Asian Studies
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