Banmi Shofu Ryu of Ikebana 

Ric Bansho Carrasco

Ric Bansho carefully inserts a fiery red Chrysanthemum in a New Year Hashibana Uate design during the Annual Banmi Shofu 2009 Festival in the grounds of Shoshin Studios of Apopka, FL.

          In her role as the 1st Generation Headmaster of Banmi Shofu Ryu, Bessie Banmi Fooks conferred the school’s first teaching certificate in 1974 to a student from her initial roster of students in Tainan, Taiwan, Ricardo C. Carrasco.  Since then, they sustained their relationship with continuing mentorship in the way of flowers and driftwood for almost four decades.  While they taught their own students separately, exhibited and demonstrated in different venues and locations of the world, they were always united in spirit.  In 1996, they started translating the school’s formal curriculum, based on Kado manuscripts from Bansui Ota-sensei, which until then were verbally passed from one iemoto generation to the next.  The manual translation and refinement is now complete, & includes updated graphic representations, Japanese and English names for each form, and dovetails with each level of Banmi Shofu study.

Photo shows Ric Bansho carefully inspecting a large driftwood prior to putting it into a vintage salt jar he inherited from his mother during a Banmi Shofu demonstration.

          Currently, Ric Bansho is a member of Ikebana International based in Tokyo Japan, and in Florida -Orlando -Winter Park, Chapter #132, and St. Petersburg, Chapter #65.  He has served as President and other positions with various chapters.  

Carrasco is an occupational therapist and a developmental neuropsychologist, providing clinical interventions to children, adolescents and adults with occupational dysfunction, the majority being secondary to movement and sensory processing challenges.  He is Director & Professor of the entry level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program at Nova Southeastern University Tampa, FL in the United States of America.  He has published and presented over 500 juried articles and courses, and consults across the United States and the globe.  His most recent scholarly undertaking is entitled "Flowers as Occupation: Narrative Inquiry of Shared Experiences by Ikebana Sensei," which he has presented as a juried research paper during international congresses such as World Federation of Occupational Therapists in Yokohama, Japan, and during the international research conference of the Society of the Study of Occupation, USA. Other ikebana related studies include measuring the effect of ikebana engagement participants' anxiety level indicated by salivary cortisol; Dr. Carrasco also conducted a study on the difference in neurophysiological and shared experiences by ikebana sensei and deshi.

Giving Myself Permission

Rush hour to temporary lodging, once again, I am off the road.  Goodbye to laptop, luggage, & everyone.  Crawling into my womb space with flower, book, or nothing – unaccompanied, yet surrounded.  Silence sings.


Chabana Style * Shoshin Studio male Chabana container * On two bentwood stands


Phalaenopsis, Magnolia Leaf, & Waialua Driftwood


Bessie Banmi Fooks looks pleased during Ric Bansho's demonstration for a Ikebana International Orlando-Winter Park Chapter 132 program.

           Two days before her death in July 2008, and in the presence of her family,  Bessie Banmi installed Ricardo Bansho Carrasco as the 2nd Generation Headmaster of the Banmi Shofu Ryu after over 40 years of Kado study and practice.   Within a month, Ricardo Bansho launched a 5-year plan that combined their shared vision of practice, teaching, exhibiting, and promoting friendships through flowers and driftwood across the globe.  This plan included the celebration of when Bessie Banmi Fooks took her first steps of Ikebana in Tokyo which will be 50 years in the Fall of 2012.  The celebration comprised workshops, exhibition, and demonstration in Guang Ming Temple in Orlando, FL, all of which were open to the public.  The photo gallery features images from the celebration.

Summer of 2014 takes Banmi Shofu Ryu across the oceans for a cultural exchange and service to Ikebana International members and officials in Japan, connecting with flower friends through a visit at the Daikakuji Temple, classical lessons from Saga Goryu, tea ceremony, climaxed with a demonstration, exhibition and tea at Art Laksy.

Typical of Bessie Banmi Shofu designs, the flower arrangement above comes with a title and a story woven around it.  Displayed at Leu Gardens Fall 2006, it is entitled "Monterey Bound," and shows two spirits traveling together towards Monterey like birds flying through wind and rain symbolized by the driftwood, floral & line matrials.  As it turned out, the journey was the last that Bessie Banmi and Ric Bansho made together when they both attended the North American Regional Convention of Ikebana International in 2007.

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