While looking for materials for the refreshed Banmi Shofu website, I found a document sent by Gil Fooks (husband of the late Bessie Banmi Fooks), who said, “I am forwarding a translation of a cassette tape made on May 5, 1970 of a talk Bansui Ohta-sensei made. She was Bessie's Shofu Ryu teacher in Japan." Aolana (Banmi’s grandchild) helped with the translation; I did the necessary copy editing for publication.
Ric Bansho Carrasco, 09.02.2019
Image shows Bessie Banmi Fooks constructing a bamboo structure for a large demonstration in St. Petersburg, FL When completed the structure can be used for audience participation in the beginning or end of the demonstration, the hollow bamboo nodes holding the flower offerings.
"The beauty of the flowers is brief because the flower can’t live forever. Remember the flower’s beauty in your heart. Keep it and enjoy it forever."
"Life of flowers is very limited. How you face the shortness of the flower’s life is the essence of ikebana. I’d like all of you and myself to not be too proud but, keep learning forever with your challenged spirit."
Blue Dutch Irises in a classic rectangular moribana suiban show their effervescence in a matter of 36 hours. Soon it will be gone, but leaving a memory of resplendent beauty. Michaelmast (Montecarlo) Daisies serve as mikoshi accentuated with driftwood from St. John's River, FL.
"For many years many people have done ikebana at their own time. They show how much they love flowers. Much of ikebana engagement is being disciplined. Attitude is also very important whenever one creates ikebana designs. When looking at the finished product, the viewer does not only see beauty but also focus on the artist's strength. When viewers sense personality in your work, they also see beauty. Do ikebana not for the appreciation by others, but simply because you love to do ikebana."
"The person who passes on ikebana tradition to the next generation (s) must do the right thing. That person needs to set boundaries to say enough is enough of modern aesthetics. Traditionally, the beauty of ikebana is when you breathe life and movement into materials that otherwise would be standing still. If you don't make the effort, ikebana, like other traditions will be gone someday. You are being tested, always. If you have enough power to challenge, then challenge is good."
“We cut flowers, which means we end the flowers life. But the image we capture from the flowers would remain and live forever in our hearts and our minds. And, we need to have challenging spirits and pride in order to translate the beauty into ikebana.”