Members of Ikebana International on Friday welcomed new Chairwoman Anja N. Siebold Bucher, the wife of Switzerland’s ambassador to Japan, at a meeting in Tokyo.
“I feel deeply honored to be a chairperson of the International Ikebana Fair 2013,” Bucher said. “I took this commitment because I can feel Ikebana International’s motto, ‘Friendship to Flowers,’ is much more than just words.”
Bucher will take on the post for the annual fair in December. The position is customarily bestowed upon an ambassador’s wife. The wives of the Norwegian and Belgian ambassadors preceded Bucher in the role.
The fair will be attended by the group’s honorary president, Princess Hisako, the widow of Prince Takamado. About 40 embassies will set up booths to sell traditional food, crafts and other goods at the fair. All of the proceeds will be donated to various causes.
“Switzerland was very helpful after the (quake-tsunami) disaster in March 2011 and has had very amicable bilateral relations with Japan,” Masumi Kurashima, coordinator of this year’s fair, said.
At Friday’s meeting, Bucher’s speech was followed by an ikebana demonstration by Sanae Maeda, master instructor of the Sogetsu School. She crafted five works.
Ikebana International is a nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to the promotion and appreciation of traditional Japanese flower arranging. It does not teach any single type of ikebana. Rather, it is an interest group made up of people of many nationalities who enjoy ikebana and other arts from Japan.
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