Fall 2011


Director’s Report:

Hello…….Hello fellow instructors. First order of happy business. We have just received word from Atami Japan, that Mayumi Ichino of Vancouver Canada, and Mamiko Matsushita of Seattle Washington USA, have successfully passed all requirements to be certified Sangetsu Instructors! Both took the test during the April 2011 Sangetsu Conference in Tucson. I know I speak for you all when I say many many congratulations! So good to have you both, and may many students have the benefit of your knowledge and kindness. Please let us know about your future students and your observations about being an instructor.

This message is far overdue I’m afraid. The poor health and then death of my mother has been consuming, and at the same time I am grateful I could be with her in Texas during her home hospice passing-on. The morning just before she died, I was inspired to make her a simple arrangement. My father had grown some bountiful bougainvilleas, and I found a tall and beautifully carved metal vase that was a perfect match (as Rev. Ajiki would say). I placed the arrangement across the room so that mother could open her eyes and immediately see the flowers. It was a bright display and brought me great comfort to do this final arrangement in her honor. A few hours later, just after her passing, the flowers remained during a  bedside service. All of my four brothers were present as well as my father. Two of her grandchildren and one daughter-in-law were able to be there as well. Mother loved flowers, and she had a fresh arrangement to enjoy every week for many of her final years. I can see her happy eyes in my mind now.

I am just back from the Johrei North American Council (NAC) conference at Johrei Fellowship Headquarters in Redondo Beach California, where I represented Sangetsu. I was thrilled to be asked to provide a Sangetsu class for the ministers and NAC representatives. We did a simple moribana arrangement with aspidistra leaves, carnations, and baby’s breath. But here’s the thing:  once finished, all took their arrangements to distribute to the nearby community. Doors were knocked on, buses boarded, and flowers found homes. Everyone came back to the conference room with happy stories to tell. It was a great ending. I wrote a report to give the NAC which I will forward on for this newsletter. Forgive me if I did not include





your activities, but you will have an opportunity to inform us about what you are doing. Please write us a brief description of your Sangetsu activities for the next Spring newsletter. Would you send us your report, along with your annual dues of $30. by the second week in January? As before please mail your dues to Assistant Professor Karey Karam, 7201 E. Paso San Andres, Tucson Arizona, 85710. You can also email your reports to me if you prefer.

As you will see in the NAC report, the Tucson Sangetsu instructors will be using organic flowers when possible and always during our once a month appreciation services at the Johrei Center. Although the cost for these flowers is high, we believe that by encouraging markets to provide safe-use and fair market flowers, a healthy enterprise could develop as was the case with affordable organic vegetables. An effort to encourage local growers has been taken on by Tucson Assistant Professor Maggie Kearns, and she will provide more information for you on our website www.Sangetsu.org. Please ask your local growers and flower market buyers to provide organic flowers for sale. This is the first step toward bringing awareness to our goal.

Speaking of the website, I’d like to encourage you all to use the website to alert the public about your classes and our mission of Sangetsu. It’s also a very good way to dialogue among ourselves. Tucson instructor Sarah Delegge has been dedicated to providing this service. If you need your own city page (classes and events), contact Sarah for help. I can try to help you in my limited way (I am NO techie) about getting signed on so that you can use the “backside” of the site. It’s a great great resource, and we’re so lucky to have it. My goal is to be a better example on the site by taking more pictures, and using the calendar more effectively. It takes a little time to do, but the results are great.

I will sign off for now. Thank you all for being an important part of Sangetsu. My heart is open to your beautiful arrangements, what beauty you are creating out there, AND, leading others to do the same. We are blessed to be able to bring art and beauty into our troubled world. That act, gives me hope.

Terry Quinn, Director

Sangetsu Report NAC November, 2011

Sangetsu North America has approximately thirty active and semi-active instructors on the roster. Dues of $30. and individual reports are collected at the beginning of each year. The Tucson Johrei Center is the headquarters for Sangetsu North America.

*Activities this year include the bi-annual April 2011 Tucson Conference. Approximately twenty-two instructors and recommended students attended from Vancouver Canada, the Washington DC area, the Denver area, San Francisco, Helena Montana, Seattle, as well as Tucson. Two instructor candidates, Mayumi Ichino from Vancouver, and Mamiko Matsushita of Seattle, took the Sangetsu instructor test. Professors Henry Ajiki and Lily Kosaka presided.

Highlights of the conference included an emphasis on the basic style arrangement, training on the promotional use of the newly completed Sangetsu website (sangetsu.org), and a public flower arrangement show during the final day of the conference. Donations during the public opening were accepted for victims of the triple disaster in Japan. Approximately $800. was donated by Sangetsu on behalf of the Tucson community for relief efforts. Some 150 visited the Tucson Johrei Center, some who had not visited previously. A newspaper article on the day of the event, helped boost attendance. A photographer was hired throughout the duration of the conference to record the arrangements, and obtain candid shots of attendees. Many of the arrangements completed during the conference are currently visible on the website.

*A Tucson activity effort provides periodic arrangements for Peppi’s Hospice and Emerge Center Against Domestic Violence.

*Sangetsu Instructor Howard Doi participated in the 2011 Japan pilgrimage.

*Sangetsu Instructor Natalie Montecalvo continues to pursue her interest in the promotion of Sangetsu in Jamaica.

*Former Sangetsu Instructor and Johrei Minister Lorna McMurray has established Sangetsu interests in the Helena Montana area.

*Members and instructors from the Tucson Center supported a two month training for visiting Sangetsu instructor and Nagoya Johrei Member, Miho Kumagai.

*Asst. Sangetsu Professor, Joan Fairs, also President of the local Ikebana Chapter in Vancouver, helps produce newsletters for both organizations. Joan and her students participate in numerous flower exhibitions in the Vancouver area.

*Professor Suki Davis continues her Sangetsu home studies with several students in the San Francisco area.

*Sangetsu classes continue to be organized in the Washington DC area, San Francisco, Denver, Helena, Vancouver and Tucson.

*Sangetsu North America officers and advisors continue regular meetings at the Tucson Center.

Sangetsu Goals:

*Goals for the coming year include the testing of a candidate(s) to full Professor. Testing would be done in Atami Japan. Sangetsu North America lacks Professor Judges qualified to test instructor candidates. We have relied on Professor Henry Ajiki as well as Izunome Sangetsu Professor Lily Kosaka for the past two testing sessions.

*We hope to host a Japanese Sangetsu delegation for a visit to the Tucson Center and Sangetsu Headquarters.

*Another goal is to strengthen our commitment to record our art photographically.

*A final goal is to increase the use of organic flowers, both for the arrangements completed in our Centers and at our altars, and eventually for student use in our classes. Although the cost is nearly prohibitive currently, we feel that by asking our contacts to provide organic flowers and using them when we have funds, the demand for fair-trade markets will develop. Tucson instructors have committed to the exclusive use of organic flowers during the once-a-month ABC decoration.

Many instructors feel the use of organically grown fertilizer and pesticide free flowers, acknowledges the basic teachings of Mokichi Okada and nature farming. We hope Sangetsu will take a leadership role in this effort, and encourage those in our communities to help us by growing flowers locally.

Respectfully submitted:

Terry Quinn

Director, Sangetsu North America

NAC Representative


Student Tai-Saku Arrangement in Tucson.

This just in!

Tucson Instructors may be hosting a Sangetsu delegation from Japan during the Easter weekend in early April, 2012. We do not know the details yet, but officials may be on hand to present our two new instructors with their certificates (Mayumi and Mamiko; see director’s message). A teaching instructor may also give a workshop, although we do not yet have confirmation about that issue. If you are interested in coming to Tucson during that time, please email Terry of your interest (terry.quinn8@gmail.com) . As was mentioned however, dates have not yet been confirme



Conch Shell Papyrus arrangement


Sangetsu in Jamaica

By Natalie Montecalvo


Last July was my 4th visit to Jamaica in celebration of my May 2011 retirement as a high school teacher. This trip would be significant in exploring the country as well as working with flowers.  Both were successful with climbing the summit of the Blue Mountains, driving throughout the country and yes, making connections that would allow passing on principles of Sangetsu flower design.


It may sound odd, but doors of opportunity have opened after the July meeting with the Program Manager at the HEART Trust in Runaway Bay. This training site is one of 26 locations throughout Jamaica that offers specialized training areas in a vocational education setting for adults. The Runaway Bay site focuses in on the Hotel Industry and when I first approached Mr. Kenrick Stewart about offering training, interest was shown by scheduling a meeting. At the July meeting, Pearl Wright’s name was given as someone whom I should meet.  He had brought the Ohara School of Ikebana to Jamaica.   That meeting did occur, was fruitful and provided more leads. Subsequently, I met Kingston Ikebana International chapter president and officers, as well as  local home and organic flower growers.


What I did get a chance to experience in July was presenting a demonstration/display (Tai Saku) at a Jake’s boutique hotel in Treasure Beach on the southern coast of Jamaica.   I began creating flower arrangements in the spa area, worked to the front office and wifi areas of the lobby then to the outdoor dining tables. Staff and other observers heard about basic Sangetsu principles while I made the arrangements. One staff member was invited to do an arrangement and did one quickly that was pleasing and an example of freestyle. At Jake’s, several antique items are placed on the landscaped grounds and I chose a dugout canoe that was well weathered but had some interesting holes in it, to create a Tai Saku. Several arrangements were created within, on top, and on the sides of the canoe.  (Refer to photos). My experience with plant materials there is to utilize them as combined main lines and filler simultaneously. The varied and multi-colored foliage is abundant in Jamaica and is not typically expressed in floral arrangements.  I will continue to expand my awareness of the native flora and fauna.


In preparation of the January training I visited Jamaica again in October 2011 to finalize dates, format, a lesson plan, target audience and budget.  The main purpose of the workshop style classes that I will be giving is to teach basic Sangetsu principles and techniques. The target  participants are those already involved in the floral industry (mostly working for the resort hotels or small villas), flower growers, enthusiasts or hobby seekers.  I am very excited about the future possibilities with a successful experience. The training in Jamaica is scheduled for January and I’ll be doing two workshops for 5 days each then a weekend intensive if there are participants interested in doing that. I feel very fortunate about the unfolding of events thus far and hopefully I will represent Sangetsu well, provide a rewarding experience for the participants and continue learning how to express beauty through flowers in a tropical setting.


Jones Kitchen Anthurium arrangement

Old canoe Tai Saku

Ikebana Activities in Vancouver

As you may have heard, we have sold our house and moved out in August.  We bought a heritage style townhouse in Burnaby, but it is still being built, so we are renting for a while…


Even with this major disruption, ikebana life goes on.  My students and I participated in our annual Vancouver Ikebana Association Spring Show.  My daughter Kimberly and (new instructor) Mayumi helped me with the demonstration.  We made arrangements showcasing the five guidelines of Sangetsu.  At the end of July, Jennifer Gardy and I did a short demonstration at the Powell Street Festival. Four members of Sangetsu displayed as well.


Mayumi with demonstrated basic style (following the first Sangetsu guideline—do it naturally) at the Spring Show


Joan Fairs and Jennifer Gardy at the Powell Street Festival demo

Two small things made me very happy during the summer, related to ikebana.  The first was at a Dahlia Show at VanDusen Garden in August.  One of my students, Jack Duncan, who is a very active member of the Dahlia Association, invited me to go.  What a wonderful surprise I had when I went into a back room where the competition of dahlia arrangements was displayed.  You see, Jack had gotten a group of dahlia growers to come to a set of my beginners’ lessons a couple of years ago.  Almost all of the ribbon winners were my former students!  One could see the Japanese style influence in their arrangements.  (See pictures below.) The second small gesture which gave me a happy feeling was right after we had moved into our temporary accommodations.  I had mentioned to the landlord that if he trimmed anything from his garden, I might be able to use it for ikebana classes, so “please do not throw it out!”  That same day when I returned, there was a pile of camellia branches waiting for me!  Small gestures, but immense for an ikebana teacher…




Classes have resumed in September in the common room of the condo in South Burnaby, where my daughter lives.  My various continuing students come every other week, and a new student has also started.  We average four students per session, with seven at the first class which was held at Jack’s home, where we were invited to cut dahlias from his beautiful garden.  There have also been two Chrysanthemum shows this fall, with Mayumi, Kimberly and I displaying at the first one, and Jack, Angie, Kimberly and I at the second show.  Next will be a chance to make a tai-saku arrangement with the help of Mayumi and Angie Lee for the Japanese consulate’s celebration of the Emperor’s birthday at a large hotel in down town Vancouver, in early December.


So we have had another busy year of ikebana.  In January I will be stepping down as president of the Vancouver Ikebana Association since the Vice President will be taking over.  My two years went by quickly, but as I get older, time just generally seems to be speeding up!


Joan Fairs Assistant Professor, Sangetsu Vancouver





The Five Guidelines of Sangetsu-ryu

Arrange flowers Naturally

Arrange flowers Quickly

Arrange flowers as if you were Painting a picture

Arrange flowers in Harmony

Arrange flowers with Joy!

Some shots from the Sangetsu Seminar in Tucson, Arizona April 2011