By Ichiro Sekimitsu
On Wednesday, June 26 the Japan Business Relations Committee hosted a lunchtime seminar on The Business of Ikebana presented by Professor Nancy Stalker, Soshitsu Sen XV Distinguished Professor of Japanese History and Culture at UH Manoa.
Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arranging and Professor Stalker spoke on how the 3 major Ikebana schools grew to massive postwar proportions by engaging the same strategies that supported corporate high speed growth. In particular, she introduced the Iemoto (headmaster) system and how brand identity was enhanced through diversification into publishing and education. Further, the Ikebana schools contributed to the empowerment of women by providing unprecedented employment and advancement opportunities in the postwar period.
The presentation concluded with a lively Q&A session including the comparison of the Iemoto system to that of the Hula Halau. Thank you to Professor Stalker for a fascinating discussion on the business side of an art form.