14th May 2016: Ikebana & Taiko in Madrid (Spain)

I went to the Royal Botanical Garden Real Jardín Botánico in Madrid because they were holding an exhibit of Ikebana and Japanese culture “X Gran Exposición de Ikebana y Semana Cultural Japonesa”. There were several activities, and I wanted to watch the ikebana and listen to the taiko players.

I was very amused when it turned out you could actually attend an ikebana class. Ikebana [生け花] is the Japanese art of aranging flowers, and it is one of the three classical Japanese arts of refinement (the other two are calligraphy and tea ceremony, I’m doomed).

To my surprise, the ikebana scene in Spain is heavily dominated by elderly ladies who take the whole thing Very Seriously ™, so in the end the workshop was more like two of them giving instructions to each attendee and one of them just taking the flowers from you and rearranging them if you failed to heed the instructions within a couple of seconds. It was interesting though, and behold my creation:

They almost made me late for the taiko – Japanese drums – demonstration, which turned out to also be a workshop, my first time playing the drums. I’m not that good at that one, either, but let me tell you better than the flowers…

Afterwards, I wandered about the rest of the exhibition before I headed off… and this sounds really fast, but it was a good half day!