Fifteen residents of Kane Glen Hazel recently had the opportunity to participate in a learning session about an intriguing part of Japanese culture when they learned about the Japanese art of flower arrangement, known as Ikebana. The session was part of an ongoing series of cultural programs that help introduce the residents to new and enjoyable activities.
Ikebana, which stands for "flowers kept alive," is a disciplined art form in which nature and humanity are brought together. Unlike normal floral arrangement, Ikebana often emphasizes other areas of the plant, such as its stems and leaves. It draws emphasis toward shape, line, and form.
"It was very exciting to have Kaori Kanemitsu come in and introduce the residents to Ikebana, and the residents seemed to really enjoy it," said Gwendolyn Baugh, Volunteer Services Supervisor at Kane Glen Hazel. “The session stimulated conversation about flowers and decorating in general – some of the residents remembered how they spruced up their own homes.”
Though it was the first time Kaori presented Ikebana at a skilled nursing facility, it was not the first time she has made this presentation. She recently presented at Phipps Conservatory and the Carnegie Museum.
Kane Glen Hazel has had a group of international volunteers come to Kane Regional Centers since 2006. Kaori, a citizen of Japan, has been living in the United States for the past few years as her husband works at UPMC to become a transplant surgeon, but will be returning to her home country in the near future.
"Kaori is part of our international volunteers that we have come in every Friday," said Baugh. "She's been great to have around, and we're sad that she is heading back to Japan."
For more information, please contact Gwendolyn Baugh, Volunteer Services Supervisor, Kane Glen Hazel, at 412.422.6983, or Bryan Nicodemus, Community Outreach Representative, at 412.422.6773.