Historically in Japan there were so many Ikebana artists. Nowadays not only Ikebana artists but also uncountable number of European floral designers are actively working in Japanese floral art industry.
When I began to learn floral designs, I was at a high school in Japan. At that time, there was no European or American style of floral arrangement in Japan. The art of Ikebana dominated the world of Japanese floral art. We did not use the terminology of “Flower Arrangement” or “Floral Design”. Instead all we used is only “Ikebana” or “Kado” which means Japanese traditional floral art.
Back in 1980s, European floral arrangement was introduced to Japan. After that it became a kind of boom especially among young ladies. The majority of Japanese young ladies paid attention to European floral art rather than traditional Ikebana arrangement.
Once they began to learn floral arrangements, many students usually continued to learn until they got the certificate of intermediate, advanced or instructor course. The majority of students usually continue learning until reaching the advanced level and this was one of typical traditional cultures in Japan.
Suppose they learned floral arrangement, Ikebana or European design, for only a couple of months, they never say “I have learned floral arrangement”. This can be said not only for floral art but also for any kind of learning. If they learned English conversation for only a couple of months, they never say “I have learned English conversation”. According to their common sense, learning only a couple of months does not mean “leanred”. Needless to say learning only a month, week or attending one day seminar is nothing but a simple experience and they cannot say “I have ever learned such and such”.
Above mentioned situation means that the skill level of most floral artists in Japan is pretty high even if they do not have certification of an instructor.
As mentioned in the above European floral art landed in Japan in 1980s. This means that after 1980s Japanese floral industry became dominated by traditional Ikebana arts and European floral arrangement. On top of uncountable conventional floral designers (Ikebana artists), so many new type of floral designers (European floral artists) were born especially among young generations.
At the same time, lots of new associations and groups were established to organize and promote European floral art. Because of this situation, the absolute number of floral artists and flower designers became tremendously high. Although Ikebana used to be learned mainly by women who belonged to a decent society, it looks like European floral arrangements were more widely accepted especially by a young generation.
Due to a very diligent and aggressive promotion of European floral art by enthusiastic pioneers and founders of new organizations, they successfully grow so many advanced class designers and also instructors. If I compare the situation with other countries, the situation of Japanese floral design industry looks quite unique and outstanding in various senses. According to my perception and best knowledge, not only the number of floral artists but also the number of floral classes, flower schools and floral design associations (organizations) is uncountable, which cannot be found in other countries.
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