A remarkable artist widely known for her knowledge and achievements came to our stage in November. Throughout her life Hideko Metaxas has embraced many arts of Japan with her characteristic enthusiasm, energy and humor. She is a renowned teacher of Ikenobo ikebana, Bonsai, Suiseki and Tokonoma display. Her work has been a source of inspiration worldwide through personal appearances and publications. In 2004 she received the prestigious Green and White Award from Japan's Agricultural Society in recognition of 30 years of dedication to horticultural arts. The Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) awarded her its President's Award for distinguished service in 1996.
Born in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, she studied English as a young woman and worked as a telephone operator at a U.S. Army base in Japan. There she met her future husband and after their marriage, they moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1953. She continued her education and received a degree in ornamental horticulture from City College of San Francisco. Her family includes two grown children and four grandchildren.
Hideko's involvement with the GSBF has placed her in many roles - twice a trustee, president from 1990-1991, committee chair, program coordinator, convention demonstrator, lecturer, interpreter, and author of articles about Suiseki and Tokonoma display. She began her study of bonsai in 1970 with Bob Kato and in 1974 she began ikebana studies with Mrs. Kinko Saiki. She began her extensive study and collection of Suiseki with Keiseki Hirotsu in 1979. Hideko's hillside garden is filled with hundreds of bonsai, both rare and common, large and small. Her home is filled with her stunning collection of Suiseki, rocks she has found all over the world on many journeys. A woman of abundant vigor, she also manages to study calligraphy, ceramics, and brush painting.
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