Kayoko Fujimoto began teaching Ohara ikebana in 1952 after coming to the USA from Japan with her husband and two young sons. She has distinguished herself not only in her local ikebana activities but has been recognized by the Emperor of Japan in 2010 with the prestigious Order of the Rising Sun, Golden and Silver Rays for her outstanding service to Ikebana and promoting the traditional culture Of Japan. She had the rarified lifetime membership awarded to her by the Ohara School, received the Bunka Hall of Fame induction for contributions to Japanese ikebana and enhancing community relations. She is also a charter member and founder of both I.I. and ITF in the Bay area as well as a member of the Ohara Chapter, North American Ohara Teachers’ Association, and the Suiyo Flower Club. She continues to actively teach and demonstrate.
Fusako Hoyrup’s accolades and awards are numerous and include distinguished teaching awards from Bay Area colleges and adult education. She was inducted into the Bunka Hall of Fame in 2010 for her excellence and contribution to ikebana. In 2015, the Consul General of Japan San Francisco, recognized her for her continuous effort to share the art of ikebana in California promoting friendship and a deeper understanding between California and Japan. She teaches at the Adult and Community Education Program in the Fremont Union High School District and also gives private lessons. She is an active member of all of the flower organizations in the Bay Area and has served on the board and is past president of the Ikebana Teachers’ Federation. She is also an associate member of Sacramento and Monterey I.I. Chapters. She teaches internationally and throughout the United States.
Nobu Kurashige has a distinguished history of achievements advancing knowledge and appreciation of Japanese culture. Since1986, at the request of the Japanese government, Professor Kurashige has lectured and demonstrated ikebana in over 50 countries in Asia, Europe, Middle East, South Africa and Latin America. Some of her invitational exhibitions and displays include the Bonn National Museum in Germany, Reitberg Museum inZurich, and the Tokyo National Museum. She currently teaches privately in San Francisco.
Sumi Metz has a deep understanding and thorough knowledge of ikebana and is well known for her vibrant, fascinating creations. In 2000 Aratame Headmaster Seigyo Aratame invited Sumi to join his then-fledgling school which was founded in 1993 and asked her to become his assistant; later appointing her President of Aratame-ryu USA. Having joined I.I. in 1980, she has serving on the board of directors several times. She also is a member of the ITF. She demonstrates and exhibits for I.I. as well as businesses, schools, and other organizations in the Bay Area. Her work has been seen at the Asian Art Museum, the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show, Bouquets to Art at the de Young Museum, and the San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival. She also has exhibited in Paris, Toronto, Canada, Monterey, CA. A special honor came when she was selected as the Oversea Member Demonstrator for I.I.’s 9th World Convention in Tokyo. She also provides ikebana instruction for school children in Cupertino.
Joan Suzuki began teaching in San Francisco 1953 while assisting her mother Uchida who introduced Sogetsu to the Bay Area. In 1968 she was awarded the Model Teacher Award (Mohan- sho) and in 1973 Sofu Teshigahara, Sogetsu’s Founding Headmaster conferred the highest rank of the school, Riji, on her. His son, Hiroshi and his granddaughter Akane would go on to award Sogetsu Elyo-sho award at separate times on Mrs. Suzuki. Consul General Jun Yamada recently gave her a commendation for promoting friendship between the US and Japan thru ikebana. She is a charter member of I.I. Chapter 31 and advisor; charter member of ITF and Past President; Director Emeritus for Sogetsu SF Bay Area Branch and Active teacher and demonstrator locally and out-of-state.