Yoshiko Gilli (Ohara) was born in Nagasaki, Japan. She moved to Los Gatos 10 years ago, to be near her son and family from Fresno. She is currently a resident at the senior facility in Campbell. She enjoys working in the garden and belongs to the garden committee at the center, which occupies much of her free time and allows her to cut Ikebana material. She started Ohara Ikebana in Fresno in 1989. Mrs. Fujimoto has been her instructor since the beginning. She received the 2nd term
associate master’s degree in 2013. She belongs to Ohara Ikebana School Northern California Chapter, Ikebana International and Ikebana Teacher’s Federation. She has participated in I.I. flower shows, Bouquets to Art at the de Young Museum, ITF’s Cherry Blossom festival, and displayed and demonstrated at Ohara Chapter’s flower shows and our monthly programs.
MJ Kelly (Sogetsu) began her love for growing plants as a young child helping her father plant and care for the family’s big garden. Her dad was a son of an Iowa farmer who had a passion for growing vegetables and fruits. Even though Colorado’s growing season is short he tended his garden and produced enough food to feed his family of 4 for almost all their needs. Her mother also had an interest in gardening. She had large flower beds and brought flowers into the house during the spring and summer. Since then she has directed her passion into growing and arranging flowers. She started by studying Western Arranging under Mary Fonseca and completed her certificate as a florist. Years later she decided to explore the art of Ikebana which she has admired for many years. At first she felt that this form of flower arranging was too rigid for her free spirit. This was before she worked with Sensei Kika Shibata who is guiding her into the new and exciting world of Sogetsu. MJ Kelly has been Sensei Kika Shibata’s student for about 14 years and has earned a 4th grade teachers degree in Sogetsu. Her background is interior design and art. She has also been active as a past president for the Davis Flower Arrangers as well as the Sacramento Floral Design Guild and Ikebana International Chapter 26.
Sharon Krawetz (Wafu) studies ikebana with Fusako Hoyrup. She holds the Gakukan degree from Wafu School and is vice-president of the California Wafukai Chapter. Sharon is an active member and first vice-president o f this chapter. She is also a member of the Ikebana Teachers Federation. She exhibits at both the San Francisco and Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festivals and provides a weekly arrangement at the Cupertino Sports Center. Even after more than forty years of flower arranging, Sharon finds the classes are never repetitive, as there are always new combinations of materials and containers. The concentration required while arranging, the joy of being around fresh flowers, and appreciation of the beauty of nature brings energy to her days. When not involved in ikebana, Sharon enjoys duplicate bridge, reading, traveling and keeping up with friends and family.
Chizuko Nakamura (Ikenobo) first studied ikebana with her mother in Japan, her birthplace. After coming to the USA, she studied with Mrs. Shumika Tada. For more than four decades she has pursued her studies and perfected her art in Ikenobo. She recently attended a training course at Ikenobo headquarters in Japan to further her expertise. She has received Ikenobo’s highest diploma, Sokatoku. She demonstrates and exhibits frequently and participates at Ikenobo exhibitions. She has exhibited for the Ikebana Teachers Federation at the Cherry Blossom Festival and at various Japanese community centers and libraries. She is an active member of the Northern California chapter of Ikenobo and the Ikebana Teachers Federation.