Enlightened Heart: Fire-engraved Wood Sculpture by Ping Wei

Borrowing from a vast store of East Asian poetry, legends, and spiritual and philosophical traditions, ceramicist and Ikebana master Ping Wei of Phoenix, Arizona uses wood-burning tools to meticulously fire-engrave wood tablets and sculpture of his own design with calligraphy and other images that evoke the theme of the “Enlightened Heart.”

For a preview of Ping Wei’s exhibition and a chance to discuss with him his sources of inspiration, join us at a free artist reception in our Art Gallery on October 15, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

Then return as often as you like to visit the show, which opens October 16 and runs through December. Viewing hours are Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. The exhibition is closed Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, and December 24, 25, and 31. Entrance is free with regular Gardens admission, and all items are for sale, tax free.

Tea Ceremony

Take part in one of Japan’s signature rituals on Saturday, October 28, and see why refinement and subtlety are by-words in Japanese culture. In traditional kimono and following canons of etiquette established nearly 1,000 years ago, a master of “The Way of Tea”  will prepare and serve you a cup of matcha, or powdered green tea, and a traditional Japanese sweet to nibble. The elegant art of the ceremony, the reverence with which it is performed, and the emotional effect it produces will leave a deep and lasting impression on you.

The ceremony will be held between 4:30 and 5:30 pm. Because this is among our most popular events at Yume, advance reservations are required to attend. Please RSVP by October 24 to yume.gardens@gmail.com, with your name, telephone number, and the number in your party. The cost is $15 per person, plus regular Gardens admission. Members of Yume Japanese Gardens pay only the ceremony attendance fee. If you must later cancel your reservation, please notify us as soon as possible, so that we may accommodate others who wish to participate. Not intended for children under 15.

Enchanted Evening Strolls

Venture into the Gardens after dusk and experience the bewitching glow of candle- and lantern light, accompanied by evocative recorded traditional Japanese melodies played on bamboo flute.

You can stroll our paths from 7:00 to 8:30 pm November 10 to 12, in search of haunting perceptions of a landscape that you can sense, but not readily see. The admission cost of $10 for adults and $5 for children entitles you to enter the entire area of the Gardens. Prepare to be beguiled!

Fall Ikebana Floral Festival

Once each Fall and Spring, we throw open the doors of Yume Japanese Gardens to the members of five different schools of Ikebana. The result: elegant floral displays throughout our grounds, museum, and art gallery that capture the harmony, discipline, and refinement of traditional Japanese flower arranging.

Our Fall Ikebana Floral Festival has always been among our most-appreciated events, so this year we are extending it for five days, and including 50 arrangements. If you have attended before, you know why people return year after year; if you have not, see its attractions for yourself.

9:30 am to 4:30 pm daily, November 21 through November 26 (closed Thanksgiving Day, November 23). Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for children under 15, and includes entrance to all areas of the Gardens.

Between Folds: Origami Classical And Modern

Cleverly transforming a flat square of paper into three-dimensional sculpture through folding and without the use of scissors or glue is a beloved pastime in Japan among both children and adults, dating from the Edo period (1603–1867). Called origami, paper folding produces creations as wide-ranging as a person’s imagination: animals, from horses to rabbits; sea creatures, from whales to seahorses; insects, from crickets to butterflies; trees and flower blossoms; figures of geisha and samurai; and even action figures, such as cranes with movable wings.

“Between Folds: Origami Classical and Modern” features ingenious folded paper forms by origami artist M. Craig. Raised in Japan and America, “M, as she calls herself, holds a degree in Fine Arts and is co-founder of the Tucson Origami Club and has taught Japanese paper-folding techniques throughout the Tucson region since 1996. She has also exhibited at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

Our exhibition runs October 1 through December 31, and entrance is free with regular Gardens admission. Also of interest: a parallel exhibition of larger-than-life metal origami sculptures – “Origami in the Garden” – opens October 9 at the nearby Tucson Botanical Gardens.

Mingei: Old Japan on Hand

The human touch in folk crafts in Japan was largely brushed aside by the country’s rapid modernization in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In response, there has arisen a folk art preservation movement called mingei.  It focuses on the beauty in objects created by average people that are practical and used in daily life.

Our new museum gallery and its permanent exposition, “Mingei: Old Japan on Hand,” shows the movement to be a distinctly Japanese appreciation of the traditional. Mingei challenges narrow definitions of art by focusing on utilitarian items made by their everyday users, rather than on refined works from professional artists. Our collection includes objects spanning more than 150 years. It celebrates nameless creators who used materials as common as themselves – stone, ceramics, textiles, paper, bamboo, lacquer, and wood – to make functional things that are humble, but nonetheless of value, because they preserve the sense of the personal in an era of mass production.

The Spirit of Ikebana

The discipline and pleasures of traditional Japanese flower arranging may appeal to you, but you may have hesitated to enroll in one of our Ikebana workshops for actual instruction.

Now you can get your feet wet by delving into the history and philosophy of Ikebana with this presentation, and then watch a demonstration of basic arrangement principles by Patricia Deridder, founder and executive director of Yume Japanese Gardens. Drawing on 45 years of learning and practicing the tradition and a life-long pursuit of its meditative Zen ethos, she will illustrate techniques used by masters of the Ikenobo school of Ikebana in the most classical form of the art, dating back 550 years.

Join Patricia for this introduction to one of Japan’s most distinctive cultural hallmarks on October 13, from 10:00 to 11:30 am. The cost is $10, and does not include Gardens admission.

Fall 2017 Ikebana Classes

If you have marveled at the floral arrangements in our Ikebana exhibitions and wished that you could make such striking displays for your home or as gifts for family and friends, consider enrolling in one of our many Ikebana classes. They are educational, entertaining, and will acquaint you with a quintessential and cherished element of Japanese culture.

Ikebana originated in the 7th century, under the influence of Buddhist priests, and is much more than a simple expression of creativity like the Western custom of putting pretty flowers in a vase. A disciplined and meditative art form with deep-rooted rules, it bestows special benefits on those who practice it: inner peace, and harmony with nature, both while creating an arrangement and when contemplating it later.

As a living tradition, Ikebana has evolved into a number of major schools over the centuries. We offer two-hour classes by certified instructors in the techniques of the Ikenobo and Sogetsu schools. Ikenobo is the oldest school and emerged in the 1550s. It specializes in a time-honored classical manner of arrangement. Sogetsu developed in 1926 and makes use of a wider range of plant and other materials to achieve a style that is more fluid and free-form.

There is a $25 instruction and floral materials fee for Ikenobo classes; Sogetsu classes cost $35. Fees do not include entry to the Gardens, and are payable to the instructor by check or cash in class. Advance registration is required: please email yume.gardens@gmail.com specifying which class(es) or sessions(s) you wish to attend.

Sogetsu School Classes:  
SEPTEMBER 15  Two sessions: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 – 3:00 0 pm
OCTOBER 15  Two sessions: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 – 3:00 pm
NOVEMBER 19 Two sessions: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 – 3:00 pm

Ikenobo School Classes:
OCTOBER 17  6:00 – 8:00 pm
OCTOBER 22 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
NOVEMBER 12 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
NOVEMBER 14  6:00 – 8:00 pm
DECEMBER 5  6:00 – 8:00 pm
DECEMBER 10 10:00 am – 12:00 pm