Hi, my name is Mieko Hirano from the San Francisco Bay Area. I have been engaged in floral design industry for a long period. I am now heading a floral design school called California Flower Art Academy serving the San Franciscco Bay Area and Silicon Valley (San Jose). Before I relocated to California from Japan back in 1987, “floral school” or “flower design school” in Japan mainly meant Ikebana school. In Japan there are so many different schools and styles of Ikebana in Japan. And many of them follow traditional Japanese floral art. In decent families, learning Ikebana used to be considered one of mandatory requirements of which skill should be earned by women preferably before getting married. Being such situation, there were uncountable number of Ikebana instructors and so many young ladies used to learn Ikebana.
Back in 1980’s European style of floral arrangement was introduced to Japan. And since then, many young women started to learn it rather than learning Ikebana arts. Nowadays, “floral arrangement” automatically means European floral designs in Japan.
Not only floral art but also so many cultures, food and fashions were heavily influenced by European and American cultures in Japan. At the moment, most of yound women want to learn European floral designs rather than learning Ikebana arts. Being such situation, many of Ikebana artists and instructors started to modify their skills into European floral art by adopting original European floral arranging skills. And new floral organizations and associations were established to make this foreign floral art popular in Japanese market.
And those floral organizations and associations started authorizing and supporting European floral designers and schools back in later 1980’s. This means there are currently uncountable number of floral art classes and schools where people can learn a variety of floral designs. Some classes speccialize in Ikebana and some in Eurpean floral arrangements. Some people are still fond of Japanese traditional floral arts (Ikebana). And some prefer to learn European floral arrangements. In Japan lots of people learn floral designs. And once they start learning floral art they usually learn to the final extent until they get a certificate of instructor or advanced course. After completing the highest level of course, some of them start teaching floral arrangement by establishing their own classes. The flower design teaching industry in Japan has been growing like a snow ball especially after European floral arrangement was introduced to Japan.
On the other hand, if we take a look at the situation of the United States, we do not find so many floral schools. Needless to say, there are not so many people who would like to officially learn floral designs by joining a school. Majority of Americnan people just attend one day seminar and they do not feel motivated to continue learning until they master floral arranging. This is the biggest different point compared with the situation in Japan. Most of Japnese people usually continue learning until they master floral designs once they start taking lessons.
In this sense, I dare say that the market of flower arranging schools in the United States is not so big especially compared with Japanese situation. Take the situation of our school (California Flower Art Academy), many Japanese students got a certificate of Advanced or Instrucctor Course. However there are only limited number of American students who get a certificate of Advanced Course and Instructor Course. The reason behind this is that most of American people prefer to attend only short seminar which is enough for them. As seen from the situation stated in the above, there are so many floral design schools in Japan. Some of them are pretty big. Some of them are very tiny. Some of them teach Ikebana. Some of them teach European floral designs. Some teach both Ikebana and European arrangements. At California Flower Art Academy we offer a wide range of programs and courses from European floral designs to Japanese Ikebana, from Wedding to Funeral floral decorations. If you are interested in learning floral designs, we highly recommend you to join California Flower Art Academy wherer you can take a lesson of ONE ON ONE instructions basd on a small group class system. You can start from Introductory Trial Budget Program for less than $100. Come join us. We help you make a difference in floral art.