HISTORY OF SOGETSU DALLAS BRANCH
The 50's, 60's and 70's in Dallas were an era of transition. If we had realized what a good time we were having we might have enjoyed it more.
Yasuko Robinson had already done a fine job of getting a large group interested in Sogetsu ikebana and had laid a firm foundation for a registered Sogetsu group.
Stanley Marcus had for several years been showcasing different countries with "FORTNIGHT CELEBRATIONS." In 1974, Neiman's extended an invitation to Kasumi Teshigahara, then Vice-President and Master Teacher of the Sogetsu School in Tokyo, for a month long visit in Dallas for "FORTNIGHT JAPAN 1974" which featured all things Japanese including ikebana. It was an exciting time. Yasuko and Sogetsu School knew we were ready. So plans were made for Kasumi to charter Sogetsu Dallas Branch while she was in Dallas.
In May 1927 in Tokyo, Sofu Teshigahara formed a new school of ikebana, "THE SOGETSU SCHOOL." Sofu took the name from the two Chinese characters meaning "Grass" and "Moon." The combination of these two words transmits a vast feeling of the universe.
At the end of World War II everything in Japan was broken. Mr. Sofu pulled himself and his school together and began using even rubble at his feet to make arrangements, showing the world there was beauty to be found everywhere. His school flourished.
Mrs. Hisako Yamaguchi, Director of Overseas Department in Tokyo, advised me that there are 46 Branches of Sogetsu School in Japan. In 1964 the first overseas Branch was formed in Hawaii with Kikuyo Yamasaki as Director. Now there are 67 Sogetsu Branches in 24 countries.
The beautiful Miss Kasumi arrived in Dallas as honored guest of Neiman Marcus in October 1974. Mary Sugiyama, Sogetsu United States Director, came as translator. Many plans were being made. Our important day was November 14th, at 11:00 A.M. The champagne/buffet at the beautiful "21 Club on Turtle Creek" was a roaring success. We knew we had arrived when Kasumi handed the paper making her Director of Sogetsu Dallas Branch. There were 33 registered student members and many invited guests attending. It was a lovely day.
(From a document written in 1994 for the 20th Anniversary Celebration
on November 5, 1994, at Royal Tokyo Sayonara Dinner)