"Japan National Day" at Floriade promoting Japanese flower culture concluded with a spectacular Hanaike Battle

Most countries that are present at Floriade with a pavilion organise a National Day during Floriade. On these days, the host countries provide a special cultural programme on the Main Stage and show the best of their home countries: music, dance or theatre. Wednesday September 7th was the celebration of Japan National Day at Floriade to promote Japan and the Japanese flower culture in the Netherlands in cooperation with related parties such as flower and landscaping businesses.

The highlight of the day was the spectacular Hanaike Battle tournament, a floral art battle between Japanese and Dutch flower arrangers and flower artists. Mr. Atsushi Nonaka, State Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, parliamentarians and representatives of companies in the floriculture industry were among the attendees. In the afternoon a Business Opinion Exchange Meeting took place with flower and landscaping businesses. On September 8th and 9th visitors could enjoy traditional Japanese games and activities such as Kendama, Koma and Calligraphy and Japanese Drum Workshops.

Ceremony Japan National Day

After the flag ceremony by Floriade Scouting Team several speeches followed from the King’s Commissioner of the Province of Flevoland Mr. Leen Verbeek, Mrs. Annemarie Jorritsma, Commissioner General Floriade Expo 2022 and Mr. Hideshia Horinouchi, ambassador of Japan in the Netherlands. Also the International Horticultural Exposition 2027 by Yokohama City in Japan was presented.

In her speech Commissioner General Annemarie Jorritsma emphasised that flowers play an important role in everyday life, as well as in the warm relations between the two countries. “The Sakura is the national flower of Japan, symbolising hope and a new beginning but also the fleeting nature of life. The Sakura blooms only for a short period of time, just like the famous Dutch tulip. But although our flowers bloom briefly, that does not apply to our friendship which is over 400 years old. We are very proud of this long history the Netherlands has with Japan. We are therefore delighted with the Japan participation and we also thank Yokohama Expo for the active contribution to the exhibition.”, said the commissioner.

Hanaike Battle

The Japanese delegation and hundreds of visitors enjoyed the Hanaike Battle on the Main Stage with live Japanese music. The tournament-style flower arrangement battle was held between Japanese and Dutch flower arrangers and flower artists. In this 5-minute exciting competition the contestants arranged flowers in front of the audience with one simple rule. The contestant who receices the most votes from the audience wins. The flower artists who battled against each other were Mario Hirama, Mino Kochi and Syo Sogabe from Japan and the Dutch flower artists Mike Boerma, Marloes Joore and Anne Riet Vugts. Ikebana artist Mario Hirama was the winner of the battle at Floriade. “Hanaike” is a word that describes all actions of “flower arranging”, including the traditional Japanese floral culture “Ikebana” and global “floral design”. The award of the battle tournament was presented by Mrs. Annemarie Jorritsma, Commissioner General of Floriade Expo 2022.

Exhibition Satoyama Farm Garden

The theme of Japan pavilion ‘Satoyama garden’ is inspired by the traditional ecological lifestyle in which the inhabitants are very conscious of natural resources and people live in harmony with the environment. This theme connects perfectly with the Floriade theme of Growing Green Cities. The main exhibition at the Japan Exhibition Hall of the Satoyama Farm Garden is organised by the International Horticultural Exposition Association 2027 and the city of Yokohama. Along with the waterside urban landscape, the exhibition is based on the landscape of Yokohama, where the world’s unique gardens are unfolding in the rich nature of the suburbs. The ikebana exhibition is an exhibition by the Ohara school and expresses the image of the majestic mountains that can be seen in the distance. In addition, flower arrangements, bonsai, and Japanese cut flowers are exhibited.

For the Japan outdoor exhibition at Floriade flowerbeds were created with tulips in the spring, followed by perennials including lilies, which were introduced to the Netherlands by Japan. The naturalistic garden expresses the transitions of the seasons in a purely Japanese way. Techniques learned from the Netherlands have evolved in a way unique to Yokohama and then began to spread throughout Japan. Gardening techniques were learned from Jacqueline van der Kloet, one of the garden designers of Floriade.