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Ikebana flower arranging calms a busy world

HARMONY: As Moscow watched the Soviet empire collapse around it in 1991, an expert in the ancient art of ikebana flower arranging flew in from Japan.

For most of the 16 years since, Midori Yamada has taught Russians to search for harmony in the lines of branches, flowers and vases as attempted coups, and spectacular booms and busts played out on the streets outside.

“Our school is very strict, each flower has its laws,” she said.

“With constant work you finally learn them, but it is not the head that learns, but the heart,” she said in an interview in a northwestern Moscow apartment, transformed to feel like a little corner of Japan . . .

More information:
Japanese flower art helps calm a frantic Moscow

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