How long does it take to learn Rikka (Rikka Shofutai)?

Tradittional Rikka, or Rikka Shofutai, has the following NEW recommended curriculum from Ikenobo Kyoto headquarters:

Rikka Introduction – Level 1: the minimum of 5 lessons,
Rikka Introduction – Level 2: the minimum of 5 lessons,
Rikka Introduction – Level 3: the minimum of 5 lessons.

After these “Introduction” lessons, which consists of the minimum of total of 15 lessons in the time span of 2 to 3 years, a student would have mastered the basic techniques of Rikka. Several of my students are currently at the stage of the third to fifth lessons of Rikka Introduction – Level 1. From my teaching experiences with my students, it seems 10 lessons or so may be needed for each Level before proceeding to the next Level.

A student who completed the above introductory classes can proceed to the intermediate classes of Rikka (Shofutai). The intermediate classes teach about 30 different traditional Rikka arrangements (theme), based on the instruction book “7 Tips for Material Usage & 19 Rikka Motifs (Themes)”. A student would learn each style by taking a couple of lessons for each arrangement (style). This process would normally take 4 years or more.

Then, the student can proceed to more advanced and creative level of Rikka, taking such large-scale arrangement as Mikizukuri Rikka and Rikka Sunamono.

The master-level Rikka arrangers could further proceed to the Okuden level of Rikka after learning the most of advanced level motifs (themes).

Separately, a student who has completed the Rikka Introduction – Levels 1 through 3 can start to work on Rikka Shimputai.

Rikka Shimputai is a newage-style Rikka created by the 45th Headmaster Sen’ei Ikenobo. It is a creative and contemporary expression by each arranger using basic Rikka techniques (taught in Rikka Introduction – Levels 1 through 3).
In Rikka Shimputai, a student or an arranger is expected to use his/her creativity with the basic principles of Rikka Shimputai’s art guidelines (such as the movement, brightness, and fresh impressions) to create beautiful harmony in contemporary living environments.

In other words, in Rikka Shimputai classes, a student is on his/her own to create his/her art (within the Rikka principle). A teacher may critique the final arrangement to help the student to better express his/her art form the next time.

So, it takes about 2-3 years to learn the Rikka basics (introduction).
It takes about 4 years or more to complete the Rikka intermediate level.
Then it takes a lot more years to learn the advanced level of Rikka.
Only a hundred or so of Ikenobo’s worldwide members are probably pursuing the Okuden level of Rikka right now.

A student who thinks he/she has the creativity to challenge the Rikka Shimputai can proceed to work on it on his/her own after 2-3 years of completing Rikka Introduction – Lelevs 1 through 3.

There’s also the certificate-level prerequisite.

My Rikka class is based on this new curriculum.

Kazuko has studied the intermediate level of Rikka (Shofutai). She is planning to go back to Ikenobo Central Training Institute in Kyoto, Japan, in the near future for more advanced classes and the higher certificates.

Kazuko has the Permits (Monpyo) to teach Rikka Shimputai (which also implies Rikka Shofutai prior to advancing to the Rikka Shimputai), along with Shoka, and the new Free Style Introductory Curriculum. The Moribana and Nageire are included in the Free Style category now.
The “permit to teach (Monpyo)” means she not only studied the subject matter, but also attended and completed the teacher’s class for “How to teach” the subject matter held at Kyoto headquarters.

(under my husband’s last name.)

Kazuko’s Certificate-level Name Plate (Sekisatsu):
The Seal at the upper-right corner indicates that she attended and graduated from Ikenobo Central Training Institute in Kyoto, Japan.
This seal certifies that its holder has received the highest possible education and training as an Ikenobo Teacher.
The Seal at the lower-left corner indicates that she is certified to teach the Rikka Shimputai.

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