2010 Florida Folk Heritage Award
Mieko Kubota is an expert practitioner of ikebana, the centuries-old Japanese art of flower arrangement. Traditional ikebana unites flowers and greenery to form an arrangement that reflects on the artist's interpretation of natural forces; the effect is a work of living art. Born in Japan, Kubota was encouraged by her parents to study ikebana as a teenager. Over the course of more than fifty years, she has become a respected and passionate ikebana master. In south Florida, she is the widely acknowledged authority on ikebana, where she is a past president of the Miami chapter of Ikebana International, and has worked in Miami with the Japanese Consulate, Ichimura Japanese Gardens, and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Widely appreciated for her knowledge of other Japanese traditions, Kubota is an expert creator of origami, a tradition that she has taught her daughter and grandchildren. She also practices bonsai and the tea ceremony, and, like her mother, writes poetry and practices calligraphy. Recognized for her exceptional artistry, Kubota is passionately committed to sharing her Japanese culture with others.