ATSUKO BERSMA WAS BORN IN YOKOHAMA
and started taking ikebana lessons at the age of 11. Since 1970, she has combined her studies with teaching Sogetsu-style ikebana in the various places she has lived around the world. Sogetsu, the most avant-garde among the major ikebana schools, emphasizes creativity. Atsuko founded the Ikebana International Hana Chapter of Belgium and was its first president (1996-2000) and was chairperson of the Study Group Sogetsu Azalea (SGSA) in Belgium (2001-2009).
ALSO KNOWN BY HER FLOWER NAME TONSEN,
Atsuko has given many demonstrations and workshops throughout Europe. In March 2003, she received the prestigious Sogetsu Overseas Award for her teaching efforts and the spreading of ikebana around the world. That year as well, she made stage arrangements for classical music concerts at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels. In October 2005, she held a solo exhibition at Maison Cauchie in Brussels to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the classified Art Nouveau building. In 2007, she received the Sogetsu 80th Anniversary Overseas Commemorative Award in Tokyo. In October 2015, she celebrated 45 years of teaching and the 25th annual exhibition with her students at Belgium’s National Botanic Garden. In 2017 she received the Overseas Honour Award on the occasion of Sogetsu’s 90th Anniversary celebration, as well as the “Foreign Minister’s Commendation” for her remarkable contribution to the promotion of friendly relations and spreading the Japanese Culture for many years.
© Yoshiko Terada