The Ichiyo School's presence in San Diego started in 1969 when Haruko Crawford moved to the area and began teaching classes, first in her Spring Valley home, and eventually in Balboa Park. She was appointed Founding Director of the San Diego Branch of the Ichiyo School in 1976 by Ichiyo School Co-founder and Headmaster (Iemoto) Meikof Kasuya. In January 1983 the Branch was promoted to a Chapter and Mrs. Crawford was installed as President by then Headmaster Akihiro Kasuya. She was awarded the highest overseas rank of Executive Master in 1998. Deborah Warriner succeeded as Chapter President in 2009. She retired in 2017, but remains active in the Ichiyo School as a member-at-large and a member of the San Diego Ikebana International Chapter.
The history of the Ikenobo Chapter of San Diego is intricately tied to the life of Professor Sadako Oehler. Ikenobo Ikebana would not have flourished in San Diego without her presence in this city. In 1958, Professor Oehler graduated from the Ikenobo University Teaching Insititute in Tokyo, Japan. The following year, she moved to San Diego. Soon thereafter, in 1960, she started teaching classes and was the first Ikebana teacher in San Diego.She was instrumental in founding the Ikebana International Chapter #119 in 1968 and also the Ikenobo Chapter of San Diego in 1976. She was elected President of the Ikenobo Chapter at that time and has had a continuous reign as President until the present day. She is 96 years old and was still teaching at Balboa Park and at the Buddhist Temple in Vista until the Covid-19 Pandemic shuttered the classes.
The Ohara School of Ikebana San Diego started with Akiko Bourland who moved to San Diego from Yokohama, Japan in 1970 and founded the San Diego Ohara Chapter in 1973 until 2010. Then in 2018 she founded the San Diego Wabi Ohara Chapter . She was appointed as its President by Third Headmaster Houn Ohara and given the honorary title of Grand Master in 1996. Mrs. Bourland has taught and demonstrated in many venues since her arrival in the United States and continues to this day. For her service to Ikebana International, she was elected by the Board of Directors Tokyo, to be a life-time member.
San Diego Sakura Chapter of the Ohara School (SDSCOS) The San Diego Sakura Chapter of the Ohara School (SDSCOS) originated from the Sakura Ikebana Group founded by Jackie Zhang and her students in 2011. It was honored to be given the new name of Sakura Ikebana Group of the Ohara School (SIGOS) by Headmistress Wakako Ohara in 2012. In 2017, SIGOS was elevated by Fifth Headmaster Hiroki Ohara to an official Ohara School Study Group.
One year later, the Fifth Headmaster promoted the group to a new chapter, the San Diego Sakura Chapter of the Ohara School, and appointed Jackie Zhang as its Founding President. In the eleven years since its inception, SDSCOS has developed into an energetic, harmonious, and active chapter, which is highly regarded in the community. Its stated mission is to share, to create, and to promote Ikebana art and friendship. Under the leadership of its board and the Ohara School Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, SDSCOS envisions a bright future.
The Sogetsu San Diego Branch had its beginning when Mrs. Sumiko Lahey started her class in 1969 and held her first flower arrangement exhibition in 1978. In 1985 she was authorized by headquarters to form a Study Group and celebrated the occasion with an exhibition. In 1990, the Sogetsu San Diego Branch was established and in autumn of that year, Mrs. Lahey was appointed as its First Founding Director. In 1996, Mrs. Barbara E. Church succeeded Mrs. Lahey as Director and in the year 2000, Mr. Ronald Searfoss succeeded Mrs. Church. Mrs. Hiroko Szechinski was elected Director in 2001 and celebrated with an exhibition at that time. As of 2020, Mrs. Yumi Rakers is the Director.