Kubota’s important contributions include spreading Japanese culture in academia, public education and the arts in South Florida for more than three decades
MIAMI, Fla. – (Mar 29, 2022) On behalf of the Government of Japan, the Consul General of Japan in Miami, Kazuhiro Nakai, had the honor of presenting the Decoration of “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays” to Mrs. Mieko Kubota, former president of Ikebana International’s Miami Chapter. Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arranging.
The prestigious honor, granted by the Emperor of Japan, is conferred upon meritorious Japanese citizens and foreign nationals who have made significant contributions in the promotion of friendly bilateral relations between Japan and foreign countries.
“Mrs. Kubota’s achievements related to the spread of Ikebana as well as educational support for Japanese children, and the promotion of Japanese culture and language in South Florida have accrued to a strong and worthy witness of educational solicitude and Japanese-Floridian friendship,” said Consul General Nakai. “I am delighted to confer upon Mrs. Mieko Kubota, this most prestigious honor, which is
granted by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan to those who have contributed to friendship between Japan and foreign Nations.”
The conferment ceremony was held in the ceremonial room at the Consulate-General of Japan in Miami in the presence of Mrs. Kubota’s family members, friends, dear former students and leading members of Ikebana International’s Miami Chapter.
“I am honored and grateful to receive this decoration and see such a great result to my life’s work. In receiving this decoration, I feel myself like a representative of all of the Japanese people and others sharing in my work,” said Mrs. Kubota. “Everyone likes flowers, so if someone sees at least one flower a day, it will bring happiness to their hearts. Through the art of Ikebana, we arrange beautiful flowers to be seen but also the unseen flower, which is the flower in your heart. In doing this, we share joy.”
Mrs. Kubota’s admirable efforts have enriched many important sectors of society in South Florida including academia, public education and the arts for over three decades.
Mrs. Kubota dedicated herself to language education as well as supporting foreign students’ integration into the educational system. Noticing there weren’t many qualified Japanese teachers in South Florida in the late 1980s, she began teaching Japanese at Coral Gables High school in Miami-Dade County. From 1997 to 2007, Mrs. Kubota served as a Japanese specialist for the Bilingual Education and Foreign Language Division at the Public School Education Bureau of Miami Dade County, which is comprised of a rich and diverse community. She provided thorough English education support to about 30 Japanese students in 10-15 local public schools during her tenure. She also taught Japanese at the University of Miami and at Miami Dade College.
In addition to her work in academics, Mrs. Kubota served five two-year terms as president of Ikebana International’s Miami Chapter. Highly respected and trusted by its members, she led the chapter more years than anyone else. Through Ikebana demonstrations and workshops, Mrs. Kubota continues to introduce Japanese culture and actively participates in activities such as local media appearances, cultural projects, and festivals at schools.
Mrs. Kubota’s tireless efforts over decades are visible in her students and the flourishing of Ikebana culture in South Florida. Ikebana enjoys a strong and continuing presence at Japanese and wider Asian Cultural events supported by the Consulate-General of Japan and other important institutions and individuals who are involved in Japan-Florida relations.
For more information about the Consul General of Japan in Miami, visit http://www.miami.us.emb-japan.go.jp/itprtop_en/index.html or call (305) 530-9090.