A pair of senior high school students from Kagawa Prefecture in early February won the national high school Hanaike Flower Arrangement Battle, a competition in which young people from all over the country compete to create the best floral display.

The competition was held in Rexxam Hall in Takamatsu on Feb. 4.

It was the third straight year that Ayu Kurokawa and Fuuka Hata, both 18-year-old students at Hanzan High School, took part in the national competition of flower arrangement, a practice known as "ikebana" in Japan.

Ayu Kurokawa (L) and Fuuka Hata pose for a picture in front of their final product at Rexxam Hall in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture.

Kurokawa and Hata, who competed under the team name "Hanzan Hana Emi", which translates to Hanzan Flower Smiles, became Kagawa Prefecture's first winners of the event.

The event has been held since 2017, when the prefectural government and Japanese ornamental plant manufacturers came together to make Kagawa Prefecture the mecca for high school ikebana devotees.

For teams to acquire the right to compete on the national level, they must first win the preliminary rounds held in their local districts. This year, the event saw the most participants in the heats, some 260 teams from 113 different schools. Only 11 of the teams advanced.

After reaching the nationals two years in a row, Kurokawa and Hata easily won through the preliminaries. In the finals, they showed great focus and used their sharp intuition to produce a masterpiece and capture top spot.

The Shikoku Shimbun

Related coverage:

Karate school members engage in midwinter training at Kagawa Pref. beach

Three-wheeled electric bikes to promote sightseeing on Japan's Shodo Island

Dinosaurs dash for kids' health on Kanonji beach