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Vocabulary Quiz
arrangements • space • certain way
tea ceremony • complicated • ladder
  1. Is this meal really ?
  2. He is working his way up the social in the neighborhood.
  3. Do you feel comfortable in your new ?
  4. Did you go to a in Japan?
  5. We have been busy with flower for Mother's Day.
  6. He has a that he likes to do things.
Comprehension Quiz
Answer the following questions about the interview.
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6 Japanese Culture
Reiko talks a little about Ikebana and the Japanese tea ceremony.

  • Transcript
  • Audio Notes
Vocabulary notes (text only) explain key vocabulary and phrases from the interview.

art of flowers or flower arrangement

Ikebana is an art of flowers different from Western-style flower arrangement.

A 'flower arrangement' is a combination of cut flowers put together to make a house decoration.  The 'art of flowers' is putting flowers together in this combination. Notice the following:

  1. The flower arrangements for the wedding are beautiful.
  2. She has always been talented in the art of flowers.


Ikebana is about the air between the flowers and the room, and the space or the universe.

In this case 'space' is used to talk about the area beyond the earth's atmosphere that has other planets.  In a more general sense 'space' can be used to describe the open areas around us. Notice the following:

  1. Part of inner peace is being comfortable with the space around you.
  2. They use the space in the house really well.

certain way or tea ceremony

In the tea ceremony, there's a certain way you have to make tea.

A 'certain way' is a specific and particular way of doing something. In this sense kind of like a ritual.  A 'tea ceremony' is an event in which tea is prepared and served in a traditional and ritualistic way.  Notice the following:

  1. Is there a certain way you want me to do this?
  2. Bread must be made in a certain way or it won't turn out well.

complicated (procedure)

The tea ceremony seems to be a complicated traditional procedure.

If something is 'complicated' it is difficult and usually has a lot of details or specific actions that go along with it.  Notice the following:

  1. Is the surgery a complicated procedure?
  2. I hate this phone because it is really complicated.

climb up the ladder (in the hierarchy)

You need to pass each test to climb up the ladder in the hierarchy.

To 'climb up the ladder' in a social sense means to rise to a higher social position.  We can also use 'the ladder' in a professional sense when you get promotions in your job.  Notice the following:

  1. You are really climbing up the ladder at your company.
  2. She climbed up the ladder by marrying him.