A Memorial Tribute to Mitose Komura Ukai,
Richard Katz & Patricia Kaminski
The Penstemon Archetype:
Mitose Komura Ukai passed from this world on June 19, 2018.
For over two decades, Mitose represented the FES work in Japan, not only as the exclusive distributor of the FES essences, but also as an educator and organizer who championed the deeper soul-spiritual dimensions of flower essence therapy.
She did this work while facing the severe health challenge of recurrent cancer in her later years. Her amazing productivity was driven by a fierce spiritual will to accomplish her life’s mission, despite life-long physical challenges. It was this dedication and spiritual strength that allowed her to continue to work many years beyond what mere physical forces could sustain, until her body could no longer hold the vastness of her spiritual being. We are reminded of Dr. Bach himself, whose sense of spiritual calling allowed him to live another 19 years beyond his initial bout with cancer.
Mitose lived into the qualities of the flower essences in a deeply personal and meaningful way. The definitions were not at all academic abstractions to be memorized. For example, in 2002 she did her flower essence character study (part of the FES Practitioner certification requirements) on Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (author of On Death and Dying) as an expression of the Penstemon archetype. She wrote, in what now seems as a prophetic insight,
“I saw Penstemon flowers at the top of mountains in Sierra Nevada in 1998. The flowers grew through the rocks and seemed stood lonely in the mountain winds. … Penstemon teaches us the lesson how we follow or carry out the God's will or higher spirituality even in the circumstances of hardship and we are given the power of overcoming of such difficulties. I really would like to gain such quality of strength in the deep meaning presented by Penstemon flower essence.”
Certainly in her life and death, Mitose mastered the lesson of Penstemon.
Our Gracious Hosts in Japan
Patricia Kaminski, Mitose Kormura, Takashi Ukai and Richard Katz
Kamakura, Japan, 2004
Some of our fondest memories are from a 2004 visit to Japan, hosted with such generosity and care by Mitose and her partner Takashi. Not only did they organize classes in Tokyo and at a mountain retreat, but we also were introduced to the culture and land of Japan. We experienced a formal Japanese dinner in Tokyo, viewed historical shrines, met an herbalist on the side of Mount Fuji, and toured the Buddhist shrines in the ancient city of Kamakura.
Richard and Patricia drinking ceremonial Japanese tea
A Deep Love and Dedication for the FES Flowers
Mitose began distributing the FES essences in Japan in 1997, at a time when flower essences were barely known in the country. The following year, she attended the Flower Essence Society Practitioner Training Program at the FES headquarters Terra Flora in Nevada City, California. Mitose was deeply inspired by the FES teachings and by meeting the essence flowers in the Terra Flora Gardens and in their native Sierra Nevada wildflower habitats.
Mitose created the Association for Flower Essence Education – Japan (AFEE-J) as a vehicle for promoting the flower essences in an educational context. She gave many introductory talks and developed such an interest in the FES essences, that in 2000 she brought a group of 26 students from Japan for a FES flower essence training with Japanese translation, held at the Granlibakken Conference Center at Lake Tahoe, California, organizing the trip, registrations, and other complex arrangements with her characteristic attention to detail.
Mitose (left) at Grouse Ridge in the Sierra Nevada mountains
She returned many more times to California, bringing Japanese students to study with FES. In 2002, there were several English-speaking students who joined our Practitioner Training at Granlibakken. After our own trip to teach in Japan in 2004, there followed a series of Japanese-language Practitioner Trainings at Terra Flora in 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016. Although it was a challenge to hike the mountain trails, she never wanted to miss the opportunity for a Sierra Nevada Mountain wildflower field trip.
Mitose grew in her capacities as a flower essence educator during this period. Having achieved her own FES Practitioner Certification in 2002, she began, several years later, to mentor and evaluate Japanese students who took the FES Practitioner Training to complete their own model case studies for certification.
This year, Mitose had her heart set on returning to Terra Flora with a new group for another journey with the FES flowers in June. Instead, at the time the class had been scheduled, she made her journey to the spiritual world.
Providing FES Flower Essences for Japan's Needs
Then, in 2011, when the earthquake, Tsunami, and Fukushima nuclear disaster struck, the YES formula, along with the Magenta Mantle and many other essences and formulas, became part of the disaster relief efforts that Mitose tirelessly organized, with the help of the flower essence practitioner network she had developed.
A Profound and Insightful Flower Essence Researcher
Mitose also gave us valuable insight into many of our newer essences from her own deeply considered experiences.
“I chanted a Buddhist sutra or Shingon, a special chant to heal souls and guide them to a higher world. …Kwan-Yin appeared and led the souls to a higher world with a bright light. … I saw they were going up to the light world. A very bright light returned to me and covered me. I understood that light was a message of gratitude. … After this ceremony my physical condition recovered. I took Joshua Tree to make stable this healing and completed my healing about this experience.”
A Soul Who Still Sounds Clearly through the Flowers
We know that Mitose will continue to do her healing work with the archetypes of the flowers, now from the realm of pure spirit. We are so grateful for our connection with her, for her dedicated work for further the healing mission of the flower essences. Although she is no longer in this realm, we know that her soul sounds clearly from spirit realms. We are reminded of the words of the Japanese poet Matsuo Basho:
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