Ikenobo Yasuko (池坊保子)
Yasuko IKENOBO (April 18, 1942 -) is a Japanese politician. She is a member of the Diet and belongs to the New Komeito Party (fourth period). She is also an expert at flower arrangement.
Yasuko IKENOBO was born in Tokyo as the third daughter of Michitora UMETANI, who was a member of the House of Peers (Japan) (a viscount and a descendant of the former Urin family). She is a relative of the current Emperor Akihito.
After being educated at Gakushuin Primary School and Gakushuin Girls' Junior and Senior High Schools, Yasuko IKENOBO entered the Department of Japanese Language and Literature of the Gakushuin University Faculty of Letters. Dropping out of university in 1961, she married Senei IKENOBO, the head of the Ikenobo School of Flower Arrangement in 1963. She and her husband Senei have two daughters: the eldest daughter, Yuki IKENOBO (Senko IKENOBO) (currently designated as the next head of the Ikenobo School, former Ikenobo Deputy Director and President of the Ikenobo Center Institute) and the younger daughter, Mika IKENOBO (current Representative of the Ikenobo Youth group). After her marriage, she worked to spread the flower arrangement art worldwide as the young wife of the head of the Ikenobo School. She subsequently served as the Director and President of Ikenobo College to support her husband Senei.
After Masafumi IKENOBO, the husband of her eldest daughter Yuki, who formerly worked as a government official in the Finance Ministry, was defeated in an election, Yasuko IKENOBO was requested by the then New Frontier Party to run as a candidate for a proportional representation election (ranked first on the list of candidates) and she was elected as a representative for the first time in 1996 in the 41st general election of the members of the House of Representatives. When the New Frontier Party was dissolved, she chose to change her political affiliation to the New Heiwa Party, and then to the New Komeito Party. Consequently, she became the only member of the House of Representatives from the New Komeito Party who was not affiliated with Soka Gakkai (among members of the Diet, Shozo KUSAKAWA, the Vice President of the New Komeito Party, is not affiliated with Soka Gakkai).
Her eldest daughter, Yuki, married Masafumi, a former government official of the Finance Ministry, in 1991, and her second daughter, Mika, married a reporter of NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) in 2000.
Yasuko IKENOBO is active mainly in education areas, and has served as the Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and as the Chairperson of the Committee on Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of the House of Representatives.
In 2008, she was nominated the Vice-Chairperson of the Women's Committee of the New Komeito Party and served as a special adviser of the party headquarters in Kyoto Prefecture.
She presented semi-nude photos of herself in the 1984 March issue of the Kodansha's magazine, 'Penthouse,' causing a scandal.
Major parliamentary associations
Parliamentary Association of Representatives Who Admire the Japanese Traditional Culture and Flower Arrangement
Parliamentary Association for Measures to Prevent the Decline in Birthrate
Parliamentary Association for the Future of Children
Parliamentary Association for Music
Parliamentary Association for Art
Parliamentary Association for the Promotion of the Kimono Culture
Parliamentary Association for UNICEF
Parliamentary Association for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Parliamentary Association for the Friendship between Japan and Germany
Parliamentary Association for the Friendship between Japan and Korea
Parliamentary Association for the Beijing Olympic Games
Public offices held
Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Senior Vice Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
The House of Representatives
Chairperson of the Committee on Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Vice Chairperson of the Women's Committee
Adviser of the Kyoto Headquarters