Mr. Maruyama was born into a farmers’ family in Niigata prefecture, where the common viewpoint was that flowers were pointless, non functional and just something to get rid of. He used to agree, but as he got older he came to think differently and started to appreciate flowers more and more. At 18 he moved to Nagoya and started his ikebana (traditional Japanese flower arrangement) training and later returned to Niigata to set up his flower empire. Mr. Maruyama loves to be busy and is involved in countless projects. He is also the head of the Niigata Norway Friendship Association and has visited Norway more than twenty times. He particularly loves wild flowers and for our shoot suggested we’d work with fukinoto, a special edible spring vegetable that happened to grow on a hill right outside his home in Sanjo.