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Diary - Bloomin' good idea

Some of the world's finest brains have tried to tackle poor behaviour and under-achievement among boys - but the Japanese have reached back half a millennium to offer a more traditional solution.

Ikebana - the art of flowering arranging - has been popular in Japan for more than 500 years, but has long been considered a female preserve.

But now it is increasingly being used as a stress buster among Japanese men.

Some of the country's leading flower schools are offering courses for men and are finding them much in demand, as executives seek an escape from their hectic lives.

Flower compositions are said to represent the relationship between heaven, mankind and earth, and to heighten appreciation of the rhythms of the universe.

Just what your Year 9s will want to hear on a Friday afternoon.

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