What is Ikebana?
Ikebana is the Japanese flower arrangement art and means “living flowers“. It is made by cutting branches and leaves of flowers and placing them inside vases. It imperative to have some technical and visual skills for cutting and placing flowers in a desirable way. To this end, it is strongly suggested to take some lesson on ikebana but patience is a key since it may take a few years to gain the technical and visual skills to appropriately perform this art.
Over the centuries, various styles of ikebana have emerged. Moribana, rikka, seika or shoka, jijuka and nageire are among the most common ikebana styles.
Traditionally, guest rooms are decorated with ikebana, but nowadays it is possible to come across with eye-catching works of this art in the living rooms, halls, entrances of buildings, store showcases and lobbies.
History of Ikebana
Ikebana, one of the traditional arts of Japanese culture, has been practised for more than 600 years. Ikebana is thought to have emerged from the ritual of offering flowers to the honor of deaths in Buddhist belief. Therefore, the beginning of ikebana dates back to rise of Buddhism in Japan in the 6th century. Buddhist rituals of presenting simple flowers were visually strengthened in the 10th century Japan by adding vases and vessel in these ceremonies.
The first school of ikebana was opened by the priest of Rokkakudo Temple in Kyoto. This art was named of the lake “Ikenobo” at the shore of which the priest was living.
In the mid-fifteenth century, when the first classical styles emerged, ikebana received rich status of an art form preserving its philosophical and spiritual roots while being purified from religious references. The first known written work on Ikebana was “Sendensho“, a compilation covering years from 1443 to 1536.
The first teachers and students of ikebana were people from upper classes but over time many different schools emerged and this art spread to all social classes. As time passed, ikebana held an important place in traditional festivals and exhibition.
Philosophy of Ikebana
Ikebana is an art of showing the perfect harmony between Japanese people and nature, and there is a deep and meaningful appeal to the human spirit, far beyond the physical embellishment of flowers. For this reason, ikebana is more than just flower decoration.
In principle, ikebana is not about bringing a piece of nature into the house but rather it aims at creating a bond between man-made structures with nature. .
How to Make Ikebana