Ikebana

A very large ikebana display

Ikebana is the common term used for Japanese flower arrangement. The art is also referred to as kado ("the way of flowers"). Different schools of ikebana exist today with a variance in style. Some schools advocate that flowers should be arranged in a way that they look as if they were in the wild; others pay attention to precision of shape, line and form, going as far as to prescribe rules that dictate the angles that the branches should make.

In addition, modern styles of ikebana (avant-garde ikebana) have evolved, some of which even use glass, iron, and other materials instead of flowers. The container of the plant plays a role in the composition as well. The type of container used also varies according to taste, ranging from simple squarish ones with subdued colors to those with unique shapes or extravagant designs.

Well known schools of ikebana include the Ikenobo, Sogetsu and Ohara schools. The two latter schools offer day classes in English on selected days each week at their centers in Tokyo. Reservations have to be made via e-mail or phone. A class takes around two hours and costs about 4000 yen (see links below). In addition, the Hanatoro event that takes place twice a year in Kyoto is a good occasion to see ikebana creations.

Ikebana compositions often decorate the alcove of traditional Japanese rooms

Last updated: November 24, 2013
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