Japanese Flower Arrangement

Flowers and nature are an integral part of Japanese art. The Japanese people have great respect for all forms of nature; it plays a big role in Japanese life. Japanese flowers have been an important part of Japanese history and an essential part of life in Japan. Flowers are embedded deeply into every part of Japanese culture. It is present in many forms, in pray and worship, in Japanese art and Japanese flower arrangement.

Japanese Flower Arrangement is also known as 'Ikebana'. The Japanese art of arranging flowers is an age old tradition in Japan; it began in the 6th century in Japanese Buddhist temples. The arrangement is very simple; it does not involve too many elements like western flower arrangements. However this simple flower arrangement has many rules and there is a well defined structure according to which the flowers and foliage have to be arranged.

The arrangement follows a structure that has a philosophical meaning and symbolizes heaven, earth and man. The flowers at the top of the flower structure represent heaven; the ones in the middle and the end of the structure symbolize earth and man. These arrangements focus on linearity, color and rhythm. It is a wonderful harmony of uncomplicated linear construction, the delicate and subtle beauty of flowers and other elements of nature. Arranging flowers the Japanese way incorporates a few leaves and stems too.

Unlike western flower decorations which focus mainly on the beauty of the flowers, Japanese flower arrangements focus on more elements. The art of Japanese flower arranging has been developed to include the flowers, branches, vase, stems and the leaves. The vase chosen will depend on the kind of flower arrangement. Usually ceramic and bronze vases were used in traditional arrangements, but vases made of bamboo, glass and steel are also used.

The two main kinds of arrangements are Nageire and Moribana. There are many kinds of schools of Ikebana:-

  • Ikenobo
  • The Ohara School
  • The Chiko School
  • The Ichiyo School
  • The Kozan School
  • Saga Goryu School
  • Ryusei-Ha School