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IKEBANA is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. It is more than simply putting flowers in a container. It is a disciplined art form in which the arrangement is a living thing where nature and humanity are brought together. It is steeped in the philosophy of developing a closeness with nature. As is true of all other arts, IKEBANA is creative expression within certain rules of construction. Its materials are living branches, leaves, grasses, and blossoms. Its heart is the beauty resulting from color combinations, natural shapes, graceful lines, and the meaning latent in the total form of the arrangement. IKEBANA is, therefore, much more than mere floral decoration. The growing appreciation of Japanese art and architecture in the West has extended to the Japanese way with flowers. IKEBANA is an art, in the same sense that painting and sculpture are arts. It has a recorded history; it is backed up by articulate theories; and it is concerned with creativity. In Japan, flower arrangements are used as decorations on a level with paintings and other art objects. IKEBANA and the Japanese love of nature The remarkably high development of floral art in Japan can be attributed to the Japanese love of nature. People in all countries appreciate natural beauty, but in Japan, the appreciation amounts almost to a religion. The Japanese have always felt a strong bond of intimacy with their natural surroundings, and even in contemporary concrete-and-asphalt urban complexes, they display a remarkably strong desire to have a bit of nature near them. Foreign visitors to Tokyo are often surprised to notice that their taxi driver has hung a little vase with a flower or two at the edge of the windshield. The Japanese house that does not at all times contain some sort of floral arrangement is rare indeed. Nature is always changing. Plants grow and put forth leaves, flowers bloom, and berries are borne regularly and repeatedly throughout the seasons. Nature has its own rhythm and order. The awareness of this is the first step in involving oneself in IKEBANA. In principle, IKEBANA aims not at bringing a finite piece of nature into the house, but rather at suggesting the whole of nature, by creating a link between the indoors and the outdoors. This is why arrangers are likely to use several different types of plants in a single arrangement, and to give prominence to leaves and flowerless branches as well as blossoms. Even when a single type of flower is used, an attempt is made to bring out its full implications as a symbol of nature. Do men also do IKEBANA? Both men and women study this art form. Indeed, in the past, IKEBANA was considered an appropriate pastime for even the toughest samurai. Currently, the leading flower arrangers are, for the most part, men. IKEBANA is not only an art, but an occupation for men and women alike. Is IKEBANA difficult? To say that IKEBANA is a full-fledged art does not mean that it is esoteric. The greatest creations in the field are apt to be made by the most highly skilled experts, but, as in painting and sculpture, there is plenty of room for amateurs. Almost anyone with a little time and inclination can acquire sufficient skill to make beautiful arrangements. Still, as in the other arts, it is necessary to master certain fundamental techniques before proceeding to free creation. Spiritual aspects of IKEBANA

Many practitioners of IKEBANA feel that the spiritual aspect of IKEBANA is very important. One

becomes quiet when one practices IKEBANA. It helps you to live "in the moment" and to appreciate things in nature that previously had seemed insignificant. One becomes more patient and tolerant of differences, not only in nature, but more generally in other people. IKEBANA can inspire you to identify with beauty in all art forms -- painting, music, etc., and to always expect the best in yourself. What are IKEBANA arrangements made Of? The varying forms of IKEBANA share certain common features, regardless of the period or school. Any plant material -- branches, leaves, grasses, moss, and fruit -- may be used, as well as flowers. Withered leaves, seed pods, and buds are valued as highly as flowers in full bloom. Whether a work is composed of only one kind of material or of many different kinds of materials, the selection of each element in the arrangement demands an artistic eye. An arranger with considerable technical skill combines materials to create a kind of beauty that cannot be found in nature. How is IKEBANA different from FLOWER ARRANGEMENT?

What distinguishes IKEBANA from other approaches such as "flower arrangement" is its asymmetrical form and the use of empty space as an essential feature of the composition. A sense of harmony among the materials, the container, and the setting is also crucial. These are characteristics of aesthetics that IKEBANA shares with traditional Japanese paintings, gardens, architecture, and design.

IKEBANA, one of the traditional arts of Japan, has been practiced for more than 600 years. It developed from the Buddhist ritual of offering flowers to the spirits of the dead. By the middle of the fifteenth century, with the emergence of the first classical styles, IKEBANA achieved the status of an art form independent of its religious origins, though it continued to retain strong symbolic and philosophical overtones. The first teachers and students were priests and members of the nobility. However, as time passed, many different schools arose, styles changed, and IKEBANA came to be practiced at all levels of Japanese society. When Buddhism Arrived In Japan

The beginning of IKEBANA can be traced to the 6th century introduction of Buddhism to the Japanese. Part of the worship involved the offering of flowers on the altar in honor of Buddha. In India, the birthplace of Buddhism, the flowers were placed very informally, and sometimes only petals were strewn around. However, by the time of 10th century Japan, the Japanese were presenting their offering in containers. The altar offerings were the responsibility of the priests of the temple. The Origin of IKEBANA: Ikenobo The oldest school of IKEBANA dates its beginnings from a priest of the Rokkakudo Temple in Kyoto who was so expert in flower arrangement that other priests sought him out for instruction. As he lived by the side of a lake, for which the Japanese word is Ikenobo, the name Ikenobo became attached to the priests there who specialized in these altar arrangements. Evolution of Styles Patterns and styles evolved so that by the late 15th century, arrangements were common enough that they were appreciated by ordinary people, not just the imperial family and its retainers. Thus began

the development of an art form with fixed requirements. Texts were written, the oldest being Sendensho, a compilation covering the years from 1443 to 1536. As time passed, IKEBANA became a major part of traditional festivals, and IKEBANA exhibitions were held periodically. Rules were prescribed, and materials had to be combined in specific ways. In these early forms, a tall upright central stem had to be accompanied by two shorter stems; the three stems represented heaven, man (sic), and earth. The specific Japanese names for these differed among IKEBANA schools. In 1545, the Ikenobo School, now well established, formulated the principles of rikka arrangements by naming the seven principal branches used in that type of arrangement. During the Momoyama period in Japan, 1560-1600, many magnificent castles were constructed. During the same period, noblemen and royal retainers were doing large decorative rikka floral pieces . The rikka style was considered a most appropriate decoration for these castles.

"Senko Ikenobo Rikka Makimono" (Yohmei Bunko)

The Momoyama style was, in general, notable for its excessive decor. At this same time, however, the tea ceremony made its appearance. The tea ceremony's emphasis on rustic simplicity -- with acorresponding style of IKEBANA, designed for the tea ceremony room and called chabana -contrasted sharply with Momoyama excesses.

arranged by Kozan Okada, Headmistress, Kozan School By 1600, the religious significance of IKEBANA had diminished, and the resulting floral arrangements gradually became a decorative lay art. In the Edo period (from the early 17th to the mid-nineteenth centuries), the simplicity of the chabana helped create the nageire or "thrown-in" style.

Tokyo National Museum

It was this non-structured design which led to the development of the seika or shoka style, as it is called in the Ikenobo school. This style is characterized by a tight bundle of stems which form a triangular three-branched asymmetrical structure. The form is now considered classic, and schools that teach it are called the "classical schools".

Tokyo National Museum Starting in the late 19th century, merchant princes had increasing influence in society. Up until that time, the practice of IKEBANA had been only for men, but now women were taking lessons as well. The Number of Schools Expands

At this time also, new schools began to appear. Each had its individual interpretation of seika. The first school of IKEBANA, Ikenobo, pointed the base of the stems directly down, using a komi or forked stick to hold them in place. The Koryu School placed the komi at an angle; the ends of the stems were cut at a slant and propped against the side of the vessel. The Enshu School exaggerated the curves of the branches by cutting slits in them, bending them, and inserting triangular plugs into the slits so that the branches held the desired curve. MORIBANA Style: The Ohara School

The turn of the 20th century presented a revolution in IKEBANA styles. IKEBANA was by then a popular pastime, almost a requisite for the genteel Japanese woman. Mr. Unshin Ohara, an Ikenobo professor in Kobe, invented a form of IKEBANA done in a low bowl using some of the shorter stemmed western flowers that had been introduced at the beginning of the Meiji era. He asked the Ikenobo school to include this design in their curriculum. The school refused, but he was so highly regarded

that they did give him permission to teach his new form in his own school -- if he could get pupils. It seems clear that they doubted that he could. However, his exhibition in a department store in Kobe was an immediate success, and the Ohara School was on its way. Ohara called his new form MORIBANA, meaning "piled-up", in the sense that it was not like the upright seika style. The MORIBANA style became so popular that already by 1915, most of the IKEBANA schools had incorporated it into their own curriculum; it still remains popular today. Other Modern Schools

Other IKEBANA schools arose. Koshu Tsujii, a follower of the new MORIBANA, was invited to reestablish a flower school in the Daikakuji Temple in Saga, which still today operates his school as the Saga School. Besides IKEBANA, the Saga School teaches other Japanese arts such as calligraphy. Choka Adachi initiated an "Adachi Style", using the MORIBANA form "to arrange flowers like flowers". At about the same time, another style which translates as the "literati style" began to attract interest because of its free and colorful approach. Originated by Issotei Nishikawa, it led the way to free creative arrangements. The chief exponent of this free style was Sofu Teshigahara, who founded the Sogetsu School in 1926. Others in this modern movement -- which resulted in IKEBANA being placed elsewhere than only in the tokonoma -- included the founder of the Ichiyo School. The three schools that predominate at the present time are Ikenobo, Ohara, and Sogetsu, but more than two thousand different schools of IKEBANA are registered with the Japanese Ministry of Education.

Japanese people have been celebrating various seasonal occasions with special IKEBANA. Out of them, five typical festivals are called GOSEKKU, and symbolic flowers are used in IKEBANA. Jan 1 Mar 3 May 5 Jul 7 Sep 9 SHOGATSU MOMO-NO-SEKKU TANGO-NO-SEKKU TANABATA CHOYO-NO-SEKKU (New Year's Day) (Girls' Festa) (Boys' Festa) (Star Festa) (Chrysanthemum Festa) MATSU (Pine tree) MOMO (Peach) SHOBU (Iris) TAKE (Bamboo) KIKU (Chrysanthemum)

Flowers and Plants used in Auspicious Occasions TAKE (Bamboo) SASA (Bamboo Grass) NANTEN (Nandina, Nandida) SUISEN (Narcissus)

TSURU-UME-MODOKI (Bittersweet) TSUBAKI (Camellia) SENRYO (Chloranthemum) KIKU (Chrysamthemum) SHOBU (Iris) MIKAN & YUZU (Orange) UME (Plum, Apricot) BOKE (Quince)

MOMO (Peach) MATSU (Pine tree) OMOTO (Rohdea) KANCHIKU (Non-hollow Bamboo) BOTAN (Tree Peony) SHIDARE-YANAGI (Weeping Willow) UME-MODOKI (Winterberry) ROUBAI (Wintersweet)

IV. Pictures of Ikebana

CHABANA an IKEBANA arrangement designed to be displayed in a tea ceremony room, or in connection with a tea ceremony. Like the tea ceremony itself, chabana arrangements should be simple, understated, and restrained. HANA flower(s) HANAIRE or SUIBAN flower container, vase, bowl for flower arrangement HASAMI clippers or scissors used for cutting floral and plant materials for IKEBANA. Unlike garden shears or cutters, these scissors do not have a spring in the grip. HEIKA IKEBANA arrangement in a tall, cylindrical vase with a narrow opening IEMOTO the headmaster of an IKEBANA school IKEBANA SCHOOL a school of IKEBANA is a method or style of arranging flowers and other materials. It may or may not have a physical "school building" KENZAN a holder into which flowers are insertedso that they are fixed firmly for an IKEBANA arrangement. In general, kenzan have many sharp points,and are called a "pin holder" or "needlepoint holder" in English. Also known as a "frog". KOMI a v-shaped flower holder cut from a thick branch KOMIWARA a flower holder made of straw sheaves,into which the branches used in the arrangementare inserted. MIZUGIWA the base of the arrangement; the root or origin of the flower arrangement. MORIBANA IKEBANA arrangement in a low, shallow container with a wide opening NAGEIRE STYLE an IKEBANA arrangement in a tall vase."Nageire" means "thrown-in" in the original meaning of this term,one sticks the flowers in by simply throwing them in the vase.However, the style has become formalized. RIKKA STYLE the first formal style of flower arrangement,developed in the early part of the fifteenth century. How the flowers are to be arranged is determined by strict formal

rules. SEIKA or SHOKA STYLE a type of traditional IKEBANA arrangement characterized by a tight bundle of stemswhich form a triangular three-branched asymmetrical structure. This style is similar to the rikka style, but has fewer, less strict rules. It originated in the mid18th century. TOKONOMA an alcove in a traditional Japanese-style room. The alcove is set aside for the display of beautiful objects, including IKEBANA arrangements.