Ikebana – Flower Arrangement
Ikebana as an art formed about six centuries ago. Compositions began to be created by masters not only in temples, but also in the palaces of the emperor and the nobility for various events.
Japanese Ikebana (literally flowers kept alive) is a lot more complex than just flower arrangement. There are many schools and Ikenobo, Sogetsu and Ohara are the most popular.
Ikenobo is the oldest school of ikebana, founded by Buddhist priest Ikenobo Senkei in the 15th century. He is thought to have created the rikka (standing flowers) style. This style was developed as a Buddhist expression of the beauty of nature. The school is based in the Rokkakudo temple in Kyoto.
Nageire is the old form of ikebana used in the tea ceremony.
The Ohara school generally uses moribana (piled-up flowers) in a shallow, flat container.
Influence from the artistic movements of the early 20th century led to the development of jiyuka (freestyle) arrangement.
Led by Teshigahara Sofu, founder of the Sogetsu school (1927), zeneibana or avant-garde ikebana introduced all kinds of new materials, such as plastic, plaster and steel.
Today, there are about 3,000 ikebana schools in Japan and thousands more around the world.
You can call ikebana “the second life of flowers”. The master, cutting flowers, deprives them of life, but, placing them in a composition, lets them through his soul and thus resurrects them in his work. The beauty of the flower will be fully revealed when the hands of the master will transfer it to the composition. The artist must be able to understand the soul of a flower, a branch, a root, clay, to release it from captivity, to reveal its beauty. And then there will be a masterpiece. The creation of ikebana is a kind of meditation. It is necessary to disconnect from the bustle, problems and anxieties, to talk with each branch, leaf, flower. Without this communication it is impossible to feel the beauty and character of the plant.
Contact with this wonderful art gives the joy of creativity, makes us subtler and more receptive, spiritually richer and simply helps to live.
Source: www.japan-zone, Around the World magazine