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The Art Of Japanese Flower Arranging: AKA Ikebana

Amongst a group of good friends and new friends, Ben practiced the art of flower arranging in the style of Ikebana.

What is Ikebana?

Ikebana is the ancient Japanese art of flower arranging. The name comes from the Japanese ike, meaning ‘alive’ or ‘arrange’ and bana meaning ‘flower.’ The practice of using flowers as offerings in temples originated in the seventh century when Buddhism was first introduced to Japan from China and Korea, but the formalized version of Ikebana didn’t begin until the Muromachi period around the 15th or 16th century. These arrangements have since become more secular, displayed as art forms in people’s homes. However, Ikebana is seen as more than just decorative, it can be a way to develop a closeness with nature and bring the indoors and outdoors together.

Principles of Japanese Flower Arranging:

Ikebana has become an art form that is associated with a meditative quality. Creating an arrangement is supposed to be done in silence (light laughter and enjoyment is permitted) to allow the designer to calm themselves and meditate on the beauty of nature and gain inner peace. Seasoned designers realize not only the importance of silence, but also the importance of space, which is not meant to be filled, but created and preserved through the arrangements. This ties into other principles of Ikebana including minimalism, shape and line, form, humanity, aesthetics, and balance.

Flowers To Use:

The flowers and branches used in Moribana arrangements are chosen not only for their beauty, but also for how they interact with one another and with the style of Moribana as a whole. Upright arrangements often use stiff, straight branches for shin, while the slanting style is softer and projects a sense of movement by utilizing grasses and branches that grow slanting down. When choosing flowers and branches for your arrangement, it is important to keep in mind that there are endless possibilities to choose from. The most important thing isn’t a specific flower, it’s how all the pieces work together to create one expressive, meaningful piece that plays with the idea of space.



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