220px-Hanging scroll and Ikebana 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search{| class="metadata plainlinks ambox ambox-content ambox-Refimprove" | class="mbox-image"| | class="mbox-text"|This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2008) |} [1][2]Ikebana arrangement[3][4]A Japanese hanging scroll (kakemono) and IkebanaIkebana (生け花?, "living flowers") is the Japanese art of flower arrangement, also known as kadō (花道?, the "way of flowers").


[hide] *1 Etymology

[edit] EtymologyEdit

"Ikebana" is from the Japanese ikeru (生ける?, "to place, to arrange, life, birth") and hana (?, "flower"). Possible translations include "giving life to flowers" and "arranging flowers".[citation needed]

[edit] ApproachEdit

More than simply putting flowers in a container, ikebana is a disciplined art form in which nature and humanity are brought together. Contrary to the idea of floral arrangement as a collection of particolored or multicolored arrangement of blooms, ikebana often emphasizes other areas of the plant, such as its stems and leaves, and draws emphasis toward shape, line, form. Though ikebana is a creative expression, it has certain rules governing its form. The artist's intention behind each arrangement is shown through a piece's color combinations, natural shapes, graceful lines, and the usually implied meaning of the arrangement.

Another aspect present in ikebana is its employment of minimalism. That is, an arrangement may consist of only a minimal number of blooms interspersed among stalks and leaves. The structure of a Japanese flower arrangement is based on a scalene triangle delineated by three main points, usually twigs, considered in some schools to symbolize heaven, earth, and man and in others sun, moon, and earth. The container is a key element of the composition, and various styles of pottery may be used in their construction.

[edit] Spiritual aspectsEdit

The spiritual aspect of ikebana is considered very important to its practitioners. Silence is a must during practices of ikebana. It is a time to appreciate things in nature that people often overlook because of their busy lives. One becomes more patient and tolerant of differences, not only in nature, but also in general. Ikebana can inspire one to identify with beauty in all art forms. This is also the time when one feels closeness to nature which provides relaxation for the mind, body, and soul.

[edit] History and stylesEdit

[edit] OriginsEdit

The truth about the origin of Ikebana is unidentified. But when the Buddhism reached Japan in the 7th century, it is thought to have come to Japan as part of Buddhist practice. The offering of flowers on the altar in honor of Buddha was part of worship. Ikebana evolved from the Buddhist ritual of offering flowers to the spirits of the dead[1]. The first classical styles of Ikebana started in the middle of the fifteenth century; the first students and teachers of Ikebana were Buddhist priests and members. As time passed, other schools emerged, styles changed, and Ikebana became a custom among the Japanese society.

[edit] Origin of ikebana schools: IkenobōEdit

The history of ikebana dates back approximately 500 years ago and the history of Ikenobō — the oldest school of ikebana. The school dates its beginnings from a priest of the Rokkakudō Temple (六角堂) (the official name is Shiun-ji or Purple Cloud Temple 紫雲寺) in Kyoto who was so skilled 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 'Ikeno bō' "池坊", the name Ikenobō became attached to the priests there who specialized in these altar arrangements.

The Rokkakudō temple was erected in 587 by Prince Shōtoku (聖徳太子). It is said that Prince Shōtoku was searching for materials to build the Shitenno-ji Temple (四天王寺). During his search, one day he went to bathe in a pond, where he hung a Buddhist amulet over a nearby tree. After his bath, he tried to remove the amulet, but he was unable to do so. That same night, the Prince saw the Buddha in his dream. The Buddha instructed him to erect a temple near the pond at the cedar tree under a purple cloud. From that cedar, Rokkakudō temple was built to house a Kannon (Guan-Yin) statue.

[edit] Evolution of stylesEdit

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.

Ikebana in the beginning was very simple, constructed only a very few stems of flowers and evergreen branches. This first form of ikebana is called Kuge (供華).

Styles of ikebana changed in the late 15th century and transformed into an art form with fixed instructions. Books were written and Sedensho is the oldest one, covering years 1443 to 1536. Ikebana became a major part of traditional festivals, and exhibitions were held occasionally.

The first styles were a tall, upright central stem that had to be accompanied by two shorter stems. During the Momoyama period, 1560–1600, splendid castles were constructed. Noblemen and royal retainers did large decorative Rikka floral arrangements that were the most appropriate decoration for the castles.

The Rikka (standing flowers) style was developed as a Buddhist expression of beauty of nature. It includes seven branches representing hills, waterfalls, valleys, and other objects of nature arranged in a specific way.

When the tea ceremony emerged, another style was introduced. The style used for tea ceremony rooms was called Chabana. The Chabana style is the opposite of Momoyama style which emphasized on rustic simplicity. The simplicity of the Chabana helped create the Nageire or “thrown-in” style.

Nageire is a non-structured design which led to the development of the Seika or Shoka style. The style is characterized by a tight bundle of stems that form a triangular three-branched asymmetrical arrangement which was considered classic.

Seika or Shōka style consists of only three main branches, known as 'ten' (heaven), 'chi' (earth), and 'jin' (human). It is a simple style that is designed to show the beauty and uniqueness of the plant itself.

Jiyūka is a free creative design. It is not confined to flowers; every material can be used.

[edit] Other common styles in the presentEdit

In the 20th century, with the advent of modernism, the three schools of ikebana partially gave way to what is commonly known in Japan as Free Style. [5][6]Ikebana arrangementMoribana (upright style) is considered as the most basic structure in ikebana. Moribana literally means “piled-up flowers” that are arranged in a shallow vase or suiban, compote, or basket. Moribana is secured on kenzan or needlepoint holders, also known as metal frogs.

Moribana (slanting style) is the reversed arranging style that can be used depending on the placement of the display or shapes of the branches. Branches that look beautiful when slanted are mostly chosen for this arrangement. This style gives a softer impression than the upright style.

Nageire (upright style) is arranged in a narrow-mouthed, tall container without using kenzan or needlepoint holders. Nageire literally means "thrown in". This is a simple arrangement that can contain just one flower and does not use frogs to hold the flower(s).

Nageire (slanted style) presents a gentle touch and flexibility. It is ideal for ikebana beginners.

Nageire (cascading style) arrangements have the main stem hanging lower than the rim of the vase. A flexible material will create beautiful lines balancing with flowers.

[edit] Ikebana in contemporary Japanese cultureEdit

Ikebana remains one of the most distinct arts in Japanese culture. It is shown on television, taught in schools, and admired daily. An example of a television show that involves ikebana is Seikei Bijin (Artificial Beauty). The story incorporates the importance of natural beauty.

[edit] International OrganizationsEdit

The oldest international organization, Ikebana International, was founded in 1956.

[edit] See alsoEdit

[edit] ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ IKEBANA SOGETSU History of Ikebana | Know Sogetsu [1]

[edit] Further readingEdit

  • Ember, M., & Ember, C. r. (2001). Countries and their Cultures. New York Pearson Education, Inc. Retrieved July 30, 2008, from NetLibrary (UMUC Database) .
  • Fairchild, C. (2006). "Keiko's Ikebana: A Contemporary Approach to the Traditional Japanese Art of Flower Arranging." Library Journal, 131(1), 111-113. Retrieved July 30, 2008 from Academic Search Premiere (UMUC Database) (AN 21303368).
  • Leaman, O. (2001). Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy. London: New York Taylor & Francis Routledge. Retrieved July 30, 2008 from NetLibrary (UMUC Database).

[edit] External linksEdit

[edit] OrganizationsEdit

[edit] SchoolsEdit

[edit] Famous IndividualsEdit

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