Ikebana 生花 (Flower Arrangement)
Ikebana [生け花/いけばな] is the term for the famous traditional flower arrangement practice in Japan.
In the beginning, when “Ikebana” became popular it was a practice only to be done by male aristocrats. Later in proposedly Edo (1600-1867) women were also taught it. It has been a compulsory aspect of japanese culture aside from tea ceremony and calligraphy. In modern times it is mostly taught by women now.
At the end of the Muromachi-period the art received formal rules and conventions.
Originally, “Ikebana” was started from the monks arranged flowers to offer them to statues of the Buddha in the 6th century. “Ikebana” means “to give flowers life”. As you know from the meaning, the flowers should be arranged as if they are still living harmoniously in nature. Depending on how you arrange the flowers it is said to display your inner harmony and the cosmic arrangement of things. Three factors are relevant elements of “Ikebana”
These factors are: “Rhythm”, “Color” and “linear design”
We enjoy seeing the mystic power of plants expressed in the flower organ.
But not only the flower blossom is relevant. Also the stem, the leaves and stalk.
The flower arrangement in western countries is arranged to create an unified form when viewed from any of the three dimensions and they use the flowers in abundance.
But “ikebana” also pays attention to the space in which the arrangements have to be placed. Three groups of stems and flowers symbolizing heaven, the earth and people are arranged to represent the universal order.