What is Ikebana? Japanese Flower Arrangement | 2021

Flowers are considered nature’s charismatic way to show love and emotion. As Buddha said,

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower our whole life would change.”

-Buddha

According to Japanese people, flowers are not only a mere object; flowers are considered a symbol of the inner emotion of human beings. Today we are going to talk about Ikebana; what is Ikebana, what is the purpose of it, different types of ikebana, and rules of it.

What is Ikebana

What is Ikebana?

Ikebana or Kado is a Japanese flower arrangement that is known for making the flowers alive by its expressive styles and unique art form.

What is the purpose of Ikebana?

Ikebana was first introduced to Japan by Buddhist priests. It is not just a simple flower arrangement where flowers are just put together in a vase rather it holds a symbolic meaning. Ikebana is used to make offerings to Buddha.

Japanese believe that offering of gods should not be meaningless; it should be made with time and effort and must contain a significant meaning. Throughout the century the art form of Ikebana changed many times but the internal meaning stayed the same.

Each flower has its own different aspects. The petals, stems, and branches of flower trees differ from one another. By understanding the different natures of each flower and stem one can make a different form of Ikebana.

It is said that the balance of nature can be found through Ikebana. This flower arrangement needs lots of time and effort and one needs to connect through the earth while making this. In ancient times people who went to war used to take Ikebana training as they believed it would calm their minds and they could make clear decisions because of this.

Ikebana is also practiced for spiritual benefits as people can connect themselves with nature through this. While doing Ikebana one should remain silent because it is believed that only through silence the beauty of nature can be appreciated.

Ikebana for Beginners

Ikebana is hard to do as it takes much attention and care but it’s not impossible at all. There are various schools in today’s world to learn Ikebana. However, to learn Ikebana firstly you have to be prepared to give your time behind it. Then you have to select a place for it which cannot be too warm or too cold as the flowers’ texture will be disrupted by this.

For beginners, there is a basic Ikebana “Tateru Katachi” which follows Ohara School art style where you do not need a lot of flowers but you can create a very beautiful Ikebana. Now get ready to do your first Ikebana!

Ikebana Flower Arrangements for beginners
Ikebana Flower Arrangements for beginners

Tools that you need for Ikebana

You need a few tools first to do Ikebana-

The vase should be like Ohara school of Ikebana and can be found in local stores or online shops. Kenzan is basically a flower holder where you will stick your stems and flowers on it. If you don’t have Ikebana scissors then don’t worry normal gardening scissors will do.

Cutting and Trimming

You have to select flowers and stems next for your Ikebana arrangement. You can take big flowers like Chrysanthemums. For Tateru Katachi you will need 3 stems and 2 flowers. After selecting the flowers and stems you need to cut these to get in a certain shape.

  • Firstly, make sure that the main stem’s length of your arrangement will be two times of your vase’s length. The other two stems length must be shorter than the main stem.
  • Then you need to keep your flowers’ height one-third of your main stem.
Cutting and trimming
Cutting and trimming

Aligning

You need to pour water on the vase then put the kenzan on it. You have to place all the flowers and stems in the center position. Place the main stem along the centerline in a vertical position. Then put the flower in front of the main stem tilting it 45 degrees.

Place another stem right in front of the flower. Then put the last flower beside the stem. Lastly, put the last stem horizontally beside the first flower. Make sure that you are aligning all the particles in a central position. 

After following these steps you can create your first Ikebana. However, the most important thing is to make sure that you are enjoying the soothing beauty of nature and feeling calm while doing Ikebana.

What are the Ikebana Rules?

Ikebana is different from other flower arrangements because of its unique rules. There are many rules of Ikebana that are flowing throughout the century. But some rules are a must for learning Ikebana. They are-

  • Silence is the most important thing in learning Ikebana cause it is believed that only in silence one can feel the beauty and harmony of nature.
  • Lines and shapes are principal key factors in Ikebana. Because by creating different lines and shapes one can illustrate the picture of nature or their inner mind.
  • Another chief factor is Ikebana’s minimalism. The simplicity and the sharpness of the flower arrangement made Ikebana a unique piece of art.

Different Ikebana Styles

There are over 1000 different forms of Ikebana styles. Some well-known styles of Ikebana are-

Ikebana Styles
Ikebana Styles
  • The most popular style of Ikebana is Moribana and the simplicity of nature can be expressed through this. 
  • Another style of Ikebana is Rikka which came from Buddhism and this style is used to convey the calmness of Buddha.
  •  One of the most famous forms of Ikebana was introduced in the 17th century and it was called “shoka”. In shoka the branches are arranged symmetrically and each branch is considered as heaven (tin), earth (chi), and man (jin).

Ikebana FAQ

What flowers are used in Ikebana?

Ikebana is basically a flower arrangement. Though the flowers used in Ikebana are quite similar in many ways, each of them has a different symbolic meaning behind them. Here are some commonly used flowers in Ikebana arrangement:

Camellia

Camellia is used in different Ikebana arrangements as it symbolizes the longevity of life, love and happiness. You can use Camellia in any kind of marital program in your Ikebana.

Iris

Iris is an excellent choice of flower for Ikebana. It symbolizes heroism in Japan. Iris flowers in Ikebana also stands for the protection against storms and evil spirits.

Chrysanthemum

In Japan, Chrysanthemum symbolizes the natural protection. It also is symbolic of the imperial family of Japan. When someone uses Chrysanthemum in Ikebana, it also means the wish for long and healthy life.

Peony

You can find Peonies in different colors like, red, yellow or white. The symbolism behind this flower is wealth and prosperity.

Though, Ikebana is a Japanese flower arrangement, but Peony is a Chinese flower that entered Japan with Buddhism.

Conclusion

By now, you should have a clear understanding of what is Ikebana and why you should start it too. If this traditional Japanese art of flower arrangement resonates with your philosophy, you should try it too.

And if there is anything you want to know about Ikebana, let us know in the comment section.

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Hi, I am Rahat Rubayet.
I am an entrepreneur. But more importantly, I love Greenery.
I love gardening just as much as you do. It is my passion on one hand.
On the other hand, I have helped thousands of people with gardening, harvesting, and other different queries through this website.
I created Gardening For U to help people like you, who want to make the world greener and want to leave it as a better place for our next generation.

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