A container may be selected for a particular arrangement after the arranger examines the nature of the available floral and branch materials. Alternatively, a container may inspire the selection of materials that will be included in the arrangement. The size of the container should be suitable for the space where it is to be placed, and the materials must be cut in proportion to the size of the container.
Seasonality is the primary consideration in choosing floral materials and their basket containers. Bamboo baskets are most commonly used during the warm months,from April or May to October.Light-colored or bleached bamboo baskets are used in spring and summer,usually with pastel or light-hued floral materials. Dark baskets are for fall and winter arrangements,which often include wild berries and vines. The plants and flowers commonly arranged in baskets include grasses,especially ones found typically growing on hilly terrain. Aquatic plants are never used,and tropical blooms are very difficult to use with basket holders since they lack seasonality. The arrangements should be kept soft and loose,so as to accentuate the basket's delicate qualities. When using a bamboo basket, you cannot use akenzan,but must use a hand-fashioned flower holder.
While ceramic containers absorb light, glass containers reflect -- or refract --it. Their brilliance and vivid colors cannot be duplicated in ceramics. Most ikebana arrangers use transparent glass containers. When using transparent containers,remember that glass acts like a lens and magnifies whatever iscontained inside.Therefore, it's best not to use akenzan, or if you use one, cover it with bamboo or stones. You can also hold floral materials in place with colored wires or vines,or bend branches to prop them against the wall of the container.Different-sized marbles can also hold floral materials. With transparent glass containers, the amount of water to use is alsoimportant. The arrangement should be thought of as consisting of threeparts: the area under water,the area between the water line and the top of the containerand the space outside the top of the container.
Shaped like a tripod, used to hold an iron kettle or pot over a hibachi fire.
jakago-dome (gabion holder)
A tubular basket of iron wire or, occasionally, bamboo with small pebbles inside modeled on gabions that are used to keep riverbank soil from washing away.
kame-dome (turtle holder)
Stems inserted in holes made in turtle's shells.
kani-dome (crab holder)
A holder often used for water-themed arrangements.
kanzesui-dome (whirlpool holder)
Two attached oblong shapes that look like swirling water.
kenzan (needlepoint holder)
A heavy round or square metal block holding sharp needle like points. Easier to use with thick, soft stems rather than thin grasses or heavy branches.
komi-wara (bundled straw)
A typical holder for rikka arrangements.
often used for nageire. Use natural Y-shaped branches or cut in a Y-shape.
kutsuwa-dome (horsebit holder)
An iron holder shaped like a horse's bit, which can be twisted into 50 different shapes, each with its own name.
a heavy metal flower holder made of interlocking circles. Materials are inserted into the spaces created by the intersection of the circles. Especially useful for large branch materials.
Long and short slats are joined with wire to form rectangular holder, with the stems inserted through diagonal slits.