Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. It is more than simply putting flowers in a container. It is a disciplined art form in which the arrangement is a living thing where nature and humanity are brought together. It is steeped in the philosophy of developing a closeness with nature.
As is true of all other arts, ikebana is creative expression within certain rules of construction. Its materials are living branches, leaves, grasses, and blossoms. Its heart is the beauty resulting from color combinations, natural shapes, graceful lines, and the meaning latent in the total form of the arrangement. Ikebana is, therefore, much more than mere floral decoration.
The growing appreciation of Japanese art and architecture in the West has extended to the Japanese way with flowers. Ikebana is an art, in the same sense that painting and sculpture are arts. It has a recorded history; it is backed up by articulate theories; and it is concerned with creativity. In Japan, flower arrangements are used as decorations on a level with paintings and other art objects.Ikebana and the Japanese love of nature
Nature is always changing. Plants grow and put forth leaves, flowers bloom, and berries are borne regularly and repeatedly throughout the seasons. Nature has its own rhythm and order. The awareness of this is the first step in involving oneself in ikebana.
In principle, ikebana aims not at bringing a finite piece of nature into the house, but rather at suggesting the whole of nature, by creating a link between the indoors and the outdoors. This is why arrangers are likely to use several different types of plants in a single arrangement, and to give prominence to leaves and flowerless branches as well as blossoms. Even when a single type of flower is used, an attempt is made to bring out its full implications as a symbol of nature.
Do men also do ikebana?
Both men and women study this art form. Indeed, in the past, ikebana was considered an appropriate pastime for even the toughest samurai. Currently, the leading flower arrangers are, for the most part, men. Ikebana is not only an art, but an occupation for men and women alike.
Whether a work is composed of only one kind of material or of many different kinds of materials, the selection of each element in the arrangement demands an artistic eye. An arranger with considerable technical skill combines materials to create a kind of beauty that cannot be found in nature.How is ikebana different from flower arrangement?