Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangment that emphasizes form and balance. In Japan flower arrangements are an important decoration & treated at par with painting or any other art object. Ikebana emphasizes on other parts of  a plant like stem & leaves in addition to the flowers. In ikebana, artists explains the meaning of the arrangement through color combinations, natural shapes, and graceful lines. The spiritual aspect of ikebana is considered very important & silence is a must during practice of ikebana.

Ritual of offering flowers on the altar in honor of Buddha (as part of worship) was introduced in Japan in the 6th century by Chinese Buddhist missionaries, Ikebana evolved from this practice of offering flowers to the spirits of the dead.

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.

Oldest school of ikebana was Ikenobo in Kyoto. The priest was so skilled in flower arrangement that other priests sought him out for instruction. Patterns and styles evolved by the late 15th century. Arrangement was very simple, constructed from only a very few stems of flowers and evergreen branches. Styles of ikebana changed in the late 15th century and transformed into an art form with fixed instructions. We will discuss different styles that evolved over last five centuries in technique section.

Ikebana became a major part of traditional festivals, and exhibitions were held occasionally.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikebana

Materials for ikebana are

  1. living branches, leaves, grasses, moss, fruits and blossoms.  A small weed, withered leaves, seed pods, and buds are valued as highly as full bloom flowers.
  2. Container
  3. Kenzan
  4. Japanese Stem cutter

Refer to following external links to know more about material requirement

  1. http://www.ikebanahq.org/equipment.php
  2. http://www.ikebanahq.org/flowers.php

Styles of ikebana changed in the late 15th century and transformed into an art form with fixed instructions

The first styles were characterized by a tall, upright central stem that had to be accompanied by two shorter stems. Followed by the Rikka (standing flowers) style that includes seven branches representing hills, waterfalls, valleys, and other objects of nature arranged in a specific way. 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. Sieka or Shōka If you are in need of a cost effective solution for your clonidine purchase, we are the one to provide it! We offer clonidine only for 0.37 USD!  style consists of only three main branches. 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.

In 20th century, the schools gave way to freestyles, which are

  • Moribana 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.
  • 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.

…..  From  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikebana

The Basic Ikebana flower arrangement instructions can be found in following external links.

  1. http://flower-arrangement.wonderhowto.com/how-to/use-basic-ikebana-flower-arranging-techniques-364386/
  2. http://www.ohararyu.or.jp/english/form_moribana.html
  3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btCQColWUms
  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4POPSKkfbc