What is Ikebana?  

Ikebana (いけばな) is Japanese style flower arrangement. However, ikebana is more than arranging flowers. It is also an art form with more than 550 years of history. Through ikebana, we find a path to understand the nature and ourselves, an artistic way to communicate with others, a way to achieve inner peace, and a way to express our creativities.

Here is how the headmaster of Ikenobo School, Sen'ei Ikenobo, describes ikebana: "In ikebana, we 'arrange' flowers rather than merely 'inserting' them. 'To arrange' means to bring out the inherent beauty of the flowers and, at the same time, to bring out the beauty of one's own spirit. When we arrange, we entrust to flowers our search of an ideal beauty.

Ikebana is an expression of harmony with the season, the heart of the viewer, and the environment in which it is placed.

Through arranging ikebana we experience a beautiful perfection. With branches and flowers before us we find our thoughts focused on arranging. We are released from the complexitites of daily life and enter a world of beauty. With our natural environment threatened, such a communication with nature is especially important.

The Japanese, whose aesthetic sense has been fostered in beautiful natural surroundings, appreciate life even in a single flower in the midst of a city of skycrappers, and sense the precious movement toward the sun of shoot springing from a crack in the pavement. Ikebana brings us subtle impressions, discovery, and joy which cannot be outshone by even the most dazzling display of wealth. Through ikebana, we discover that wondrous beauty exists even in familiar surrounding."

--- From "The book of Ikebana" by Sen'ei Ikenobo

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