Ikebana - Japanese Flower Arrangement - Ikebana History - Ikebana Pictures.
Ikebana (Japanese: 生け花 or
いけばな, literally "living flowers") is the Japanese art of flower
arrangement, also known as kadō (華道)�the "way of flowers".
Ikebana began as a
kind of ritual flower offering made in Buddhist temples in Japan during the
sixth century. In these arrangements, both the flowers and the branches were
made to point toward heaven as an indication of faith. A more sophisticated
style of flower arrangement, called rikka (standing flowers), appeared in
the fifteenth century. The rikka style reflects the magnificence of nature
and its display. For example, pine branches symbolize rocks and stones, and
white chrysanthemums symbolize a river or small stream. The rikka style
became popular in the seventeenth century, used as a decorative technique
for ceremonial and festive occasions, though today it is regarded as an
antiquated form of flower arrangement and is rarely practiced.
The most significant changes in the history of ikebana took place during the
fifteenth century, when the Muromachi shōgun Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1436�1490)
ruled Japan. The large buildings and small houses that Yoshimasa had built
expressed his love for simplicity. These small houses contained tokonoma,
where people could place objects of art and flower arrangements. It was
during this period that the rules of ikebana were simplified so that people
of all classes could enjoy the art.
In the 1890s, shortly after the Meiji Restoration (a period of modernization
and westernization in Japan), there developed a new style of ikebana called
moribana, or "piled-up flowers". This style appeared partly due to the
introduction of western flowers and partly due to the westernization of
Japanese living. The moribana style, which created a new freedom in flower
arranging, is used for a landscape or a garden scene. It is a style that can
be enjoyed wherever it is displayed and can be adapted to both formal and