Keikos Ikebana: A Contemporary Approach to the Traditional Japanese Art of Flower Arranging


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Physiological effects and action under the color of the flowers, put into words from the impressions of nature and the presence of thorns with the height of tall plants, flowers and garlands of flowers through the various types. These are meant to convey emotion and communicate directly to the recipient or viewer without needing the use of words. The colours of some flowers are considered unlucky. Red flowers, which are used at funerals, are undesirable not only for that reason but also because red is supposed to suggest the red flames of a fire.

An odd number of flowers is lucky, while even numbers are unlucky and therefore undesirable, and never used in flower arrangements. With the odd numbers one avoids symmetry and equal balance, which are actually seldom found in nature, and which from the Japanese standpoint are never attractive in art of any description. More than simply putting flowers in a container, ikebana is a disciplined art form in which nature and humanity are brought together. Contrary to the idea of a particolored or multicolored arrangement of blossoms, ikebana often emphasizes other areas of the plant, such as its stems and leaves, and puts emphasis on shape , line , and form.

Though ikebana is an expression of creativity, certain rules govern its form. The artist's intention behind each arrangement is shown through a piece's color combinations, natural shapes, graceful lines, and the implied meaning of the arrangement. Another common but not exclusive aspect present in ikebana is its employment of minimalism. Some arrangements may consist of only a minimal number of blooms interspersed among stalks and leaves.

The structure of some Japanese flower arrangements is based on a scalene triangle delineated by three main points, usually twigs, considered in some schools to symbolize heaven , human , and earth , or sun , moon , and earth. A notable exception is the traditional rikka form, which follows other precepts. The container can be a key element of the composition, and various styles of pottery may be used in their construction. In some schools the container is only regarded as a vessel to hold water and should be subordinate to the arrangement. Consideration of the vase as being something more than a mere holder of the flowers is purely Japanese.

They think of the surface of the water, which they always expose, as the surface of earth from which the group springs. This aids in creating the effect of representing a complete plant growing as nearly as possible in its natural conditions. The Japanese give an expression of the seasons in their floral arrangements, grouping the flowers differently according to the time of the year.

For example, in the month of March, when high winds prevail, the unusual curves of the branches convey at once the impression of strong winds. In summer the Japanese rejoice in the low, broad receptacles, where the visually predominating water produces a cooler and more refreshing arrangement than those in upright vases. There is no occasion which cannot be suggested by the manner in which the flowers are arranged. Yet hundreds of ordinary occurrences are heralded by charming flower compositions.

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So many Japanese poets have sung of the willow, comparing its very long branches with long life, happy married life, etc. For a house-warming, white flowers are used, as they suggest water to quench a fire, fire being their constant dread, as in the construction of many houses everything but the roof is flammable. Red flowers suggest fire, so are avoided on such occasions.

To celebrate an inheritance all kinds of evergreens or chrysanthemums may be used, or any flowers which are long-lived, to convey the idea that the wealth or possessions may remain forever. There are appropriate arrangements for all felicitous occasions, as well as for sad ones. An offering at death should be of white flowers, with some dead leaves and branches, so arranged as to express peace.

Some practitioners feel silence is needed while making ikebana while others feel this is not necessary. It is a time to appreciate things in nature that people often overlook because of their busy lives. It is believed that one becomes more patient and tolerant of differences, not only in nature, but also in general.

This is also a time when one feels close to nature, which provides relaxation for the mind, body, and soul. Ikebana in the beginning was very simple, constructed from only a very few stems of flowers and evergreen branches. Books were written about it, " Sedensho " being the oldest one, covering the years to Ikebana became a major part of traditional festivals, and exhibitions were occasionally held. The first styles were characterized by a tall, upright central stem accompanied by two shorter stems.

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During the Momoyama period , —, splendid castles were constructed. Noblemen and royal retainers made large decorative rikka floral arrangements that were considered appropriate decoration for castles. When the tea ceremony emerged, another style was introduced for tea ceremony rooms called chabana. This style is the opposite of the Momoyama style and emphasizes rustic simplicity.

Read Keiko's Ikebana: A Contemporary Approach to the Traditional Japanese Art of Flower Arranging

Chabana is not considered a style of ikebana but is separate. The simplicity of chabana in turn helped create the nageirebana or "thrown-in" style. The receptacles used in flower arranging come in a large variety. They are traditionally considered not only beautiful in form, material, and design but are made to suit the use to which they will be put, so that a flower can always be placed in an appropriate receptacle, and probably in one especially designed for that particular sort of flower.

The thing the Japanese most seek in a vase's shape is what will best prolong the life of flowers. For this reason, vases are wide open at the mouth, for, unlike in Western flower arranging, they do not depend upon the vase itself to hold flowers in position, believing that the oxygen entering through the neck opening is as necessary to the plant as the oxygen it receives directly from the water; thus, the water remains sweet much longer than in small-necked vases.

There are many ideas connected with these receptacles. For instance, hanging vases came into use through the idea that flowers presented by an esteemed friend should not be placed where they could be looked down upon, so they were raised and hung. In hanging bamboo vases, the large, round surface on top is supposed to represent the moon, and the hole for the nail a star.


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The cut, or opening, below the top is called fukumuki , the "wind drawing through a place". Besides offering variety in the form of receptacles, the low, flat vases, more used in summer than winter, make it possible to arrange plants of bulbous and water growth in natural positions.


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As for the color of the vases, the soft pastel shades are common, and bronze vases are especially popular. To the Japanese, the color bronze seems most like mother earth, and therefore best suited to enhance the beauty of flowers.

Keiko's Ikebana: A Contemporary Approach to the Traditional Japanese Art of Flower Arranging

Bamboo, in its simplicity of line and neutral color, makes a charming vase, but one of solid bamboo is not practical in some countries outside of Japan, where the dryness of the weather causes it to split. Description eBook Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! The Paper Florist Create and display stunning paper flowers. Wedding Bouquets and Flowers. The Flowers.

Art of Bonsai Creation, Care and Enjoyment. Book of Topiary. Item Added: Keiko's Ikebana. View Wishlist. We have recently updated our Privacy Policy. The site uses cookies to offer you a better experience. By continuing to browse the site you accept our Cookie Policy, you can change your settings at any time.

We can order this Usually dispatched within 1 week. Quantity Add to basket. This item has been added to your basket View basket Checkout. View other formats and editions. Keiko's unique approach to ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, combines traditional techniques with modern tastes. Her influences--which range from sculpture to today's Western floral design--come together to create one-of-a-kind arrangements that are authentic and eye-catching, simple and graceful, and possible for anyone to achieve.

Novice practitioners will likely welcome her less-is-more philosophy, in which a minimum of materials are transformed into satisfying art forms. The book's content is not only inspirational but also very practical with step-by-step instructions on each design for readers. Added to basket. Ultimate Origami for Beginners. Michael G. Basic Black. Sato Watanabe. Japanese Ikebana for Every Season. Yuji Ueno.

Keikos Ikebana: A Contemporary Approach to the Traditional Japanese Art of Flower Arranging Keikos Ikebana: A Contemporary Approach to the Traditional Japanese Art of Flower Arranging
Keikos Ikebana: A Contemporary Approach to the Traditional Japanese Art of Flower Arranging Keikos Ikebana: A Contemporary Approach to the Traditional Japanese Art of Flower Arranging
Keikos Ikebana: A Contemporary Approach to the Traditional Japanese Art of Flower Arranging Keikos Ikebana: A Contemporary Approach to the Traditional Japanese Art of Flower Arranging
Keikos Ikebana: A Contemporary Approach to the Traditional Japanese Art of Flower Arranging Keikos Ikebana: A Contemporary Approach to the Traditional Japanese Art of Flower Arranging
Keikos Ikebana: A Contemporary Approach to the Traditional Japanese Art of Flower Arranging Keikos Ikebana: A Contemporary Approach to the Traditional Japanese Art of Flower Arranging

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