Ikenobo School The beauty of a natural landscape (rikka style) and the essential character of a plant’s natural environment (shoka style) are just two of the themes of this classical school. This School was founded by a Buddhist priest in the mid-15th century. The philosophy of Ikenobo teaches us that “Not only beautiful flowers but also buds and withered flowers have life, and each has its own beauty. By arranging flowers with reverence, one refines oneself.”
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Saga Goryū School The Saga Goryū school traces its origins back twelve hundred years to the Emperor Saga’s arrangement of three chrysanthemums at his summer palace on Osawa Pond in Kyōto. The palace became the Shingon Buddhist temple known as Daikakuji, where successive emperors would retire to practice the traditional Japanese arts of self- cultivation, especially the art of flower arrangement. Thus the temple became a center for ikebana, and today the headquarters of the Saga Goryū school remains there, by license displaying the sixteen-petal imperial chrysanthemum as its emblem. Because of this emphasis upon place, the school makes landscape designs one of its many specialties. Always, however, the goals of the school include revitalizing classical forms and awakening arranger and viewer to the spiritual aspects of nature.
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In the late 19th century with the influence of Western culture, First Headmaster, Unshin Ohara created the Moribana arrangement, as well as the shallow container for it. The Ohara School emphasizes seasonal qualities, natural growth processes, and the beauty of natural environments. It is important for its students to observe seasonal nature. The Ohara School is well known for its Landscape Moribana, Bunjin and Rimpa arrangements. Hiroki Ohara, our Fifth Headmaster, has created a new arrangement, Hana Kanade, which emphasizes the beauty of crossing lines.
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Sogetsu Ikebana can be created anytime, anywhere, by anyone in any part of the world and with any kind of material. Plants are the products of mother nature, but the basic principle of Sogetsu is “ikebana reflects the person who arranged it.” Flowers, no matter how beautiful, come from nature. We are the ones, using these natural materials, to create beauty with our feelings. This is different from natural beauty. As we all differ from one another with different personalities, each plant has its own expression. The two arrangements using flowers of the same name are to be made into two different compositions. Different expression in each material is fully made use of in Ikebana.
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Elegant beauty with a modern sense–this school creates beauty with a minimum number of materials. Fruits, vegetables, dolls or other objects are combined with floral materials and linked with sand sprinkled at the base to create harmony. Mrs. Kao Naruse founded this school in 1927 and originated the style known as morimono.
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The Ichiyo School was founded on the idea of creating original ikebana suitable for modern lifestyles and all environments and spaces. Ichiyo style Ikebana encourages personal interpretation within the rules of construction. That combined with imagination is considered as essential to creative designs as are materials and containers. “If flower arranging is to be truly fulfilling, it should be a reflection of oneself.” The current Iemoto, Akihiro Kasuya, specializes in combining materials through a natural balance of their weights, rather than by fastening the materials down with a kenzan or komi. Through balancing the materials, he aims to bring materials and containers together into a mutually cooperative position.
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Sangetsu is a school of flower arranging inspired by visionary and master artist, Mokichi Okada, who promoted a spiritual approach to life through beauty. Okada’s flower arrangements expressed his great love of nature in their simplicity and naturalness. His style of arranging, preserved in a series of color photographs, formed the basis of the School and serves as the model for Korinka — the advanced level and essence of Sangetsu. The five main guidelines which serve as the foundation of the Sangetsu School are: Arrange Flowers Naturally; Arrange Flowers Quickly; Arrange Flowers as if you were Painting a Picture; Arrange Flowers in Harmony; Arrange Flowers with Joy.
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