Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. It is much more than mere floral decoration. It is an art like painting, calligraphy, sculpture and bonsai are arts. It has a recorded history, specified principles and theories, requires highly developed technical skills, and most importantly, it is a creative means of expression.
Ikebana, one of the traditional arts of Japan, has been practiced for more than 600 years. Its beginnings are traced to the introduction of Buddhism to Japan in the 6th century when offerings of flowers were placed on the altar, and later in containers, in honor of Buddha.
Over the centuries, ikebana evolved from the temple to the castle and, eventually, to the Japanese home. Many different styles and schools of ikebana developed along the way. Today, there are over 2,000 different schools of ikebana. They include both classical and modern avant garde styles. Currently, the leading flower arrangers in Japan are mostly men.