Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. Ike means ‘live’ as in ‘fresh’ flowers and bana comes from hana which is flower. When two characters are connected the pronunciation changes, therefore hana becomes bana.
When Buddhism arrived in Japan from China during the 6th century, they brought along floral offerings. This slowly evolved into more elaborate arrangements which developed into the form of Ikebana today. There are many different schools of Ikebana all representing a particular style such as formal, contemporary, free style, landscape, etc.
The containers themselves are also part of the art form.
My teacher, Horikawa-sensei, is from the Ryuseiha School, following traditional themes with a modern approach. Similar to many teachings in feng shui, her arrangements always suggest a seasonal influence. So the colors and textures all resonate with the colder months and we even used brown leaves and branches to add appeal to the arrangement. It helps to remind us that through the seasons, there are changes that we must adjust to in our daily lives as well. It is natural for us to slow down when the weather begins to get wet and cold.
Saturday, the regulars, Sumiko, Shio and myself, gathered at sensei’s (teacher in Japanese) house to have our lesson and I think we came up with some pretty nice arrangements! Hope you like them as much as we did!