Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, has many different schools of thought. On Asian Lifestyle Design, we have shown arrangements from Ikenobo and Ryuseiha Schools. Today, I’d like to introduce another school called Sogetsu. Compared to Ikenobo, the original school of ikebana with a 550 year history, the Ryuseiha School is 120 years old, while Sogetsu Ikebana is one of the newer schools with a history of 80 years.
I have been a student of ikebana for about ten years and always wondered why there were so many different schools. According to one of my teachers, each school has a set of rules and practices which have been passed down for generations. Along the way, a student may develop a different approach that is not accepted in their school, so they break away creating their own school. Once independent, they develop their own theory and slowly grow a following.
The Sogetsu Ikebana School, established by Sofu Teshigawara, is known to be more contemporary. Traditionally, ikebana arrangements were displayed in a typical Japanese setting, in a tokonoma, an alcove, where people sat on the tatami mat floors. As lifestyles in Japan evolved and homes began to incorporate a more Western style, this influenced the way people enjoyed flower arrangements. Teshigawara, broke away from this traditional style, and based his philosophy that flowers can be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere, and using anything. Today, Sogetsu is enjoyed by many flower enthusiasts throughout the world. For those interested in studying Sogetsu in the Greater Seattle area, please visit my teacher’s site: Megumi Schacher. She’s an extremely gifted and wonderful ikebana teacher.
Here are a few arrangements for you to enjoy!