Ikebana

DEFINITION

Literally Japanese for "living flowers," ikebana is the Japanese art of formal floral arrangement. Also known as kado, it is based upon a study of the "way of flowers," resulting in practitioners' showing special regard to balance, harmony, and form. Attention is paid to the vase or other vessel in which the plant material is composed. Ikebana has a history of at least seven centuries, and has come to embrace several distinct types or styles of arrangement These categories include arrangements of see thumbnail to rightstanding flowers ?rikka;living flowers: seika or shoka;and flung flowers ?see thumbnail to leftnageire.Some types of ikebana depend more heavily on the kinds of containers used, such as arrangements made in see thumbnail to righttall vases ? eika;see thumbnail to leftbowl-shaped vases and plate-like containers on which flowers are essentially piled up ? moribana. What most sets ikebana apart from Western approaches to making floral arrangement is the Japanese emphasis on elegant simplicity, in contrast to the Western tendency toward densely layered arrangements. Ikenobo is the oldest system or school of flower arrangement. Jiyuka is a free style of flower arranging. Chabana is another style of Japanese flower arranging used specifically in the tea ceremony (see chado). A kadoka is a practitioner of ikebana. A kenzan is a "frog pin," a device used to keep flowers positioned. A komi is a forked stick used to hold flowers in a vase. Kiri-dame is a method of way of cutting stems in order to shape and curve them. Oshi-dame is "a pushing method" for shaping and curving stems.Also see asymmetry, bonsai, botanical, design, and still life.

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