Japanese Ikebana for Every Season
Ikebana in layman's term is the Japanese art of flower arranging that emphasizes form and balance. It was introduced in Japan in the 6th century by Chinese Buddhist missionaries, who had formalized the ritual of offering flowers to the BUDDHA. The art is based on harmony of simple linear construction and appreciation of the subtle beauty of flowers and natural material (branches, stems). In its highest form, ikebana is spiritual and philosophical in nature, but in modern Japan it is more often practiced as a sign of refinement by marriageable young women or older matrons or giving beautifully and elegantly arranged flowers for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. Ikebana is more than simply putting flowers in a container. It is a disciplined art form in which the arrangement is a living thing where nature and humanity are brought together. It is steeped in the philosophy of developing closeness with nature thus making humans and nature as one.
As is true of all other arts, Ikebana is creative expression within certain rules of construction. Its materials are living branches, leaves, grasses, and blossoms. Its beauty results from color combinations, natural shapes, graceful lines, and the meaning dormant in the total form of the arrangement. Ikebana is, therefore, much more than mere floral decoration it can be attributed to the Japanese love of nature. The Japanese house that does not at all times contain some sort of floral arrangement is rare indeed which is one strong proof how Japanese are so involved in the said art. What distinguish ikebana from other approaches such as "flower arrangement" is its asymmetrical form and the use of empty space as an essential feature of the composition. A sense of harmony among the materials, the container, and the setting is also crucial. These are characteristics of aesthetics that ikebana shares with traditional Japanese paintings, gardens, architecture, and design. Rie Imai and Yuji Ueno dispose of all the partiality and created much to bring out the true beauty and creativity of Ikebana. This book is brimming with beneficial techniques and practical advice, as well as many beautiful examples that will motivate and introduce you to the true beauty of the art. It is a book about expounding and making a beautiful art form accessible to all who love flowers and flower arranging.