Classical occidental flower arranging is straightforward. We enjoy its symmetry, colorful flower compounds, and over-abundance of plant elements. The occidental floral arrangements are made especially for decoration purposes. Ikebana's Japanese art of flower arrangement is much more elaborate and enjoyed for completely contradictory reasons.
Instead of beauty in the "eye of the beholder," the charm of Japanese Ikebana holds in the author's eye. The art of Japanese flower arranging is a reflection, a state of mind, and a way to meditate. It's the peace of yoga out the mat.
Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower composition, has antique and spiritual origins. The first institution of this philosophy was born in Japan more than 600 years ago. It reawakened the practice of offering gifts to divinity in modern culture, which was previously related to Buddhism's other oriental beliefs. It is also the research of harmony within meditation, "beauty" by representing the connection between sky, earth, and humankind. It is not merely a decoration technic; it is not only a beauty resulting from forms and colors. In Ikebana, the creation of flower arrangement is an instrument of holy elevation and study of oneself in the universe's harmony.
As for the critical arts, there are specific and very distinct characteristics that developed in time and gradually came out from temples to enter the nobles' houses at the beginning, and then in all the enthusiasts of this art.
The meaning of Ikebana technic explain
In Japanese flower arranging, Heaven, Earth, and Man are expressed by precisely distributed stems. These three symbolic stems make the lines upon which the whole composition of Ikebana is created. The line of the primary stem is the most significant. It expresses Heaven. It forms the middle line and is the most powerful stem. The second stem, representative of Man, is located sideways and further from the centerline. The third stem, earth, is the shortest and is assigned to the front or slightly to the opposing side's first two roots. All three seem to grow from the identical spot. Other flowers are combined, but it's the position of the stems that are the most essential. The branches strengthen the lines that recreate the scenery. The scenery depicts the journey of time: past, present, and future.
Past, present, and future are embodied by thoroughly collected plant material. Full-blown flowers, pods, or dried leaves express yesterday. Half-open blossoms or perfect leaves represent here and now. Buds imply future growth and signify tomorrow. The concept of perpetual growth is essential. Collecting plant material in the garden at the time of making the composition adds to the practice and concludes Ikebana's overall idea and goals. Japanese arranging is all concerning nature's enjoyment, and reflection with some severe geometry tossed into the mix.
Once the fundamentals of Ikebana are noted, the proper training starts. Plant material is molded and shaped, clipped, and distributed. Since pruning is an art in itself, it is an essential exercise when exercising Ikebana. Just consider all of the gorgeous Japanese gardens with their high perfect maintenance. Ikebana is a scaled-down variant… a scenery in miniature. Today, more than 3000 Ikebana academies in Japan serve many styles, each with its individual set of rules. Traditionally, these schools' headmaster-ship transfers from one generation to another, holding the school's honor whole. For instance, one of the most outstanding schools in Japan is Asakusa Enshu Itto Ryu. The originator, Honshosai Ittoku, was the most prominent Ikebana guru of his time. He educated until the age of 103. The Enshu schools teach Moribana (freestyle), Classical Style, and Seiku Style Ikebana.
"Moribana" (freestyle) : Shows starting students' methods in bending stems and working the knife in cutting branches for classic arrangements.
"Classical" style : Starts with three formulated plant supply groups of varying lengths, organized in an imaginary round space, partitioned in the air to create asymmetrical equilibrium in intricate designs.
"Seika" way : Is defined by its bending techniques forming delicate curves in space in asymmetrical stability and harmony.
The eldest ikebana technique is Rikka, "standing flowers," which is rigorously determined and correlated to the Buddhist elements concerning nature's expression. Then there is the Nageire technique, "flung flowers," a less structured method that created the following Seika method, and finally, the Moribana style, which is "piled-up flowers." As with all meditation ways, there are precepts to follow. Here are a few of them:
Ikebana is the symbol of harmony coming out from a reflective act. Consequently, it is requisite to exercise this art in a provided place, spacious and not cluttered, and quiet.
The plant needs to be value in its wholeness. In Ikebana, resting near fresh flowers is essential to manage branches, seeds, leaves, and roots: all that the plant can give, arranging for several components, diverse sizes, and configurations.
Flowers require to be very fresh. When the stems in the floral composition are determined, it will be needed to cut them in cold water, if possible: this will make the Ikebana remain longer.
Harmony will emerge from a reflected succession of contrasting components: it is crucial to highlight an empty area and full location, with vital elements and weak elements.
In balance, odd number and asymmetry are essential.
Besides, in the Seika technique, the use of stems or branches of various lengths is vital: the lengthiest, called Ten, symbolizes the sky and is the essential element in the composition; the medium length one portrays the Man (Jin) while the shortest depicts the third element in harmony with the first two ones, that is the Earth (Chi).
Ikebana is an exercise mainly advised to those who love a sort of meditation practice that is not separate from a practical aspect. Those who search for a focused form of mediation could also be an artistic experience. Or, to those who strongly feel the role of "beauty" in their inner well-being. Ikebana is the solution.