Ikebana – Japanese Style of Flower Arrangement

Ikebana is an ancient Japanese style of flower arrangement. Inspired by the Buddhist principles, ikebana reflects the balance of man and nature. This complex art of flower arrangement is taught in ikebana societies or flower arrangement schools. It would take several years to master this wonderful art. By following some simple rules, you can design your own ikebana at home with minimal frills.

Ikebana vases

For arranging flowers, you need special ikebana vases or containers. Typical ikebana vases are wide shallow containers. You can find ikebana vases in stores selling Japanese items. Several online shopping sites offer ikebana vases. If you can’t find an ikebana vase, you can use a shallow bowl for this purpose.

Metal frogs

You can’t start your ikebana flower arrangement without a metal frog. Metal frogs are round holders fitted with sharp pins for holding the stems.

Ikebana flower arrangement basics

Pour some water in the shallow ikebana vase and place the metal frog on the container. Do not place the frog right at the center of the vase. Besides flower, stems and leaves are also used in this flower arrangement. A basic ikebana flower arrangement comprises of three main stems – the shin, soe and hikae.

Shin is the tallest branch of the flower arrangement. It is the symbol of truth. The second highest branch is soe and the shortest branch is called hikae. Measure the diameter of your ikebana vase. The height of the shin should be 1½ times the diameter of the vase. Imagine a perpendicular line running through the center of the metal frog. Place the shin 15 degrees to the left of the imaginary vertical straight line. The height of the soe should be three-fourth the height of the tallest branch or shin. Place the soe to the left of the shin, slightly at the front, at 45 degrees angle.

The smallest branch or hikae will be half the height of soe. The hikae should be placed to the right of the shin, towards the front at an angle of 75 degrees. After finishing the basic arrangement, you can trim the stems, leaves and flowers accordingly. Complete the flower arrangement by fixing small flowers, leaves and stems near the foot of the three main stems.


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