We went to the International Center in Sakae, a great place to get help if you are visiting Japan as a tourist or non-Japanese speaking resident. They had an Ikebana show. Ikebana is a disciplined art form where nature and humanity come together in a flower arrangement. The arrangement emphasizes shape, line, and form based on a scalene triangle. Ikebana is also known as kado, the “way of flower”.
There are many rules for Ikebana. Minimalism and structure are two considerations. Minimal flowers set among stalks and leaves. A scalene triangle using three main twigs or points represents heaven, earth, and man, or sun, moon, and earth. The container, usually pottery, is a key element.
Silence is practiced during Ikebana. It is a time to appreciate nature. The practice of this art makes one more patient and tolerant of differences. It promotes a closeness to nature and relaxes the mind, body, and soul.
It is believed that Ikebana came to Japan with Buddhist priests in the 15th century. Since then, many styles of Ikebana have emerged. The organization Ikebana International was started in 1956 to promote good will internationally through flowers.
I don’t pretend to see all of the elements that are used in Ikebana. I do like the idea of taking time out of our busy modern lives to “see” the natural world. It does refresh the body, mind and soul. Enjoy!