I have been discussing the meaning of the term, ikebana. It is a style of Ikebana developed in the Muromachi period, while Ikebana (with a Capital I) is the general term to encompass all styles of Japanese flower arrangement. It is proposed that the original meaning of ikebana as well as Ikebana is to give a new life to a flower. Arranging flowers is like a ritual that gives new life to the dead cut flower. Ikebana may be comparable to a rite of passage. In Japan, births, marriages, coming of age and funerals are all rites of passage that signify the death of old self and rebirth of a new self. It is important to realise that the cut flower as material for Ikebana and a flower as Ikebana work are completely different. Arranging flowers may be like conducting a funeral or a marriage. In any case, that is how I define Ikebana.
The next question is “is Ikebana art?”
This is my work, Heart, that I exhibited for the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show in 2015. It may look simple but it was very hard to make, taking us 3 days to complete. Please visit my site to see a You Tube video of our works at the show. I’m pleased that some of my students also participated in the show.