Sunday 30 November 2014

Ikebana Today 30

We have been thinking what ikebana (a style of Ikebana in the Muromachi period) is. It seems to mean making flower alive. Does it mean whether to make dead flowers revive or to make dying flowers live longer?

This is actually a really important question. Considering that so little is known and much research is needed in the historical of Ikebana, we may need to propose a bold hypothesis to answer to the question.

A highly regarded Ikebana researcher, Yuzo Yamane pointed out three cultural factors that contributed to the birth of Ikebana in the Muromachi period: aristocrat factor, Buddhism and Shinto factor, and Samurai factor. Combination of there factors are thought to have contributed to the development of Ikebana.      

However, I’m not satisfied with his theory. Assuming that Ikebana is related to the fundamental factors in Japanese culture, I have to propose my own hypothesis regarding the origin of Ikebana in the next issue. 

This month I would like to show my installation, the Sacred Tree that I made for the new arcade in Upper West Side, Melbourne in July this year. Although the idea of Shimenawa—a maker for a sacred space in Shinto—was behind this work, many commented that it was like a Christmas tree. I don’t mind about such interpretations.