Japanese Floral Arts
Japanese floral art of Ikebana, is a very disciplined form of flower arrangement. It is worlds away from just putting a few blooms in a vase and hoping for the best. The philosophy behind Ikebana is combining nature and humanity with the emphasis on the development of a closeness with nature.
Ikebana has particular rules that govern the development of a display. All of the materials used are living; living branches; living leaves; living grasses and living blossoms. Mosses, and fruit are also used. Buds are particularly valued as much if not more than fusing flowers that are in full bloom.
The beauty of a display emerged through the use of different combinations, natural shapes, graceful lines, again worlds away from putting a few blooms in a vase and hoping for the best. Nature has its own rhythm and order and an awareness of this rhythm is the first lesson to be learned in Ikebana.
Over time here has been a progressive interest in Japanese art, its creativity and this now extends to Ikebana. In Japan Ikebana arrangements are given as much attention as paintings for decoration. It is very rare to go into a Japanese home and not find a floral arrangement.
The Japanese have always had a great love of nature, to the point where it is almost a creed. They do not just love nature they have a very high respect of nature and as a people they tend to feel at one with nature. This may be innate or it may be because many of their living spaces are forged out of concrete.
Ikebana is about creating a link between the indoors and outdoors. Arrangements include branches with leaves organised with flowers in a similar form that you would find in nature. Some arrangements will use just one bloom with other natural materials in order to symbolise nature.
In most cultures it is usually the women that spend time arranging flowers, but for Ikebana arrangements both men and women excel at the skills needed for creating the arrangements. But Ikebana is not only an art it is also an occupation for both men and women.
Many people feel that the spiritual aspect of Ikebana is just as importance as the artistic side of the process. Ikebana helps you live in the moment and appreciate aspects of nature that others may find insignificant. It teaches patience and perseverance, with a tolerance for differences not just in nature but also in people. It is also inspirational as it can help you with your personal identification in other art forms such as painting and music. It inspires you to expect the best out of yourself.
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