In ceramics, what is ikebana

Ikebana - the Japanese art of flower arrangement

However, we all agree on one thing - flower arrangements increase the sense of well-being at home and enhance the indoor climate. In Europe, however, the stems of the flowers are hidden in opaque porcelain vases, yet they are part of the whole floral arrangement.

Ikebana is based on nature

In Japan they went a different way. The islands are a land criss-crossed by mountains and overgrown with a wide variety of plants. Streams, rivers and lakes run through the country and create a unique aesthetic. Each season brings out its own distinctive beauty and influences people's actions differently. The desire of the people to be able to enjoy the beauty of nature also in the living rooms, finally created the ikebana (Japanese 生 け 花 also い け ば な). It is the art of flower arrangement that is deeply rooted in the Japanese soul. Ikebana literally means “living flowers” ​​and is also enjoying increasing popularity in Europe.

The flower arrangement is an old, well-kept tradition and was exclusively reserved for the men of the nobility in its time. It was simply part of the good manners of the nobility and, like calligraphy and the tea ceremony, was part of education. Later, women were also allowed to practice Ikebana. The oldest Ikebana schools can be found in the cultural heart of Japan - Kyoto. Nowadays, flower arrangement is a compulsory subject at school for Japanese girls. In the course of time a wide variety of styles have evolved and evolved. However, there is one thing they all agree on: With ikebana, vase, leaves and twigs are viewed in exactly the same way as the flowers themselves. Stylish individuality when arranging the flowers is just as important as the hand-made ikebana vase itself. The designer pushes through the meditative design the type of flower arrangement in each case determines his feelings and what preoccupies him during the design process. The idea behind Ikebana is not dissimilar to the European concept of flowers and the joy of looking at them. Ikebana is also about what feelings the viewer feels when looking at the flower arrangement. After all, it's about harmony and you should feel it when looking at it. A stylish aesthetic plays just as important a role as a simple design. The basic shape created from three branches or stems, the asymmetrical scale triangle, is the starting point for all flower arrangements.


A modern style of ikebana

After the further development of ikebana stagnated in Japan for centuries, Ohara Unshin took on the situation. In 1897 he opened an ikebana exhibition and introduced a new style. The Moribana style is the enchanting result of an identity crisis and means “piled flowers” ​​in German. As Japan opened up to the rest of the world, the Japanese had to learn to balance the new influences with their tradition. This change also took place with ikebana and Moribana allows more artistic freedom than the classic directions of ikebana. At the same time as the new style, the kenzan, the ikebana flower hedgehog, was introduced. With this it is much easier to arrange the flowers and also explains the translated name of the Moribana - piled flowers. The flower hedgehog is a sheet of lead into which brass nails are embedded. The nails hold the flowers in a mountain-like, piled-up shape. The respective flowers are placed on top and the lead foot holds the flower arrangement upright as a counterweight. However, the flowers are arranged in the classic way and not pinned. This explains the name of the ikebana, which is wrong in Europe - we say flower arrangements, but it is a flower arrangement. The Moribana was a revolution for Ikebana and, as a concession to the western world, stands for freedom, cosmopolitanism and peace. To this day, it is the most popular form of flower arrangement and made it accessible to a broad section of the population. Since it is so open, it is easy to learn even for laypeople and you quickly develop pleasure in it - provided you have the right material available.

It doesn't work without an Ikebana vase

With Ikebana you always look at the whole and enjoy the beauty of the imperfect naturalness and harmony. The linear structure, rhythm and color of the flower arrangement form a unit that is in harmony with one another. The Ikebana vase is the central element, because it has special requirements. The vase is mostly a square bowl. With its clear structure, it supports the linear structure and gives structure to the flower arrangement. The handmade Ikebana vase should also be kept very flat so as not to obstruct the view of the flower water. As a mirror, the water is just as part of the whole as the hand-made Ikebana vase. Likewise, it must not lie on the ground like a board, it must convey a delightful lightness and fragile weightlessness.