Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Adventures in Ikebana

On Tuesday, as a part of our culture class, we got to try ikebana! Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. It's a lot more difficult than one may think.

Since we're the advanced class, they wanted us to take it seriously and adhere to the rules of ikebana, which are abstract yet strict, apparently. Me and my partner Undariya would arrange our flowers one way, and then the ikebana teacher would come over and tell us that it isn't interesting enough and rearrange the entire thing. So you could say the finished project (see above) is half her work, half ours. I really like the finished project though! Me and Undariya worked hard to make it look like we wanted to (while still appeasing the ikebana sensei...)

Some progress shots!

We started out with wanting to focus most of the flowers in the middle and making it more symmetrical, but apparently symmetrical is no good in ikebana, so sensei recommended we organize it like so. From there, it was our choice where to arrange the colors.

We named it 花ダリア、which is roughly "Hana Dahlia", but it's witty because my name is Hana (flower) and her name is written in katakana similar to Dahlia (Dariya), which is also the red flower we used. So it's a combination of our names and a description of the arrangement.

I personally wanted to name it 生けバクハツ (ikebakuhatsu). It's a pun that combines ikebana (flower arrangement) and bakuhatsu (explosion). I think it looks like an explosion. Flower arrangem-explosion. Explosion arrangement? Either way, Undariya didn't go for it.

A few days later the white flowers bloomed, so it looks like this now!

And here's some of the other students' work!


  1. Do you recall what types of flowers and other plants you used? Did all the students have the same choices on what they used in their arrangement? Is there a minimum or maximum number of types of plant you can use in a single arrangement?

    1. I don't really know the names, but what you see is what you get--we used all of our materials. There was two sets--one with dahlias (ours) and one with lilies, so as a pair we got to choose. I'm not sure on technicalities, but ikebana seems pretty strict, so I wouldn't be surprised!