Ikebana art consists of truly beautiful formalized Japanese flower arranging, and many of these arrangements find themselves in equally lovely yakimono ceramics. While the term initially applied only to formalized flower arranging, ikebana art later encompassed all the different types of Japanese floral art. Several major schools are around in the modern era, but this wasn’t always the case.
Back in the sixth century, Chinese Buddhist missionaries had formalized the ritual offerings of lovely flowers in memory of Gautama Buddha. These arrangements were probably much simpler than those found in modern Japanese academies. Ikenobo provides fairly graphic proof to illustrate this fact.
Ono no Imoko founded the first school of flower arranging in Japan in the early seventh century. Ikenobo arrangements were solely based on harmonious linear designs. There was a great deal of emphasis placed on the idea of subtle beauty. Natural material was considered sublime. Human art was supposed to be in total harmony with nature, and the idea of improvements was rather alien.
Only later did ikebana art splinter into several different organizations. Different historical periods brought different theories of artistic composition along with them. Nevertheless, ikenobo is still a major school of thought among those who appreciate ikebana art. Even though times have changed one would be hard pressed to find a true artist who was critical of the original movements.
Students are expected to respect their elders, but this shouldn’t come in the form of blind faith. They’re genuinely supposed to understand and appreciate the lineages that these ikebana art styles have been passed down to modern generations in.
Nevertheless, there have been some experiments in the modern era. Some of these have been tied to other movements in art, and some are rather unique. They continue to share the philosophical significance of other aspects of ikebana art, however. Even the most modern of ikebana artists mentions that their work is impermanent and as with all vegetation it will eventually have to return to the earth.
This philosophical edge is actually what has continued to make ikebana art so popular. With how bustling modern society is, people increasingly need a way to be calm and center themselves. Ikebana art has become popular with some movements in the traditional martial arts. There are those who feel that the contemplative aspects of the art are excellent for those who need to remove aggression from their souls.