The Creative Art of Ikebana
Ikebana (literally translated "Living Flowers,") is an ancient floral art of Japan which has captured the attention of people throughout the world because of its beautiful, graceful lines and pleasing forms.
Traditional forms emphasize the natural beauty and dynamic energy of flowers and plant life by making clear their true features in an ideal state. All of the materials of nature are used in combination; flowers, trees, leaves, grasses, branches, etc. When seen close up in compositional form, a depth of beauty and vigor may be revealed which the eye usually passes over when viewing the same material in its natural environment.
Contemporary forms focus on the personal creativity of the flower arranger, irrespective of the natural beauty of the material and may present a deep level of artistic impact as the designer seeks to communicate an idea or feeling through a stronger emphasis on form itself.
There are numerous schools of ikebana, each with its own set of rules and techniques. One such school is the Ichiyo School. Ichiyo, pronounce ee-chee-yo, means "one leaf" in Japanese and refers to the logo of the school. It was founded in Japan in l937 by a brother and sister, Meikof and Ichiyo Kasuya. Since the school's beginnings, these two masters sought to create original ikebana that would be suitable for modern lifestyle and environments.
Born in 1947, Akihiro Kasuya is the son of Meikof Kasuya, from whom he inherited leadership of Ichiyo School in 1983. One of the best-known contemporary Ikebana artists, he has presented many demonstrations and workshops around the world. His creativity and originality have won an extensive international following. Two important philosophies of the Ichiyo School include the concept that an arrangement must fit the environment in which it is displayed and the indivisual arranger's emotions and character are to be expressed in the arrangement. Thus, it is not just flowers in a vase; it is considered to be an art of human communication.