Ikebana is a Japanese art of flower arranging. The meanings that flowers mean for people are limitless. With them, we can send each other messages, send our love and even hate. Just seeing the flowers can make us happy.
In the researches, the “Duchenne Smile” smile, which is called the real smile, was recorded in the participants who were gifted with bouquets. And what’s interesting is that their happiness continued throughout the week. It should not be forgotten; flowers have always been used to express love throughout history.
The art of ikebana emerged in the 6th century with Buddhism when it came to Japan from China. Ikebana has the meaning of “living flower” as the word. The main purpose of the works created on the basis of minimalism and symbolism is to bring humans and nature closer. To be able to look at nature with a different eye.
As Balzac says ” The aim of art is not to copy nature, but to express it.”
There is not only happiness, peace, and joy in nature. There is sadness, separation, and of course death. Despite the magnolia that smells fragrant and looks immortal, there is a branch detached from its tree, a flower that is about to dry. Death is inevitable in nature.
While arranging ikebana, we have to go on a journey within us. We should be silent and think about our feelings in every object we place and put in front of us a flower or a leaf that will represent our thoughts in order to get rid of all the feelings that disturb and worry us.
Ikebana is one of the most aesthetic forms of therapy that will cleanse us from our negative thoughts. When autumn comes, a leaf that falls on the ground, a yellowed branch that you put in your container may mean that you should give up the feelings that disturb you for a long time. Your image is completely yours and you can convey all your feelings as you wish.
Well, we talked about that, how is this ikebana made? Is it easy or difficult, expensive or can we use the flowers we picked from the cemetery?
Of course, this is up to your conscience – but ikebana is not an art that is as easy as predicted, or as intimidating, and costly. At least it could be adapted to every budget. While original ikebana tools are very expensive, you can make your own affordable ikebana by using their counterparts. After learning a few basic principles you should pay attention to, you can perform this art like a Japanese sage.
One of the most important features that distinguish ikebana from other arts is that it has a philosophy of its own. As we mentioned, this art taken from Chinese Buddhists is simple and meaningless, it does not consist of just pieces. Let’s not forget, there are more than 1000 ikebana schools around the world. In these schools, starting from the most basic, students are taught the philosophy of ikebana.
Let’s examine ikebana in two styles, simply horizontal and vertical. Among the vertical styles is Kuge, which is used as the oldest style. It consists of a long branch and two short branches next to it. Vertical styles are created with 7 branches to express the beauty of nature, with the exception of Kuge. These 7 branches symbolize natural beauty such as mountains, waterfalls, rivers, and plains, and the purpose of this style is to highlight the beauty of flowers. At the time, the vertical style was preferred by priests and aristocrats.
The horizontal style consists of 3 layers. The Creator (sometimes heaven) is created from the trilogies such as Earth and Man or Father, Mother and Child.
After choosing your ikebana style, you need to find a plain container to hold flowers for your chosen style. This part is entirely up to your taste. Long, horizontal styles are preferred for vertical styles, and flat wide containers are preferred. You can also choose more abstract designs according to your preference.
Finally, there is the most colorful and peaceful part of the job now. Flowers
There are some tricks when it comes to choosing flowers. There may be flower preferences that vary according to your style. For example, in the vertical style, the longest piece is called Shin. Flowers dedicated to them are preferred for this piece, which has the meaning of Heaven or God. Flowers such as peach blossom, cherry blossom, azalea, lily, or fennel can be chosen. The medium-length piece Soe represents the Human. Peony, dahlia, carnation, rose, Japanese red pine, weeping willow flowers can be selected. Speaking of pine and weeping willow, let’s point out that you don’t just have to choose flowers when making ikebana. Fresh leaves, twigs, or even dried leaves can be preferred from trees. The shortest piece, Tai, represents the Earth. Delicate and elegant flowers are chosen in this piece. Very fragile flowers such as rosemary branch, baby breath flower, sea lavender.
Once you’ve decided on the flowers, we’re ready to start. Instead of choosing expensive, hard-to-reach flowers for a start, it is better to choose flowers that are more accessible in everyday life. We recommend that you start by collecting the materials and moving to a quiet place.
First of all, we calm ourselves. We need to keep our minds as still as possible and try to focus only on the flowers. We fill our container with some water and put in it cork or styrofoam that will serve as the ikebana material Kenzan. Before placing the flowers, cut the stem of the flower under the water with the flower scissors as we need to drain the air from its veins. In this way, water will be circulated in the veins of the flower instead of air and your flower will have a longer life. Because as we said at first, ikebana means “living flower”.
You can start placing your flowers, starting from the row you want. Meanwhile, think of your hurt, your unhappiness, your joys, your hatred, your love, your hope, your excitement, and your disappointments. Perform your art by thinking about the feelings that make you yourself. You wouldn’t be aware of your happiness if it wasn’t for your misery. Don’t let your focus on the flowers be spoiled. Keep quiet and respect your ikebana. The Japanese used to pay attention to the ikebana and stand with respect as if hearing the essence and purpose of the Creator. Do not deny yourself your respect first and then your own manual labor.
When you think your credibility is over, you can place it in a place where you can always see it.
Say hello to a brand new hobby by embracing your art and all your accepted feelings!