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Anthropology Workshop Presentation: Media Analysis. By Barbara Cooper. NATURE.

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1 Anthropology Workshop Presentation: Media Analysis. By Barbara Cooper. NATURE

2 The way of the flower Japanese culture holds nature in high regard. Seasonal variations are much appreciated and many flowers and trees are imbued with specific meanings. There are around 3,000 schools of Ikebana in Japan and the art is practised by approximately 15 million people. Ikebana

3 History of Ikebana In the 6th century, Chinese monks who used flowers in religious offerings, brought the concepts of flower arranging to Japan. The principles of this art form were taught by monks to royalty and Samurai families only. Thus it was not available to common people for many centuries.

4 Schools Tim Cooper: There are many schools of Ikebana. The oldest, Ikenobo, has records dating back to the 15th century. The Ohara school was started in the late 19th century by a would-be sculptor, Unshin Ohara, who found the Ikebono school rather formal and who also wanted to use the Western flowers that were being introduced to Japan. He developed his own containers and started the Moribana type of arrangements. The Sogetsu school was started in 1927 by Sofu Teshigahara, who saw Ikebana, not merely as decoration, but rather as a form of art. His school was available to all levels of society and his work was influenced by contemporary artists, such as Picasso, Dali and Miro. As a consequence of the second World War and the interest of the wives of US servicemen, Ikebana was introduced world-wide.

5 Layering This is an important aspect of Ikebana, but there are no thick layers as in Western flower arrangements. The aim is to minimally use flowers and stems to accentuate the beauty of each. There must be balance between all the elements in the arrangement, including the container. The arrangement should point towards heaven, reflecting Buddhist spirituality. Heaven is represented by the uppermost layer; man by the middle layer and earth by the lowest layer. Adherence to the principles of nature are depicted by rules which, for example, state that a plant found in mountains, would never be placed lower than one found in a meadow.

6 Styles Heads of different schools create new styles of Ikebana and it can take up to 5 years to learn the techniques for fastening and positioning the stems and flowers that are used. The most common arrangements are Rikka (standing) Nageire (flung flowers) Moribana (piled-up flowers)

7 Rikka Also known as Shoka or Seika, this form of arrangement uses tall vases and positions the flowers to highlight vertical lines. Rules guide the length, proportions and angles of stems. Nageire This is an old form of Ikebana arrangement, which is used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony. The style of arrangement may be upright, slanting or cascading

8 Moribana This style uses shallow containers and a holder called a kenzan. This has sharp points to hold the flowers in place. Moribana arrangements reflect natural shapes. This more modern style permits the use of Western flowers. The arrangement should take the form of a triangle.

9 Symmetry Unlike Western flower arrangements, Ikebana is not symmetrical. This is based on Buddhists beliefs that the mind should be left to further imagine form. For this reason, an odd number of branches will be used and the kenzan (holding pin) is placed asymmetrically. Stems are therefore varied in length. Shin = Heaven Soe = Man Hikae = Earth

10 Position In the 15th century, the ruling Muromachi shogun built simple homes, which contained a spiritual centre, such as an alcove, to house objects of art. This area was known as the toko-no-ma and was to be found in rooms used to receive guests. A shelf might be used if the home had no toko-no-ma and traditionally the floral arrangements were viewed only from the front. Nowadays, this form of media, which so beautifully depicts the splendour of nature, is to be found decorating many different areas, for example, living rooms and tables, as well as public places, such as entrances to large buildings and shop windows. Arrangements are now designed to complement their surroundings and to be viewed from all perspectives.

11 Bibliography Goodman, Liz. (ed.) (1984). Arranging FLOWERS & PLANTS London: Marshall Cavendish. Grosser, Ruth. (2003). The History of Ikebana. The AIC College of Art. Accessed 1/09/04. Horace Manns Webpage on Japanese Flower Arranging Accessed 1/09/04. Japanese Culture - Ikebana (Flower Arrangement) Accessed 24/10/04. Takenaka, Reiko. (1995 by JOIE, Inc.,Japan) Last modified May 16, Mastering Basic Styles of Ikebana. Accessed 26/10/04. Yanagi-Kenny, Tamoko in London. Ikebana World. Accessed 24/10/04. What is Ikebana? Accessed 24/10/04.

12 Images Used Google Cache Ikebana Images Reiko Takenaka


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