Yes, Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arranging but it is so much more.
We study and celebrate the attributes of nature in flower arranging. We experience peace (and sometimes frustration!) as we contemplate how to combine our materials and incorporate space and movement to compose a serene or striking arrangement. We recognize that our arrangement is really a conversation between oneself, the container, the plant materials and sometimes unconventional materials we've selected, any exposed water surface, even the surrounding environment. We learn about the relationship between ikebana and the interesting and different arts and cultures of Japan. And we experience the pleasure of friendship through flowers.
The ikebana tradition dates back to the Heian period in Kyoto, Japan (late 9th to late 12th century), when floral offerings were made at Buddhist temple altars. It is said that, in the 9th century, Emperor Saga, who loved Chrysanthemums, had an island on a lake at his summer palace estate planted with Chrysanthemums. One day, he picked three Chrysanthemums on the island, placed them in a vase, and said, "This is what flower arrangement should be!" He then took an Aspidistra leaf and used it to establish his rules of height. Later, flower arrangements were used to adorn the tokonoma of a traditional Japanese home. Today in Japan, ikebana is a popular art form, practiced by everyday people to beautify their home, whether it has a traditional tokonoma alcove or is of a more modern design.
What is Ikebana International?
Our motto is "Friendship through Flowers"
Ikebana International is a worldwide organization founded in Tokyo, Japan, in 1956 by the late Ellen Gordon Allen. Its members are dedicated to promoting the mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and other countries through ikebana and other related arts of Japan.
Ikebana International (I.I.) is a non-profit cultural organization in Japan, and today boasts over 6,000 members with chapters in more than 50 countries.
The North and Central American Region (NCAR) is the largest region of seven regions within Ikebana International, reaching from Canada to the Panama Canal. Its Regional Advocate Committee seeks to strengthen relationships with the 68 NCAR chapters – through engagement, communication and knowledge sharing – to enhance chapter and school vitality.
The Ikebana Iwaya Fund (IIF) is an IRS 501(c) (3) non-profit organization established in 2006 to promote and support ikebana related activity in North America. It seeks to educate the general public and foster the growth of ikebana through collaboration and financial support of organizations with this shared mandate.