Kado, the Art of Flower Arrangement

Kado, the Art of Flower Arrangement

Kado, the Art of Flower Arrangement

Enjoy seasonal flowers

Kado, also called "ikebana" is the Japanese art of creating and appreciating of floral arrangements by using seasonal flowers along with various materials. It puts importance on the courtesy just like other traditional Japanese arts such as sado, tea ceremony.

In kado, not only flowers but also the shaped of branch, stems, leaves and moss, and all the other materials used are subjects for appreciation. It is also called ‘ikebana.’

Containers and other utensils-scissors, a spiked flower holder(kenzan), and a special floral plate(hanadai), are used in kado. Kado has various major styles. "Rikka" is the oldest style that uses various flowers-and materials in the container to express harmonization. "Shoka"’ uses only three kinds of flowers or materials, utilizing respective characteristics and express the state of growing rooted on the ground. In "jiyuka," unique ideas are freely expressed by materials with no regard to traditional styles

Currently, there are about 2,000 to 3,000 schools of kado in Japan, centered by the biggest and the oldest school, ‘Ikenobo. 

A kado piece

Japanese traditional room, decorated with flower arrangements

Admiring flowers dates back to single flower arrangements during Heian Period (794-1185). It is believed the current form of flower arrangements evolved from the influence of Buddhism, where flowers were dedicated to spirits of the dead. During the Muromachi Period (1336-1573) and Higashiyama culture, the architectural style of Shoinzukuri developed. Rikka style flower arrangement by preist Ikenobo of Kyoto Rokkakudo Temple was formed, and together it lead to the display of flower arrangements in alcoves. Flower arrangements were only for samurai and upper class people until mid Edo Period (1603-1868). As the Shoka style flower arrangements spread to the public, many schools were born.

Etiquette / manners of flower arrangement Kado is based on the belief that all plants and flowers have a life like humans, and its beauty is represented in the arrangement. There are a few manners to follow when viewing flower arrangements. Before viewing the flower arrangement, guests are to sit one tatami space away from the alcove and bow to the flower arrangement. After looking at the overall structure, types and combination of flowers used, the vase and its base, the viewing should end with another bow, this time representing appreciation to the person who arranged the flowers. Free style flower arrangements for stages and events do not have specific manners, but it’s polite to exchange greetings with the person who arranged the flower prior to viewing.

Reference URL: "Root flower arrangement Iemoto Ikenobo Ikebana"

http://www.ikenobo.jp/ (Japanese Version)
http://www.ikenobo.jp/english/ (English Version)

Kado, the Art of Flower Arrangement: Video Gallery

Flower arrangement by Ikenobo's head master at New Years