ART OF IKEBANA
"I have heard that the flowers were placed in a vase for a long time. Flowers were admired only for their external beauty, without awareness of their natural essence ... Traditionally, we use twigs and flowers to create a perfect image of the inner beauty of plants, image that based on the natural shape of the flowers and trees growing in the fields, forests, near the ponds. Flowers need to be treated in this way only... "(Senkey, founder of the School Ikenobo, 1462)
Ikebana (Jap. fresh flowers) is a unique phenomenon of Japanese culture. Although the formation of this art was influenced by the traditions of other nations, it was formed in Japan and it embodies the distinctive Japanese worldview. The history of ikebana as an art is only 545 years old, but it goes back to the hoary mists of time. The basis of Ikebana can be considered as ancient rituals of the national Japanese Shinto religion, where sacred plants were often used as offerings to Almighty. And with the advent of Buddhism (VI cent.) the tradition of decorating the altars of Buddha with flowers was borrowed. But in Japan in VII century each element of the composition got a special sacred significance - it was a kind of mandala with flowers. During centuries this sacred art was developed and cherished in monasteries. The secrets of Ikebana passed from teacher to learner.