What is Ikebana?
Ikebana (ee-kay-bah-nah) is the ancient art of Japanese flower arranging. A free translation might be “living flowers” or “making flowers come alive”. When flowers are beautifully arranged in a container, the arrangement evokes the whole of nature itself, and people’s relationship with nature.
What is Ikebana International?
Ikebana International (I.I.) is a non-profit cultural organization dedicated to the promotion and appreciation of ikebana. Founded in 1956 by the late Ellen Gordon Allen whose dream was to create an organization uniting the peoples of the world through their mutual love of nature and enjoyment of ikebana. That dream has now spread to over 60 countries and 164 chapters. This website is devoted to the North American Region of I.I. serving over 70 chapters.
There are several hundred different schools or styles of ikebana. Some schools of ikebana stress classic styles; other focus on contemporary forms, and some blend the two. Each of the schools of ikebana takes its own approach to arranging flowers. At I.I. meetings, students and teachers share openly their own schools’ inspirations, styles, philosophy, history, and techniques.
A typical Ikebana meeting might be a demonstration or a workshop to create a particular floral design or a demonstration or workshop in another Japanese craft such as calligraphy, sumi-e painting, origami or making sushi!
A unique feature of Ikebana International is that the organization was founded by and is still administered by volunteers.
The motto of Ikebana International, “Friendship through Flowers”, is enjoyed by about 7800 persons worldwide.
For more information visit the Ikekbana International website at www.ikebanahq.org.
How to get involved in Ikebana?
Most Ikebana chapters allow guests to attend one to three of their meetings for either a modest per meeting fee or no fee at all before formally joining the chapter. Individual chapter membership fees range from approximately $60 to $100 annually and some also charge a per meeting/workshop fee. Check out the many chapters in the North American Region on this website. Also check out their programs.
Benefits of membership vary from chapter to chapter but most include:
- Ability to attend all chapter meetings and workshops (some have additional fees for attendance) anywhere in the world.
- Opportunity to participate in exhibitions
- Ability to take lessons and participate in workshops of various ikebana schools
- Receipt of local chapter newsletter and full access to this website for I.I. North American Region news
- Subscription of Ikebana International Magazine issued three times a year with color plates and illustrations of ikebana arrangements from a variety of schools as well as articles on ikebana and related cultural arts
- Subscription to two additional newsletters, Chapter Activities and Sakura News, with information regarding what is happening locally as well as in chapters around the world
- Ability to attend regional conferences held in the U.S., Asia and Europe periodically
- Ability to transfer membership from one chapter to another upon presentation of a valid membership card