Focus on Ichiyo

Ichiyo Ikebana adds greater interest to traditional forms through emphasis on artistic expressions that harmonize with all interiors and environments.  Whether a simple Japanese room or an elegant Western-style home, Ichiyo ikebana enhances any space and enriches our senses.  The contemporary style  with focus on the innate beauty and energy of flowers and plant life reflects naturalness and also encourages personal interpretation.

The Ichiyo School was founded in 1937 by sister and brother, Ichiyo and Meikof Kasuya.  Akihiro Kasuya was Ichiyo logoborn the third son of the second Headmaster, Meikof, in Tokyo in 1947.  He became the third Headmaster in 1983 and quickly established himself as one of the favorites among the upcoming Iemoto generation because of his creative style. His second son, Naohiro Kasuya, is presently Iemoto-designate and has established
himself as an artistic flower master who is in great demand for demonstrations and workshops both in Japan and abroad.

Ichiyo instruction is taught through progressive and systematically organized textbooks developed by Meikof Kasuya and further expanded by Akihiro Kasuya.  Beginning with a thorough study of basic essential forms, students are gradually encouraged to express imagination and feeling through personal interaction with the materials. Students can soon understand the philosophy of the school that flower arranging is most truly fulfilling when it is a reflection of one’s self.


Ichiyo support system exampleThis ikebana arranged by Ichiyo Master Jeanne Houlton is an example of using a support system other than a kenzan. Supported by a glass ball in a deep blue glass bowl, jasmine and tulips provide triad color combinations. The overall style of the arrangement shows dynamic negative space with the jasmine positioned in a continuous circle with no ending. This suggests to Jeanne that the practice of ikebana has no ending and is a life long pursuit.


Ichiyo split bamboo


Junior Executive Master Terri Todd has arranged a contemporary style of Ichiyo ikebana using a split bamboo tea whisk resting on a summer tea bowl style
container filled with Solomon’s Plume and gloriosa lilies.  The bamboo structure supports the material and provides a fresh look to the surface of the arrangement as the material flows up and outward.


Ichiyo - 2-contrasting -lotus2


This compound arrangement by Executive Master Elaine Jo features two contrasting materials in the same color of green.  One is the beauty of fresh bamboo with its straight, smooth, shiny surface, the other slightly dried lotus leaves with strong texture and movement within mass.  The color of the gloriosa lilies adds a balance of bright contrast to the green.



Balance and contrast between different materials is an important study in the Ichiyo style and this seasonal arrangement by Executive Master Elaine Jo features a contrast between two different nandina plants, one with red berries and one with yellow. The branch of pine provides a seasonal balance.


willow and gerbera


This arrangement featuring two different line movements was done by Executive Master Elaine Jo and is an example of the Group Contrast Form. The style provides a transition from traditional Ichiyo forms to the beginning of free style ikebana. Pussy willow is used for the straight line and split leaf aspidistra for the contrasting curving line. The flowers are Gerbera daisies.


Adding interest and pleasure to a room through the placement of an ikebana arrangement is a simple and direct way to add character and atmosphere to the environment.  Recognizing this truth, the Ichiyo School has, since its founding, promoted the placement of creative ikebana in various personal spaces in Japanese andpeace lilly and poppu Western interiors.   In this contemporary arrangement by Executive Master Elaine Jo, colors similar to those in the furnishings were chosen to provide good harmony between the arrangement and its surroundings.  The floral material includes peace lilies, poppies, and asparagus fern.


lchiyo-glass accent lines


This spring arrangement by Junior Master Suzanne Dillingham uses glass to accentuate the beautiful lines of Red Twig Dogwood. Additional materials:  Rhodendrum branch with bloom cluster  and  masses of lime green euphorbia blossoms.  The glass gives it a feeling of being suspended in air.




This arrangement by Executive Master Valerie Eccleston features an antique noodle strainer which is not only attractive but becomes an efficient support system.  The hydrangeas are showing a tinge of fall color, which is complemented by the winterberry, giving a warm, Autumnal feeling.




Executive Master Valerie Eccleston explains that the flowing movement of the callas work well with a favorite old vine, woven through an Ichiyo School container.  The vine is strong enough to support a second vase, floating above in it’s curves, giving an opportunity to create an even livelier arrangement.