Focus on Ikenobo

The Spirit of Ikenobo Ikebana

Nurtured by special appreciation of nature, changing seasons and understanding the beauty of flowers and plants.  Our hearts are cleansed in the bright freshness and purity of flowers. 

The Ikenobo School of ikebana uses the phrase, “Origin of Ikebana” because it was the first “school” of ikebana. This school of Ikebana has evolved significantly since 1462. The current 45th headmaster, Sen’ei Ikenobo appointed his daughter, Yuki, who recently took the name Senko Ikenobo, headmaster designate. The Ikenobo School of Ikebana has styles of arranging that are complex and simple at the same time and all reflect an understanding and great appreciation of nature. There are five basic styles within the Ikenobo school: Shoka Shofutai (designs with one, two or three materials dating from the 1700’s but evolving to reflect changes in materials and placement of an arrangement) Shoka Shimputai (designs with three materials; developed by the 45th headmaster in 1977) Rikka Shofutuai (more complex designs with historical signifigance from the 1600’s) Rikka Shimputai (complex design with a modern expression; developed by the current headmaster in 1998) Free Style (a constantly evolving style).

Please know that in all Ikenobo styles except Free Style, the vase is considered to be the earth and it is important that the design look as if it is coming from one life force. Hence, the materials are all very neat and tidy as they emerge from the container.

  • Rikka Shofutai (more complex designs with historical significance from the 1600’s)
  • Shoka Shofutai (designs with one, two or three materials dating from the 1700’s but evolving to reflect changes in materials and placement of the arrangement)
  • Shoka Shimputai (designs with three materials; developed by the 45th headmaster in 1977)
  • Rikka Shimputai (complex design with a modern expression; developed by the current headmaster in 1998)
  • Free Style (a constantly evolving style) Please enjoy examples of the Ikenobo school in the designs pictured below from a variety of Senior Professors and their students throughout the U.S.