Focus on Ohara

The Ohara School of Ikebana began in 1985. It respects the natural growth of the plant material in its classic styles, with particular emphasis on the seasons. Thus, it is known as a naturalistic school.

As the respected and recognized originator of the form Moribana in 1895 by First Headmaster Unshin Ohara with the introduction of the suiban container (low bowl) to accommodate the short stems of the colorful flowers arriving from the western world, the form is now practiced throughout the art.

Sibbie Wilson, Certified Second Term Master of the Ohara School of Ikebana was the guest ikebana demonstrator at the Asheville Arboretum during the Bonsai and Ikebana Expo weekend, October 11th and 12th, 2014. During the one hour demonstration she completed the five arrangements featured below.

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This type of ikebana arrangement are Ohara Sculptural styles and are a free expression of the arranger using techniques and any materials to fulfill the aim of completing a composition of structural art.

The beautiful containers were created by the late Seiko Behr.

Plant Materials: Banksia, Bleached Mitsumata, Branches, Philodendron leaves


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Hana-isho – Advanced – Radial Form – Front Viewing

Hana-isho types should capture the characteristics of the plant materials used and create compositions of colorful beauty for the living spaces of the 21st Century.

Plant Materials:

Bittersweet Vine, Chrysanthemums, Fuji, Leatherleaf Fern, Miscanthus

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Moribana – Color Scheme – Color Method – Upright Style

Moribana arrangements are the foundation of the Ohara School. Varieties of plant materials may be chosen, arranged in merging groupings encompassing the container.

Plant materials are chosen for their seasonal qualities. Plant Materials: Cattails, Iris Blades (Substitution for Cattail Blades), Lilies – Asiatic – “Freedom Glow”


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This form of arrangement is based on the interpretation of the studies, paintings, drawings, poems and taste of the Chinese Literati of 17th and 18th century China. The combinations of plant materials, containers, accessories used for these styles of heika, moribana and morimono of Bunjin are based on the studies of these scholars of this elegant time period in China.

Plant materials are chosen for seasonal qualities, elegance and unusual growth patterns much emphasized.

Plant Materials: Plum Branches, Lilies – Asiatic – ‘Freedom Glow,’, Hosta Leaves, Miscanthus. Accessory Scholars Sumi-e Brush and Stand.


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Shohinka – ‘Moon Viewing Arrangement’

Shohinka arrangements, heika or moribana styles are of plant materials chosen for their seasonal qualities used in small quantities. Elegance of plant materials and container are emphasized.

The ‘Moon Viewing’ arrangement honors the lunar calendar “Jusanya” on or about September 13th, the full moon of autumn. Japanese families place altars on their verandas where the moonlight falls and make offerings of food, fruit, flowers and the autumn grasses. Poems are composed for this occasion and appropriate stories are told in the light of the moon.

Plant Materials: Buckberry Branches, Chrysanthemum – Fuji, Miscanthus.