Focus on Ohara

The First Headmaster of the Ohara School, Unshin Ohara, is recognized as the originator of a well respected ikebana form developed in 1895 called Moribana. The Ohara School also introduced the suiban, or low bowl container, which accommodated the colorful flowers arriving from the west. The Moribana form is accepted and practiced widely throughout this art form.

Sibbie Wilson, 1st Degree 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.

This photo shows an Ohara style called Fee Expression. The arranger may freely select the materials and container/s for this style. The shape of the container and the concepts of line, plane and mass of the materials should be in harmony with each other. These containers were created by the late Seiko Bahr.

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

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, Fuji mums, Leather Leaf, Miscanthus

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 chose for their seasonal qualities. Plant Materials: Cattails, Iris Blades, “Freedom Glow” Asiatic Lilies

The Bunjin style arrangement is based on the Japanese literati’s interpretation during the 17th and 18th centuries of the Chinese Southern Song School of paintings, drawings, and poems. The combinations of Chinese plant materials, style containers and scholar’s accessories produce an arrangement with symbolic meaning and poetic nature.

Plant materials are chosen for their seasonal qualities and elegance. Rare and unusual growth patterns are also given much emphasis. 

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


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.