IKEBANA

In the Japanese history of floral art, its origin is said to be in KUGE (floral offerings to the Buddha), a custom brought to Japan with the introduction of Buddhism in the sixth century.  Historical records of Ikebana, as an established art, date from the middle of the 15th century, beginning with RIKKA or TATEBANA, meaning "Standing arrangement."  Later, during Azuchi-Momoyama Period (1560-1600), the NAGEIRE style (thrown in Arrangement), was developed.  During the EDO period (1603-1867), the SEIKA style, also called RYUGI BANA, and Ikebana - "Way of Flowers" - was gradually spread among the common people.  Beginning with th Taisho-era and early years of the Showa-era, 1926, new styles such as MORIBANA (arrangement in a low, shallow container), JIYU-BANA (a free arrangement) and ZEN-EI BANA (an avant-garde arrangement) have appeared one after another.  At present, Ikebana enjoys many colorful varieties.

Back in the EDO-period (1603-1867), this particular period was called "UKIYO", meaning "Floating World", the fields of all artistries such as painting, writing, peotry, CHA NO YU (way of the tea), Ikebana, incense-buring, etc. reached its peak.  Among those groups of intellectuals, an Ikebana style called "BUN JIN-IKE" was developed.  BUN JIN means intellectual people, IKE means a way, or a style of an arrangement, thus BUN JIN-IKE is an arrangement with free spirit and style.