Banmi Shofu Ryu of Ikebana 

Brief History of Ikebana



      Ikebana is the ancient Japanese art of arranging flowers, documented as far back as 1486.   The art, and the companion discipline of Kado, or the way of arranging flowers evolved from the ritual of randomly thrown floral offerings to the spirits of the dead in the birthplace of Buddhism – India.  When Buddhism came to Japan during the 6th century via China, the practice came along with it.  By the 10th century, temple priests, who were primarily responsible for floral offerings started the use of containers. 

     Soon, the aristocracy took a liking for Kado, transforming it from a predominantly religious purpose into a domestic, albeit royal aesthetic.  By the 15th century, Ikebana achieved its status as an art form, while maintaining its philosophical, symbolic, and spiritual underpinnings.  The first teachers and students came from the religious and aristocracy, but now, Ikebana is practiced at all levels of Japanese and Western societies.  Various Ikebana schools started when personal expression, business with the Western world, and adaptation to different home settings came into the picture.  By 1936, there were 500 schools in Japan.  Today, there are about 5000 ikebana schools all over the world.

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