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Travel, Teach, Live in Japan

Understanding The Nuances of Japanese Flower Arranging
By:Anand R

In Japanese culture, more is less. Everything is made more dramatic by the sparing use of color and close attention to texture and positioning. Everything is also sacred in the Japanese world; they do not just go out and do anything without it having a meaning of symbolizing an event. Japanese culture is very much a culture of deep reflection and careful placement, measure twice, cut once is more like, measure thrice, cut once.

As such the flowers chosen for a Japanese home or garden are selected very carefully, with attention to what each flower means and how it will mesh with the décor that will surround it. In Japanese gardens you will most likely find flowers towards the entrance of the garden, mostly one type of flower or flowers in complementing colors if not the same color. The Japanese cherry tree is most well known for its seasonal pink buds that fill the countryside with their rich fragrance. The Japanese garden depicts the bear essence of nature.

This is highlighted by the special choices of flowers, plants and stones which are arranged in perfect harmony with the natural landscapes and surroundings. It is a place of peace, beauty, and harmony, where one can feel totally relaxed. The garden is considered to be one of the highest forms of art in Japan. All things are sacred in the garden and whether it is a stone a rock a flower or a shrub they all are placed with the purpose of expressing some form of traditional symbolic meaning.

Ikebana which is the traditional are of Japanese flower arrangement is called an art, because it is supposed to represent all aspects of the Universe. It was first introduced in Japan in the15th century when Buddhist first arrived in Japan. It was offered to the Buddhist as an offering and it was also offered to Dead Spirits of their ancestors. The three main parts of an Ikebana arrangement the longest stem (Shin) represents Heaven the middle stem (Soe) represents the Man and the shortest stem (Hikae) represent the Earth.

There is also a legend that if you use Full bloom flowers in your arrangement you are representing the Past, Half bloom flowers represent the Present and Buds would you believe represent the Future. Everything Japanese has a meaning to it, that is why they are so unique in their style and that’s what makes them stand out among the many different cultures of the world.


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