ikebana and life in japan

a blog about ikebana and life in japan


Hanamai, Dancing Flowers

One of my favorite forms of ikebana is Hanamai, or Dancing Flowers. As mentioned in the previous blog, it was developed by the Fourth Headmaster, Natsuki Ohara. It is a form created for the modern age, expressing the sculptural beauty of the materials brought out by their interaction in three-demensional space.

Hanamai has no fixed rules as to the length of the stems, size, angle or direciton of the materials. The materials may approach, touch, overlap, mix, or interlace with each other to create beauty though harmony or though contrast. The basic standard is to use two materials, with three being the limit. It is a truly free-form of ikebana, simplistic in form yet complex in meaning.

Last year during a fall exhibition, I created a Hanamai work. I wanted to use pine as one of my materials, something that you don't see often in Hanamai. I went to a local flower shop a few weeks before the exhibition and talked with them about my ideas. They said that they would be sure and get some pine branches for me -- and they had a beautiful branch just perfect for Hanamai when the time came!

I also wanted to incorporate some of the beautiful fall colors that abound here during the season. I found a elegant branch of bittersweet with the red berries just beginning to open, showing their orange insides. And to add to the fall harmony, I included a white chrysanthemum.

The result, dancing flowers reflecting the feel of the season.

Hanamai    Pine, Bittersweet, Chrysanthemum
Front view from the left
Left Side View
Right Side View


Anonymous said...


Nora Kay said...

I have a whole new respect for Ikabana after reading your blog Son. You do a wonderful jog and I can't wait to see what the future holds for you. Love You.