ikebana and life in japan

a blog about ikebana and life in japan



Recently, a new ikebana style has been introduced by the headmaster into the Ohara School of Ikebana. The name of the new style is Hanakanade. Hana means flower and kanade means to play or perform; so I guess in English you would call it Playing Flowers? Maybe? I'm not sure, so don't quote me on it!

In Ohara Ryu Ikebana, most of the time the flowers in an arrangement flow over the boundary of the container, creating more space and depth in the arrangement. This new style does the opposite. Hanakanade shows the beauty of flowers in the confined space of the container, but doing so in a vertical way.

The three main stems of the arrangement flow up above the container, crossing, and then forming a right triangle in the air with the tips of the stems. The base of the stems are then covered with other flowers and green material, all within the confines of the container. It sort of looks like the circular form and the hanamai form have been combined into a new form.

Last weekend, there was a special demonstration by one of the top teachers of the school. He demonstrated seven different arrangements using seasons flowers and other arrangement using flowers chosen for their colors and textures. Placing the three main stems doesn't take much time, but covering the base of the stems, trying to keep a balance and harmony in the arrangement takes quite a while.

I wanted to try my hand with the new style. I chose flowers based on their colors and textures instead of season flowers. I used liatris, anthurium, spray carnation, prairie gentian, and leather leaf.


view from above

view from straight on

Did you notice the nice container, too? Two friends gave it to me for my birthday, and I hadn't used it, yet. I thought the yellow color went well with the purple and pink in the arrangement. It's a very nice container, and I love it! Thanks, you two!

Oh, and sorry about the pictures. For some reason I couldn't get my editing program running to erase the line from where the two sheets of paper come together. I bought a rollscreen to use as a backdrop, but I just haven't put it up, yet. Once that's done, I won't have to use the editing program. One of these days . . .


Becky said...

Love it, Stevie- it's beautiful! I like "playing flowers"- I can imagine the two main stems playing together.

The FitzWilliams said...

Hey! I love your arrangement, but I think the triangle is a little unsettling. Like it's too geometric or something - but what do I know! I've been meaning to ask you where you get all of your flowers?

Stephen Coler said...

Thanks, Becky! I wonder that the "real" English name will be?

Stephen Coler said...

Misty Leigh, after you said that, I started to see the triangel more, too. It is a bit strange. . . but I may have done the arrangement wrong! It was my first time, so who knows? :D
I get my flowers at a local floral shop. There are 2 that I go to regularly -- a cheap one and an expensive one. These flowers were from the cheap shop. It cost about $20 for the flowers, but at the expensive shop, it would probably have closer to $30.

Stephen Coler said...

Becky, I forgot to say, I'm looking forward to readying some of your stories on your blog!!!!

The FitzWilliams said...

I still love the arrangement, and I'm sure you did it right, but I just like the more "flowy" arrangements over the angular ones. Which is interesting since I'm so OCD/anal retentive you would think I would appreciate the triangles!

Albert Ng said...

I also start trying this form and this is one of the most difficult form I guess, because very easy to create a busy and messy look. but you did a great job. congrats!