Ikenobo School is known as the “Origin of Ikebana” and has strong traditions in training artists. Students learn techniques for various styles, both traditional and modern. Japanese history and philosophical views of nature and plants living in harmony and reflected in Ikenobo ikebana.
Just like many other aspects of traditional Japanese culture, ikebana has its origins in the Muromachi Period (1338-1573) in Japan. Senkei Ikenobo was known as an early master of Rikka style. Rikka is a formal upright style with its roots in early religious floral offerings; later Rikka portrayed the beauty of a natural landscape. In the late Muromachi Period, Senno Ikenobo elucidated the essence of ikebana for the first time in a famous teaching manuscript,”Senno Kuden”.
In the early 17th century, Senko Ikenobo Ⅰ and Senko Ikenobo Ⅱ perfected the dignity and character of the Rikka style. In the early 1800’s, Senjo Ikenobo perfected the Shoka style. Shoka is a simple, graceful style suggesting the essential character of a plant as it grows in response to the factors in its natural environment. Senjo was followed by masters Senmyo and Sensho, with each generation’s work reflecting the artistic character of the time and further strengthening ikebana’s position as an essential part of Japanese culture.
Ikenobo’s current 45th generation Headmaster, Sen’ei Ikenobo, believes that the possibility of creating new ikebana depends on the desire to refine one’s own character, a spirit that has been passed down to us as the essence of ikebana itself.
As a continuing center in the world of ikebana, the Ikenobo Headquarters stands adjacent to Rokkaku-do Temple, where ikebana began over 550 years ago. The Headquarters is home for communication, ongoing study, and workshops for Ikenobo’s ikebana professors and students from throughout Japan and the rest of the world. Here at the center of Ikenobo’s rich tradition, students receive both classical training and encouragement to explore modern Ikebana’s use in contemporary life, including modern Rikka, Shoka, and free styles.