Modern life is reflected in Sogetsu Ikebana with emphasis on individual expressions. Natural and manmade materials are widely used, often in unexpected ways.


Sofu Teshigahara, the founder of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana, was born in 1900. He was the first son of Wafu Teshigahara, an ikebana artist, who trained Sofu in ikebana since childhood.

As he practiced and taught ikebana, he came into conflict with a milieu where ikebana was seen as the continuing attempt to recreate the existing forms.  Why should it always take the same form in spite of being arranged by very different people? Why didn’t it reflect their individual lives?  He left his father’s school when he was twenty six and founded the Sogetsu School in 1927, where he developed his way of teaching creative ikebana.  In 1929, the Sogetsu School held its first exhibition at the Sembikiya in the Ginza. His modern style of ikebana made Sofu’s reputation overnight. From this base, he produced work after work exploring the borders of ikebana, overthrowing the common sense of ikebana and the concept of containers and materials.

In 1930, Sofu Teshigahara participated in drawing up a “Manifesto of New Ikebana”, a radical document influenced by the avant-garde movement in Europe.  It denied the existence of fixed forms and announced that ikebana would, from then on, became one of the contemporary fine arts. He travelled and exhibited around the world, making live-long friend with Miro, Dali, Gaudi and Tapies.  Time magazine described him as the “Picasso of Flowers.”

After Sofu’s death in 1979, his daughter Kasumi Teshigahara became the second Iemoto. She passed away shortly thereafter and was succeeded by Hiroshi Teshigahara, the third Iemoto of Sogetsu School in 1980.  Hiroshi was a well respected film director and well known for creating spectacular bamboo installations. He died in the spring 2001. His daughter, Akane Teshigahara, succeeded him as the fourth Iemoto.  As was her father, she is a powerful installation artist who believes that ikebana must be incorporated in all aspects of contemporary life.

8 thoughts on “Sogetsu

  1. Elvia Carrasco

    My name is Elvia Carrasco from Mexico, Iam interested in havin an intensive course whit you, if you have any please let me nkow. Thank you.

    • Sorry for the slow answer to your request. I am not aware of any intensive ikebana course in Mexico. We do, however, have teachers who offer intensive course in the San Francisco and South Bay Area. From your request, I understand you are interested in learning Sogetsu ikebana. Questions: Will you be able to travel and stay in the Bay Area to learn? How long and when can you stay? There are 40 lessons to finish the basic course and another 40 lessons to finish the advanced course. Of course, there will lot more info between us before we can agree to something that will work out so if you can please let me as much info as possible about your plan. TN

  2. Justine

    Hi there,

    I have been a student of Sogetsu Ikebana in Australia. My grandmother was also an Instructor of Sogetsu Ikebana. I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area about 2 years ago and have two questions –

    1) Are there any evening or weekend classes in South Bay / Burlingame Area?
    2) I’d like to talk about commissioning some arrangements from students, for my wedding in January 2016. Please let me know if this is possible and what the next steps would be.



    • Dear Justine, I am so sorry for this late reply as I have been out of town. Our chapter has many great Sogetsu ikebana teachers. Please refer to the website under “Schools of Ikebana”, scroll down to “Teachers List”. There you can select a teacher who is close to where you live. If you have not found someone to do the arrangements for your wedding, I would like to refer to you an outstanding Sogetsu artist, who makes arrangements for events. His name is Ricardo Ramirez, tel 415-734-7377, email . Please let me know if I can of any further assistance. Best Wishes to you!!

  3. Steve Jamerson

    I. Studied, ikebana with K. Dickson a numbed of years ago and am hoping you may know of classes in Indianapolis, IN.

    • I am sorry, I don’t have any information about ikebana classes in Indianapolis.

  4. Steven Jamerson

    Do you sell Sogetsu DVDs in English?

    • We have DVD’s of past Ikebana shows that includes Sogetsu arrangements, but not DVD just Sogetsu.

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