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  • Writer's pictureAshley

100 Years of Ikebana: Ohara School of Ikebana's 100th Anniversary Exhibition


The Ohara School of Ikebana has delightfully announced the 100th anniversary exhibition of their Tokyo branch—a celebration of Tokyo's rich history in Japanese flower arrangement. The exhibition will take place on the 11th floor of Shinjuku Takashimaya from October 13-18, 2022, showcasing the beautiful creations of talented students, esteemed teachers, and the illustrious Iemoto (家元)—the Grand Master of the Ohara School of Ikebana in Tokyo.


At the heart of this exhibition is a visual art form known as ikebana (生け花), the traditional Japanese practice of flower arrangement. Ikebana has been cherished for centuries, allowing artists to forge a deep connection with nature through delicately balanced floral compositions that create an atmosphere of harmony and tranquility. Its creation requires patience, discipline, and the understanding of a plant’s characteristics, energy of growth, and life span. Ikebana artists often collect materials readily available in their environment, venturing out to discover enchanting wildflowers, branches, and all sorts of fascinating foliage. However, the day before the exhibition, artists must intuitively arrange newly gathered materials onsite. This is known as ikekomi (生け込み).


Ikekomi presents an exciting challenge and opportunity for artists to embrace improvisation. Materials must be thoughtfully selected in a limited time frame, with aspects such as color, texture, shape, and seasonality taken into consideration. The choice of container is equally important, as it must complement and enhance the beauty of the arrangement. Because fresh flowers are living things with distinct seasons, selecting vibrant plants in healthy condition, as well as maintaining their health, is crucial for creating exceptional works that can withstand multi-day exhibitions. Students will witness professionals with 40-50 years of experience as they take on these challenges and exemplify the highest level of artistry.


For this year's anniversary exhibition, artists will be tasked with incorporating the theme of "connection" into their creations. While exploring the exhibition space, one cannot help but feel a connection between human life and ikebana—a connection that only living art can portray. As flowers gracefully wilt, their hues, textures, and shapes begin to change, inviting us to contemplate the nature of life and the beauty found in its cycles of growth and decay. Moreover, the exhibition fosters a unique connection between artists, their masterpieces, and those who immerse themselves in the Japanese art of flower arrangement.


Within the world of ikebana, many schools and styles flourish, each offering its unique set of principles and techniques. The Ikenobo school, established in the 15th century, is renowned as the oldest and most traditional school of ikebana. However, the Sogetsu and Ohara schools are among the most popular, as they embrace more creative, contemporary approaches. The Ohara school’s Tokyo branch culminates in a total of ten districts, boasting the largest membership in all of Japan. Exploring their 100th anniversary exhibition, you will discover bold and exciting works crafted from unconventional materials. These daring pieces stand fearlessly alongside exquisitely traditional masterpieces—a striking contrast that attracts visitors from around Japan.


In celebration of their 100th anniversary, the Tokyo branch of the Ohara school has crafted a special commemorative monument. Adorned with delicate wooden boards etched with the heartfelt musings of each member, this creation welcomes visitors to share in the collective dreams of their dedicated ikebana community. Visit the Aoyama Ohara School Hall before the end of 2022 to witness this lovely monument, and don't miss the opportunity to experience a century’s worth of ikebana history at the Ohara School of Ikebana's 100th Anniversary Exhibition in Shinjuku Takashimaya.


Shinjuku Takashimaya

〒151-8580

11th Floor Event Hall

​​5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya City, Tokyo


Ohara School of Ikebana



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