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Ikebana – Art that Disappears in Three days by Ritsuko Beimel

There were over 100 ikebana arrangements on display at a recent exhibition, here in Kyoto. Of about 2000 registered schools of ikebana in Japan, most people study at one of the more popular schools, such as Ikenobo, Ohara and Sogetsu. I chose the following arrangements to show design attitudes of a few different schools.


I like the way green is displayed here. It is full of life. It is a simple arrangement. I especially like the structural use of the big branch. There is also good placement of negative space.

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This arrangement certainly shows off the blue container very well. There is variety within the arrangement, yet it feels light, well balanced and elegant. It is also fun.


This low arrangement makes a clear statement and impression. I liked the look of this, right away. Notice the way the yellow flowers subtly face different directions.

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See the strong, interesting lines in red. There is a lot going on, yet it is not busy. Or should I say, just busy enough without being tedious. It is sumptuous.


I chose this arrangement because it is very traditional, yet not overly formal. It has good sense of movement. Just for fun, cover the green piece that is protruding in the front with your fingers on the computer screen, and see if you like the arrangement better with or without this part.

Ritsuko and Steve


Ritsuko Beimel is a certified instructor in the Sogetsu School of Ikebana and a potter, living in Kyoto with her husband Steve.