Japanese Version

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.


Author: stevebeimel

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  1. Thanks for the interesting post, Ritsuko. I would love to go to an ikebana show with you sometime to hear more of your insightful explanation about this fascinating art form.

  2. Ritsuko,

    It was so nice to see some ikebana, and read your thoughts and interpretations of the arrangements. I liked the modernity of these arrangements and the unusual use of color and unique vases. It was also nice to see your smiling face! I look forward to more postings from you!


  3. Ritsuko,

    How wonderful to have you join Steve’s blog with your article on ikebana. You selected some gorgeous examples to share with us all. Linda and I second Nancy and Lana’s comments. Your background and years of ikebana study would surely provide insight so that we could better appreciate these delightful compositions. Terrific photo of you! Looking forward to seeing you before the end of the year.

    Mora and Linda

  4. It is very interesting to learn about Ikebana. The example Ikabanas in your post are all very different and beautiful. I am unfortunately very unfamiliar with different Ikebana school styles. I wish I knew which Ikebana shows which school style in the examples you picked. Thank you for the post, and I really like the title of your post, too. I look forward to more postings from you, too.

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