The Ichiyo School of Ikebana
The Ichiyo School of Ikebana was founded in 1937 by a brother and sister--Meikof and Ichiyo Kasuya. Since the school's establishment, the two ikebana masters sought to create original ikebana that would be suitable for modern lifestyles and environments. They focused on two types of flower arrangements: one to fit diversified personal surroundings, from traditional Japanese tokonomas, or alcoves, to Western entry tables, and another for public spaces from stage settings to hotel lobbies.
The Ichiyo School instructs students worldwide by using unique, systematically organized textbooks. In 1966, centers for instruction in Europe and the United States were established, and today Ichiyo ikebana is widely known overseas. Tests are written in both Japanese and English. In the beginning, the school offers students more formal training based on text books and supplemental material. However, as the student progresses, the instruction is received more directly from one's teacher based on the student's needs. The student's own creativity is developed and expected as one progresses.
The principles of ikebana as understood by the Ichiyo School of Ikebana include seeing balance, harmony, and form in the arrangements we create. Every arrangement should have form, line, texture, color and space. Arrangement can be any size as long as they retain these qualities. Branches, leaves, and grasses provide form and line movement and play a dominant role in an arrangement. Arrangements are many times asymmetric and should be seen from the front in most designs. Development of this art form is a lifelong study.
Ikebana is not a commercial pursuit. its benefits include adding environmental beauty in daily life, development of patience, discipline, imagination, sense of well-being, personal awareness, sharing the experience with others, and improving the overall quality of life by seeing beyond ourselves. As an art form, ikebana cannot be learned without the aid of a teacher. There are many schools of ikebana, and each interpret this art in their own style.
My training started in early 2012 and continues to this day. Presently, I'm a Junior Associate Master working on my Associate Master certification which is expected next year. Over the years, it has been possible for me to work with the Iemoto (Head Master) of the school when he comes over to the United States for teaching conferences.