Ikenobo is proclaimed as the oldest of all organized schools of ikebana, perhaps as far back as 800 A.D. Many schools have branched off of Ikenobo in pursuit of their own excellence.
The founder, Senno Ikenobo taught, “Not only beautiful flowers but also buds and withered flowers have life, and each has its own beauty. By arranging flowers with reverence, one refines oneself.”
Today, Sen’ei Ikenobo is the 45th Generation Headmaster of this enduring school. His mission is to promote and enhance the beauty and harmony of Ikenobo ikebana worldwide. Since 1968 he has selected and sent three Professors of Ikenobo to the United States to ensure continued learning. Although past tradition passed leadership to one’s son, Headmaster Sen’ei has chosen his daughter, Yuki, as his Headmaster Designee, breaking with this longstanding custom.
Throughout the centuries, the emphasis of Ikenobo has been on RIKKA — a formal arrangement with nine lines. Rikka started with Tatehana in the 16th century and symbolizes the universe. There are two types of Rikka: Rikka Shofutai and Rikka Shimputai. As appreciation for simpler lines emerged, so evolved a new look of ikebana.
The belief for those students and aficionados of Ikenobo, is that flowers are not only beautiful, but that they reflect the passing of time and the feelings of their own hearts. Ikenobo simply reflects that idea and suggests the forces of nature wit greenery, floral inclusion and consequently creating harmony.
Ikenobo considers “a flower’s bud is most beautiful, for within the bud is the energy of life’s opening toward the future. Past, present and future … in each moment the changing of environment becomes part of the art of ikebana.”