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Ikebana (生け花 or いけばな), "arranged flower"), is the Japanese art of flower arrangement, also known as kadō (華道, kadō, the "way of flowers")
In contrast to the massing of blooms typical of flower arrangement in western countries, Japanese flower arrangement is based on the line of twigs and/or leaves, filled in with a small number of blooms. The container is also a key element of the composition. The structure of a Japanese flower arrangement is based on a scalene triangle delineated by three main points, usually twigs, considered in some schools to symbolize heaven, earth, and man.


Ikebana began as a kind of ritual flower offering made in Buddhist temples in Japan during the sixth century. The first written account dates back to the tenth century in the Kokin Waka Shu, a poetry book:…” in a receptacle, place a flowering branch of plumtree...”
In these arrangements, both the flowers and the branches were made to point toward heaven as an indication of faith. Tatebana ("vertical flower") in the Muromachi era (14-16th century) was regarded the first style that could be called Ikebana. It was arranged in a high narrow vase.
A more sophisticated style of flower arrangement, called rikka (standing flowers), appeared in the fifteenth century.
The rikka style reflects the magnificence of nature and its display. For example, pine branches symbolize rocks and stones, and white chrysanthemums symbolize a river or small stream.
The rikka style became popular in the seventeenth century, used as a decorative technique for ceremonial and festive occasions, though today it is regarded as an antiquated form of flower arrangement and is rarely practiced.