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Ikebana is the art of arranging flowers which involves the creation of linear harmony and asymmetrical composition while keeping unity among the shapes, rhythms and colours of the material used. Elements used in compositions include branches, leaves, grass, and flowers, as well as vessels, and each of these elements has its own symbolic meaning.

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Ikebana is the art of arranging flowers which involves the creation of linear harmony and asymmetrical composition while keeping unity among the shapes, rhythms and colours of the material used. Elements used in compositions include branches, leaves, grass, and flowers, as well as vessels, and each of these elements has its own symbolic meaning. A vase and a surface of water in which the plants are immersed symbolise the surface of the Earth.
There is a bronze vase in the collection of the Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology, of the rikka type used for flower arrangements. This is a piece from the oldest ikebana school in Japan — Ikenobō. It is a gift from Professor Satoko Fujita who visited Poland in the 1990s, teaching ikebana and the chadō tea ceremony.
The vase is of the shape typical of rikka compositions, with a wide-stretching cylindrical opening taking the form of a flat plate.
This shape enables one to put plants into the vase harmoniously, according to three basic points of ikebana, symbolising the sky, the earth, and mankind, respectively. In the end, the composition should express the unity of three elements: the beauty of art and nature, as well as the artist's sensitive aspiration towards harmony.

Elaborated by Joanna Haba (The Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology), editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved

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“Rikka” — “ikebana” vase

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