What is the difference between flower arrangement and ikebana?

What is the difference between flower arrangement and ikebana?
Kado is one of the traditional cultures of Japan. Many people may think that Kado = ikebana , but in fact, Kado and ikebana are very similar and different. In this article, we will explain the differences between Kado and Ikebana, their origins, their respective images, and how to learn them. In the latter part of the article, we also discuss the difference between Kado and Ikebana and flower arrangement, which has become popular in recent years as a way to learn flower arranging. Please read to the end and take this opportunity to understand the differences between ikebana and kado.

What is Kado?

Kado is one of the three Japanese traditional cultural traditions, together with Sado (tea ceremony) and Shodo (calligraphy). It is said that the origin of Kado dates back to the Sui and Tang Dynasties in China, and was brought to Japan by the Chinese immigrants. Initially, the purpose of flower arrangement was to offer flowers to Buddha as a result of the introduction of Buddhism.

As time went by, a unique culture was created in accordance with Japan's geography, environment, national circumstances, and historical background, and it is said to have been established as an essential part of girls' education during the Muromachi Period. Until around the Showa period (1926-1989), Kado and Sado (tea ceremony) were called "training for brides," and have been part of Japanese culture for a long time. In Kado, which was also a part of education, it is possible to learn not only flower arranging but also etiquette and manners. It also places great importance on the spiritual aspect of flower arranging, and through Kado, it is meant to improve one's charm and inner self as a person.

Although it is sometimes referred to as " kado"花道" it means the same thing, and is generally used in the term "kado"(華道).

What is Ikebana?

Ikebana is the art of arranging flowers, plants, and trees in a vase. Many people may imagine that flowers and plants are arranged in a vase with a tool called a kenzan, which has many needles attached to it. In reality, the kenzan is not always used, but sometimes a vase is used, and flowers are arranged as desired. Originally, flower arranging was the custom of aristocrats and samurai families, and was not something that the common people could enjoy. In the Edo period (1603-1867), however, the culture of flower arranging spread among the common people, and flower arranging developed as a form of ikebana.

By the late middle Edo period (1603-1867), ikebana schools such as the Koryu (old style) in Edo and the Misei school in Osaka had emerged, and incorporating flowers into daily life became a common practice. Thus, ikebana is a culture that spread as a hobby in daily life. There are no strict rules; people enjoy flowers, plants, and trees, and create ikebana with their own free sensibilities.

Some people may think that flower arrangements must be displayed in a Japanese style room because of the strong Japanese image of ikebana, but ikebana can be displayed in any place. Therefore, ikebana can be enjoyed in a casual manner as interior decorations that literally add color to one's life. Ikebana is sometimes described as "flower arrangement," but they are basically the same thing.

Differences between Ikebana and Ikebana in terms of image and learning style

Differences between Ikebana and Ikebana in terms of image and learning style Now that you understand the characteristics of ikebana and flower arrangement, it is important to understand the differences in the image of ikebana and how to learn ikebana.


Kado has strict rules of etiquette and manners. There are different schools of ikebana, and each school has its own rules and regulations for arranging flowers. Sado (tea ceremony) and shodo (calligraphy) also have their own schools, but they should be considered in the same way. When arranging flowers, it is also important to have a sense of what you feel about the flowers and how you show those feelings.

Although you use your own sensitivity in arranging flowers, Kado also requires you to be aware of and deeply understand the life that resides in flowers, plants, trees, and other natural objects. Kado, which is also an education, is considered a form of training through the experience of arranging flowers. Ikebana, on the other hand, may give the impression of being more formal, but it is basically free, allowing the student to arrange flowers as he or she sees fit and enjoy their beauty. Ikebana does not require that you go to a florist to get the right materials, but rather allows you to freely enjoy flowers and plants that you find on the street or in your garden.

How to Learn

The rules and forms of kado differ depending on the school. If you want to learn kado in earnest, you should attend a class offered by the school. There are various schools such as Ikenobo, Sogetsu, Obara, and Ryusei. We recommend that you first take a look at the flowers of the various schools and choose the one that best suits your own sense and personal preferences.

Many schools offer workshops, so it is also a good idea to first experience the traditions and kata of the school at a workshop. Ikebana has no strict rules and can be enjoyed by anyone without having to attend a special class. However, there are techniques and ways to present flowers well, so going to an ikebana class to learn will broaden the range of ikebana.

There are a variety of classes available, from full-fledged classes to casual lessons like those offered at culture centers and one-day workshops, so check to see if there is a class near you.

Differences between flower arrangement and flower arrangement

Differences between flower arrangement and flower arrangement As we have discussed, flower arrangement is a way to learn through kado and to improve one's inner self through spiritual practice. Flower arranging is more of a hobby, and in this respect is similar to ikebana. Kado uses floral materials and utilizes space to express a world view. In addition to floral materials and plants, many works use moss and other materials to express a sense of Wabi sabi, rather than glamor.

Of course, some of them are gorgeous, but they convey various messages through their works. Flower arrangements, on the other hand, are just like the word "gorgeous," and many flowers are packed into a sponge with no space between them to create a gorgeous work of art. Flower arrangements are designed to be beautiful from any direction, while ikebana is usually arranged with the idea that the flowers are viewed from one side, like a single painting.

Difference between Ikebana and Flower Arrangement

Difference between Ikebana and Flower Arrangement Flower arrangements can be displayed as is without a vase, so more and more people are choosing flower arrangements over bouquets, making them a popular gift. Because they have a strong Western style image, they can easily fit in with the modern home decor. Ikebana and flower arrangements are the same in that they both allow the recipient to arrange flowers in any way they like. While ikebana uses a vase or kenzan, floral arrangements are generally formed by inserting flowers into a special sponge.

Ikebana is also an aesthetic of subtraction. Ikebana does not use so many flowers, plants, and trees, and focuses on showing space. But Flower arrangements, on the other hand, are aesthetics of addition, and gorgeousness is the key. As explained earlier, arrangements are generally filled with lots of flowers, and even though each has its own theme, the design is created to make the place more colorful.

Add color to your life with interior decorations incorporating flowers!

We have introduced the differences between Kado and Ikebana and the differences between flower arrangements. I hope you have learned that there is a big difference between Kado and Ikebana, even though they are both part of the same Japanese culture. With ikebana, you don't need to learn the rules and forms of ikebana as you do with flower arrangement, so you can start whenever you feel like it. If you want to grow and improve yourself through flower arrangement, you can learn Kado in earnest.

Whether it is Kado, Ikebana, or flower arranging, flowers add color to your life. Try incorporating flowers in the style of your choice to match the taste of your room.

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