Ikebana International (II) is a worldwide organization founded in Tokyo, Japan in 1956 by the late Ellen Gordon Allen. Its members are dedicated to the promotion of mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and other countries through Ikebana-the art of Japanese flower arrangement- and other related arts of Japan. II is a nonprofit cultural organization in Japan and today boasts over 7000 members in more than 50 countries. Ikebana International New York Chapter is one of 250 chapters worldwide.
II is administered by enthusiastic volunteers of many different nationalities and Ikebana Schools. Some of the Schools stress classic style, other focus on creative, contemporary forms and some blend the two — each school is different, yet each is openly sharing in its inspirations, styles, philosophy, history and techniques.
Membership is open to all persons interested in the art of Ikebana and the ideals of II, regardless of their previous experience or association with any Ikebana Schools.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are artificial flowers ever used?
No. Sometimes dried materials are used, even vegetables and fruits. In modern free-style arrangements, inorganic materials such as glass, metal or other synthetic elements might be used.
At flower shows, why don't ikebana arrangements ever win awards?
While individual arrangers may submit their works in an Ikebana exhibit, arrangements are not judged.
Can Ikebana arrangements be purchased?
Because of their construction, arrangements are difficult to transport and materials may be fragile. The ethereal nature of the arrangements is part of the allure of the Japanese approach to flower arranging. Ikebana enthusiasts may be willing to do their work either gratis or for a fee, but usually on site or by special arrangement with the designer.
Do men study ikebana?
Yes, they do. Most headmasters and teachers of Ikebana Schools have been men until recent years.