We received another question regarding 1000 Ikebana Challenge. This is our message to all of those who are about to start the challenge.  

Q: I have no idea about what kind of ikebana to make everyday. 
A: Just relax and enjoy yourself until you find your own way to continue and make doing ikebana your daily routine. Here are some suggestions to help guide your practice:

a.This may be an option for many advanced students.  Prepare materials. Meditate on them and make an arrangement simply to make your flowers joyous. Note that the design emerges from your materials rather than from your thinking. If you try to manipulate materials to impose your designs on them, there is division between flowers and you. Probably that is not the way of flower. Meditate to go beyond the division between subject (me) and object (flower). You soon will find that making ikebana is a joy, or a peaceful meditation. You will become able to make flower arrangements every day just like some people offer daily prayers.   

b. If the above option does not work for you at the moment, just repeat the basic styles at least 100 times. It is interesting to find that many people dislike basic styles, in particular outside Japan. Ikebana Aesthetic Program Level 2 in Zoom Ikebana Dojo focuses on basic styles, and Level 2 is almost always unpopular with fewer enrolments. Making basic styles is very beneficial for your development as an ikebana artist. You can learn most of the essential ikebana principles. Making effective or perfect ikebana basic styles seems to be quite challenging for ikebana teachers outside Japan. Some move on to making “unique”, “individual”, “creative” ikebana works too quickly, and their works are sometimes not poetic. It seems that a lack of mastery of the basic styles of ikebana is related to a lack of poetry. 

c. Follow and repeat Ikebana Aesthetics Program which has 24 topics.  

d. Observe and analyse masters' works carefully. We can learn so many things from this exercise. Apply what you learn from your observation to your own creation. Don’t just copy designs. Superficial imitation is a waste of your time. What you have to look for are essence of poetry or things like more abstract principles, or simple colour coordination. We have access to many excellent works by masters on social media. The Ikebana Gallery facebook page is an excellent resource for this exercise. 


FAQ: 1000 Ikebana Challenge