The Age newspaper interviewed Shoso Shimbo and published a great article about ikebana. Please find out why Shoso emphasizes the importance of basic styles.   

If you are doing our 1000 Ikebana Challenge, practice basic styles as often as possible. Basic styles contain all the basic ikebana principles that you have to acquire firmly before you enjoy making your own original free styles. If you make unique, individual, or smart looking (but contains no ikebana principles) ikebana-like works 1000 times, you would gain very little from this program. Your goal is not to impress other people, but simply to express what you meditated on flowers. 

Some may argue that the importance of freedom for creativity, "be free to be creative" or "be free from tradition." Such approach was very popular in Japan from 1930's to 1970's. However, please note that such statements were made for those who already had the firm foundation of ikebana and the deep understanding of ikebana history.  Interpreting ikebana masters' comments without their contexts causes confusions.  

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