Since I have licenses of both Ikebana and European floral designs and have been engaged in making Japanese traditional flower arrangement as well as European floral designs, I believe I am in a position to make a fair comparison between these two different floral arts.
While Japanese Ikebana often features line beauty, European floral decorations put emphasis on mass arrangements. Since both of Japanese and European arrangements were born reflecting different cultural backgrounds and have a long history, we can find very attractive points in both designs.
In Japanese floral arrangement industry, there are uncountable number of floral artists engaged in flower decorations. Some of them engage in traditional Ikebana arrangements and some of them engage in European designs. On top of that we can find some floral artists who do both Japanese and European floral arrangements. I am sure that I am one of such floral artists working on both designs.
European floral art landed in Japan in 1980s when Japanese floral arrangement industry were very well established with traditional Ikebana art. Namely European arrangement was introduced in Japan and spread in the floral art world that was completely dominated by the traditional Ikebana arts.
If I take a look at the current floral art prevailing in Japan, it looks like Japanese floral art became even more sophisticated. They make and introduce extremely detail oriented and sophisticated designs one after another by way of making the best use of skills to blend Japanese Ikebana and European arrangements. Most probably floral artists in Japan do not recognize themselves that they make such way of floral designs.
We can find that lots of Japanese floral artists specializing in European designs appeal line arrangements (as well) which were typically and historically developed by Ikebana floral artists. In this sense it may be said that the current Japanese version of “European floral arrangement” MIGHT be a little bit different from original European designs and such floral art MAY have been born as a result that Ikebana and imported European floral arrangement has been influenced each other and in a sense both arts have been mutually blended to some extent.
Apart from Japanese arrangement and European designs, we can find American arrangement. Judging from various information, it looks like this particular type of design exists in between Japanese Ikebana (featuring line arrangement) and European design (featuring mass arrangement).
Namely it MAY be said that American floral arrangement originates in European designs and after original American arrangement was established, it looks like it has been heavily influenced by Japanese traditional Ikebana art since the twentieth century.
Being such situation, I can say that current Japanese floral arrangement is a kind of mixture adopting original European designs and Japanese traditional Ikebana art. This updated floral art does not fall in the category of European arrangement, Japanese Ikebana or contemporary Japanese design but it is nothing but what could be called “Japanese original modern floral art”.
California Flower Art Academy has been engaged in teaching a WIDE RANGE OF floral arrangement from European designs to Japanese Ikebana as well as creative floral art blending both of them since 1990 in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley (San Jose). We are operating as a floral school certified by Flower Decorators Association (Tokyo Japan). If you are enthusiastic to earn practical skills of floral arranging and looking for a reliable school/class offering quality lessons, why not join California Flower Art Academy. You can start from Introductory Program for less than $100.
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