In Japan we have traditional floral art called Ikebana which has a long history. Until about 1980’s, floral designs meant traditional Ikebana arts in Japan. It meant nothing else. However somewhere around the middle or late 1980’s, European floral arrangement began to spread all over Japan. And now if they use the term of “Flower Arrangement”, it automatically means European flower arrangement.
When they mean Japanese traditional floral art, they use the term of “Ikebana”. By using these two words, the distinguish between imported European floral arrangement and Japanese traditional floral art (Ikebana). Since most young ladies showed keen interest in European floral designs rather than traditional Ikebana arts, it did not take so long for European floral art dominate Japan.
Even thought European floral art became very popular in Japan especially among young ladies, Japan still had lots of Ikebana artists, the majority of whom were elderly people who had been engaged in Ikebana arrangement for the past long period of time. Among Ikebana artists, some instructors began to learn European floral designs seemingly because of under mentioned reasons:
*They thought they might lose their students who were learning Ikebana. They felt students might start learning European floral designs that became a trendy floral art in Japan. As a result, they quit learning Ikebana.
*As a floral designer, Ikebana instructors showed interest in learning European floral art whereby they could adopt a new concept of designing. This helped enhance portfolio of the floral designs.
Due to above mentioned situation, some of Ikebana instructors learned European floral art and many of them started teaching European flower arrangement in addition to Ikebana. Or some of them developed a new trend of floral arranging by way of blending Ikebana and European designs.
Historically the nature of Japanese people allowed cultures from foreign countries. This kind of nature has been helping the country of Japan establish unique cultures as well as various technologies not only in our daily life but also in the industry.
After European floral arrangement landed in Japan, various organizations and associations of European floral designers were established. They are engaged in organizing European floral designers and contributing to developing and spreading European floral art in Japan. Some of their functions include offering various seminars of floral arrangements and also certifying/authorizing floral designers and flower arranging schools by way of issuing certificates.
If you have ever experienced to get involved in Japanese floral designers community or association, you must have recognized how sophisticated their way of floral arranging is. The association I belong to is one of leading organizations that have uncountable number of members and flower arranging schools. As I have been engaged in Ikebana arrangement as well as European floral designs for a long period of time, I believe I am in a position to make a fair comment. According to my perception, the current Japanese floral arrangement derived from elegant European floral designs and sophisticated Japanese Ikebana arts.
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