Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, originated during the 6th century in Japan with the introduction of Buddhism from China. It was the custom to place floral offerings in front of altars to honor the Buddha and the souls of the dead. Over time, these floral offerings evolved into floral arrangements designed to express the harmony between man and nature and between spirit and matter. By the 13th century, the practice of Ikebana became a form of meditation for Zen Buddhist priests. In 1929, a radical new approach to Ikebana was launched by Sofu Teshigahara, the late founder of the Sogetsu School. Teshigahara broke with rigid classical rules and emphasized the artist’s freedom of expression. He said, “Ikebana is not just about sticking a flower into a vase: it is about the love and need of the artist to create beautiful forms.”
You can see more photographs of Astrid’s creations on our website Zen-Images designed by husband and photographer John.