Monday 9 November 2009

Modern Moon Mania

It has been said that the moon has a special influence on human beeings. Despite research showing no association the belief persists that the full moon effects our minds. It's true that the moon is able to move oceans. It's possible because of the large surface. But the moon has no influence on smaller lakes, and even less the water content in a human body.

Still the moonlight fascinates people, and so do ikebana arrangements in moon vases. The arrangements in this post are modern interpretations of traditional moon arrangements. As in all modern ikebana line and mass, space and volume are important aspects. The flowers and berries should ideally be light in colour - I just couldn't resist the nice contrast created by the strong red against the black vases.

Volume and mass: Dried Larch and Calla.

Vertical lines and mass: Calla, Ishu-ike.

Straight lines and mass: Rowan, Ishu-ike.

Horisontal and vertical lines: Pine and Berberis.

That's all from the moon folks! This is the last in a series of posts about moon arrangements.

Tea Flowers and Ikebana

Some say that ikebana and chabana (tea flowers) are two different concepts. The purpose of chabana is to help creating a harmonious atmosphere for the tea ceremony by bringing an element of nature into the setting. The flowers have to be absolutely fresh, helping you to rest in the moment of nowness. When arranging them, the flowers needs to be treated with care and respect, but when the tea ceremony is over the task of the flowers is so aswell. There is no point in preparing them to live longer as one does in ikebana.

On the other hand chabana and ikebana are deeply related. In his book "Kadensho" Sofu Teshighara describes the two main lines of development in the history of ikebana using the terms Rikka and Chabana. I think what he means is that as much as the Rikka arrangements are formal, strict and showy, the Chabana is humble and appearently spontanuos. The carachter of chabana from this point of view is that it is a smaller free style arrangement. A more common way of describing this historical development is to name the two main lines Tatehana, meaning "standing" or "upright" flowers, and Nageirebana, meaning "trown in" flowers.

In my opinon it is correct to say that chabana developed together with the less formal "trown in" style of ikebana. Chabana is indeed a special category of ikebana. It is related to the simplified ikebana styles that are also tought today, but it is the special setting of the tea ceremony and the estetic ideals of the old tea masters that defines the many rules of chabana.

Photo: Chabana by Lisbeth Lerum, photo by Nordic Lotus.

If you want to learn more about chabana, take a look at this online Chado (tea ceremony) Encyclopedia run by a Norwegian tea enthusiast. There is a lot of detailed information in the sections Chabana and Hanaire. I've also listed two interesting tea blogs in my bloglist: Sweet Persimmon and Phillytea blog.

Kadensho: The book of flowers
by Sofu Teshigahara
Sogetsu Shuppan, Tokyo, 1979

Tuesday 3 November 2009

More Moons

A couple of weeks ago I posted some pictures of traditional hanging moon arrangements called Tsuri-Tsuki. Those where waxing moon arrangements catching the moon going from a thin slice to full glory. This week I have some more moons to post. The two first are full moon arrangements. In the Sogetsu School, which actually means "Grass and moon school", full moon arrangements are always in an upright style, Risshin-kei in Japanese. Following the moon faces I'm ending this post with two waining moon arrangements, one in horisontal style, Haishin-kei, and the last one in hanging style, Suishin-kei.

Full moon, Risshin-kei basic, Berberis and Chrysanthemum.

Full moon, Risshin-kei 3, Fern and roses.

drinking saké
without flowers or moon
one is alone

Haiku by Basho

Waining moon, Haishin-kei basic, branches and roses.

Waining moon, Suishin-kei basic, branches and roses.
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