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Rokkaku-do Buddhist Temple in the heart of Kyoto is the birthplace of Ikebana flower arrangement.

Ikebana flower arrangement, one of the cultural symbols of Japan, is roughly divided into three schools. They are Ikenobo, Sogetsu school and Ohara school. However, Ikenobo is by far older than the other two schools, and can be said to be the origin of Ikebana. Rokkaku-do Buddhist temple in the photo is an ancient temple whose origin is said to date back to the 7th century, and the Ikenobo family has been the abbot of this temple for generations. Successive generations of the Ikenobo family have devised various ways to make flowers look beautiful when they offered them to the Buddha. This custom resulted in the formation of Ikebana in the 16th century. A diary of a Zen priest of Tofukuji temple in Kyoto, in fact, reads that the excellent beauty of the flowers arrangement by Ikenobo Senkei was highly appreciated among the masses in Kyoto in 1462. Based on the Ikebana theory established by Ikenobo Senno in the second half of the 16th century, Ikebana stipulated not only admiring the beautiful flowers before our eyes but also respecting the beauty of nature where the flowers are blooming. And this definition also leads to the enlightenment of Buddhism. This comprehensive teaching is still ubiquitous in the world of Ikenobo Ikebana. On the grounds of Rokkaku-do are the Ikenobo headquarters with an Ikebana practice hall, where various events based on the old history of Ikenobo are still ongoing.


Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,

Masahisa Takaki.

全国通訳案内士 高木聖久。


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