20 July 2022

Guide for Japanese Flower Arrangement

Decorating your home with flowers is a great way to add a touch of color to a space and create a cheerful atmosphere. And by arranging seasonal flowers, you will be able to feel the beauty of the changing seasons closer to your home than ever before.

Also, by arranging flowers in a Japanese flower vase, you can bring the beauty of flowers with Japanese atmosphere into the space. Here are some tips on how to make your flower arrangements in a more Japanese style.


  • About Japanese Style Flower Arrangement
  • Shapes of Vases and The Arrangement
  • Japanese Vases and Seasonal "Ikebana"
  • Conclusion

About Japanese Style Flower Arrangement

In Japan, there is a discipline of artistic floral arrangement called "Kadō", in which three-dimensional flowers are combined with space like minimalist sculpture.

The most important thing in Kadō is to "arrange flowers as if they were blooming in the field". Unlike Western-style bouquets with many different types of flowers, arrangements are made to evoke nature itself.

For illustration, instead of a  flowers blooming all over the field, flowers gently blooming on a quiet, empty riverbank are preferred. The arrangement is not a glamorous one, but one that tries to approach the natural beauty of the trimmed-down materials, which is in keeping with the Japanese aesthetic of “Wabi," which expresses the beauty found in poverty.

It is difficult to learn how to reproduce Japanese flower arranging in a full-fledged “Kadō" here because it is very time consuming to master, but we can tell you how to create simple Japanese-style arrangements.

"Like the sail of a yacht"

Two Cranes and Mountains Kutani Japanese Flower Vase with stand

The Japanese style of flower arrangement based on Kadō is called Ikebana. In Ikebana, the basis is to decorate the flowers so that the silhouette of the arrangement formed to be triangular.

While working on the direction and balance of the flowers, branches, and leaves, try to arrange them in a triangular silhouette so that they do not crowd each other and interfere with the differences between them.

Imagine the flower vase as a sailboat, and the flowers and plants as the sails. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but think of the flowers and plants in the vase as a sail that matches the shape of the vase.

Shapes of Flower Vases And The Basic Arrangement

Flower vases come in a variety of colors and shapes, and arranging flowers and plants to match the vase can create a more impressive arrangement.

Vase with small mouth

ファイル番号:  447085486

Smaller mouth in vases allow for easier balancing of the flower arrangements.

Especially for those who are not used to decorating with flowers, a vase with a mouth of about 4 inches (10cm) or less (smaller than a fist) is recommended.

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Cylindrical vases or vases with large mouth

ファイル番号:  421103887

Cylindrical vases or vases with large mouths are a bit tricky when arranging small amounts of flowers, as the arranged flowers tend to disperse.

If you cut and arrange plants so that the height of the vase and the length of the visible part of the plant are 1:1, the arrangement will look well-balanced.

If you have a small amount of flowers or branches, try to arrange them in a way that they flow to one side. If you place them in the direction in which the most flowers are attached or look good, you can achieve a beautiful balance.

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Single-Flower Vases

ファイル番号:  204273130

For single-flower vases, put the flowers by cutting the stems short so that the balance of height between the flower and the vase is about 1:1 to 1:1.5.

When selecting flowers for single-flower vases, try to choose those that are unbranched and whose stems fit neatly into the vase. Flowers with thick, firm stems stand up straight, making it easier to display flowers well and stylishly.

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Various Styles of Japanese Vases and Seasonal Ikebana

ファイル番号:  15852150

Japan has a wide variety of crafts with different materials and styles, here are some recommended combinations of seasonal ikebana with each of these Japanese vases.

Arita Ware x Spring Flowers

Arita Ware, Japan's most authentic blue-and-white porcelain, is also popular in the West for long time, and the combination of cobalt blue paint and white porcelain, known as “Sometsuke", is gorgeous, elegant, and simple at the same time.

The fresh blue look of this Arita porcelain flower vase will enhance the daintiness of pale pink flowers. It will enhance the soft impression of spring flowers, and the vase and flowers will bring out the beauty of each other.

Branch flowers such as cherry blossoms and plum blossoms will go well, and for a bud vase, pale pink pansies will make a very pretty combination. If you are combining leaves, blue-tinged ones such as eucalyptus will bring out the cuteness of spring flowers more than green ones.

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Suruga Bamboo Basketry x Summer Flowers

Made of finely split bamboo strips woven into threads, Suruga Bamboo Basketry's flower vases have an airy look not found in pottery.

The coolness impression is perfect for the summer, would go well with summer flowers such as daisies, passion flowers, lilies, and so on.

Since the Suruga Bamboo Basketry flower vase itself is beige to brown in shades, the arrangement will be further enhanced by bringing in bright, cool colors such as blue and purple to complement the white flowers and yellow-green foliage.

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Shigaraki Ware  x Fall Flowers

Shigaraki Ware is said to embody the Japanese aesthetic of ”Wabi Sabi”. It is a philosophy that finds beauty in loneliness and poverty, and Shigaraki ware vases will create arrangements with images suited to Japanese fall sentiment.

Fall in Japan sometimes represents aesthetically the loneliness and melancholy of the season as it moves toward winter. It is also the season to enjoy the changing leaves of the trees.

So, let's display maple leaves and other autumn branches and foliage in an earthy Shigaraki ware vase, using as few colors as possible. By keeping the arrangement minimalistic, you will be able to create a very artistic flower arrangement.

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Kutani Ware  x Winter Flowers

Winter is cold and less sunshine, and many days in some areas can feel a bit depressing. Many plants and flowers also enter a dormant season, so nature seems to have lost its color compared to other seasons.

Kutani ware has a dazzling impression that paints over such a monochrome world with those brilliant colors. Pieces that use many colors go very well with winter flowers and plants.

Try using plants and branches, such as glassware and twigs and leaves, which are not the most common type of plants for flower arrangements, to complement the colorful Kutani Waki flower vase.

This is a dramatic arrangement that reverses the roles of flower and vase, but by adding the enduring vibrancy of Kutani ware to your interior, you will be able to enjoy winter.

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Be creative, imaginative, and enjoy interacting with flowers

The time to appreciate the beauty of fresh flowers is limited, but that is why it is important to create arrangements that make the most of their charm.

As you arrange flowers over and over again, you will find the best balance for your favorite vase. There are many ways to enjoy Japanese flower vases, whether you choose to use the flowers or the vase as the main element, so try using a Japanese vase in your own way.

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