In Japan, we find two big categories of flower arrangements. One is Ikebana and the other is European arrangement. Incidentally we seldom find American floral arrangement in Japan. As a matter of fact, we do not hear even the term of "American floral design" or "American flower arrangement". In Japan when people say "flower arrangement", it automatically means European flower arrangement. Usually it does not mean even Ikebana. Namely unless they clearly say "Ikebana" or "American floral arrangement", the term of "flower arrangement" means European flower arrangement.
Especially among young women, European floral arrangement is quite popular. Until the mid of 1980's, we found only one floral art in Japan. That is Ikebana which is Japanese traditional floral art having the history of more than 1,400 years. Back in the middle of 1980's, European flower arrangement was introduced in Japanese flower industry.
Historically speaking, Japan has been deeply affected by Europe and America. Especially after 1945 when the world war II ended, various kinds of cultures were introduced from the United States and Europe. Nevertheless, when it comes to floral design industry, it was not influenced by American or European cultures although many of other areas such as sports, fashion, clothes, music, films, movies, radio and TV programs, automobile and educational system were totally affected by American and England.
The new style of floral arrangement came from England back in the middle of 1980's by when Japanese people adopted so many things from Europe and America. Take wedding style for instance, young generations hold wedding ceremony according the Christian style. Namely despite their religion was Buddhism, many of them preferred to western style (American or European style) wedding ceremony based on Christian cultures.
Some people who already earned basic floral arranging skills through learning Ikebana started learning European floral arrangement that can be widely used in various occasions such as wedding ceremony, birthday party and Christmas. Strangely enough most Japanese people "celebrate" Christmas just like a Christian although the majority of people just enjoy Christmas party and they do not go to the Church.
Needless to say, people who newly start learning floral designs jumped to European floral arrangement. Quite frankly there were (and even now) various hard to understand customs and rules (in the world of Ikebana industry) that were not clarified in the written rule. Many of young generations did not feel comfortable with such kind of traditional and feudalistic customs that is quite HARD TO UNDERSTAND. One of the reasons why many of young generations chose European floral arrangement rather than Ikebana is seemingly because above mentioned unreasonable and traditional customs could not be found in the world of European floral designs.
If the floral arranging skill based on European floral arrangement can be more widely used in various occasions and events than Ikebana, they never hesitated to try to learn new style of floral arrangements. This MAY be one of the biggest reasons why they preferred European floral designs rather than Ikebana.
And as a matter of fact, the population of European flower arrangement has been rapidly growing while the fans of Ikebana seems to be decreasing. This does not mean that Ikebana arrangement lost its popularity. Even now we can find lots of enthusiastic fans who love Ikebana. Especially among old people, there are lots of Ikebana instructors, designers and organizations who promote Ikebana arts.
California Flower Art Academy
has been engaged in teaching both Japanese traditional Ikebana and also European floral arrangements in Japan and in the USA. What is written in the above is nothing but what we have been felt through the actual activities of teaching floral art both in Japan and in California.
If you are interested in learning floral designs and have no previous experiences, we would like to recommend under mentioned short programs:
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