We are one of over 150 chapters of Ikebana International (II). With headquarters in Tokyo, II has been in existence since the mid-fifties. Chapters are located in 60 countries world-wide with well over 8,000 members.
Our objective is to promote mutual understanding and friendship between countries through the art of Japanese flower arrangement (ikebana) and the study of related cultural arts. “Friendship through Flowers” is our motto.
We meet once a month, usually on the last Wednesday of the month in either Tacoma or Olympia.
Meetings may focus on exploring more about one of the over 300 schools of ikebana; learning from an expert in another area of Japanese arts and culture; or touring Northwest gardens.
Organized as a non-profit organization, the Tacoma-Olympia Chapter is committed to public service doing exhibitions for events like Oshogastsu (New Year) festivals or in support of other garden events, for example at Lakewold Garden’s annual Mayfest.
If you've ever been intrigued by the beauty and simplicity of Ikebana and would like to know more about the Tacoma-Olympia Ikebana International Chapter 147, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Of all Japan’s traditional arts, perhaps the most famed and actively practiced today is ikebana, the art of flower arrangement.
The origin of ikebana is closely connected with religion and came to Japan from India and China with the introduction of Buddhism in the 6th century. The early arrangements were rigid and intricate, often reaching a height of ten feet or more. The tips of the branches pointed toward heaven with plant material representing all parts of the universe with symbolic meanings.
Over the centuries, the arrangements evolved to be much less formal. With the introduction of Western culture and flowers new concepts of ikebana developed into more “free-style” and avant-garde arrangements. Creativity and originality have become important characteristics in recent years.
In basic form, an ikebana arrangement follows a fixed pattern: a triangle of three points representing Heaven, Earth and Man. Emphasis is placed on linear perfection, color harmony, space, and form.
Under the umbrella of Ikebana International, today there are over 300 different schools of ikebana, each following a particular set of rules and arranging techniques which make it unique. The three main schools are Ikenobo, Ohara and Sogetsu.
Our motto is “Friendship through Flowers” and we welcome the opportunity to share this beautiful art form and Japanese culture with you.
Ikebana and More
What is Ikebana?
Ikebana is about the art of Japanese flower arranging and so much more. We celebrate nature in flower arranging, the interesting and different cultures of Japan and friendship through flowers.
What is Ikebana International?
The organization was founded in 1956 by the late Ellen Gordon Allen whose dream was to create an association uniting the people of the world through their mutual love of nature and enjoyment of ikebana. Today, that dream has spread to over 50 countries/areas, with 143 chapters and a membership of more than 7,000.
The North and Central American Region (NCAR) is the largest region of seven regions within Ikebana International, reaching from Canada to the Panama Canal. Its Regional Advocate Committee seeks to strengthen relationships with the 68 NCAR chapters – through engagement, communication and knowledge sharing – to enhance chapter and school vitality.
The Ikebana Iwaya Fund (IIF) is an IRS 501(c) (3) non-profit organization established in 2006 to promote and support ikebana related activity in North America. It seeks to educate the general public and foster the growth of ikebana through collaboration and financial support of organizations with this shared mandate.
The Iwaya Fund is built with public donations, both general and specific. The Estate of Sumako Iwaya is matching these donations into the Endowment Fund. The dividend income generated by its permanent Endowment Fund is used to disburse as grants to its stakeholders (I.I. chapters, ikebana study groups, schools and teachers).
Ikebana International is the only organization where you can learn about many different ikebana schools.
Monthly Chapter Meetings
Members get together at monthly meetings to see ikebana demonstrations, hear lectures on related topics or participate in ikebana workshops.
Transferability of Membership
A member is welcome to visit other chapter programs while on their travels. The membership is also transferable from one chapter to another at any time of the year upon presentation of a valid membership card.
A member may belong to additional chapters at reduced rates upon proof of
membership of their primary chapter.
Opportunity for lessons
Members can obtain contact information of certified ikebana teachers that belong to the chapter, as well as information of teachers that teach virtually from another chapter.
Opportunity to teach new students
Teachers can gain students and be listed in the North and Central American Region’s website. Alternatively, teachers encourage their students to become members.
Ikebana International Magazine
A premier publication, issued three times a year, richly illustrated with color plates of ikebana arrangements, articles on ikebana or related arts, and in-depth Japanese cultural subjects.
Chapter Activities and Sakura News
Two quarterly newsletters from I.I. Headquarters that keep members informed of chapter activities around the world and at I.I. Headquarters.
Regional Conferences and World Conventions
Regional Conferences are held periodically every 4 to 5 years in various regions throughout the world for the purpose of offering educational and cultural exchange opportunities to the members. The I.I. World Convention is held every five years in Japan.
"Friendship through Flowers"
Enrich the ikebana experience and make new friends around the world. This is by far the best benefit of membership.
Become a member and join the fun!
Please send us an email to find out more about joining.
The Ichiyo School was founded in Tokyo in 1937 by siblings Ichiyo and Meikof Kasuya, with Ichiyo Kasuya as its first Headmistress. Meikof Kasuya succeeded his sister as Iemoto (Headmaster) ten years later. In 1983 Meikof’s son Akihiro Kasuya became the third Iemoto. Naohiro Kasuya, Akihiro’s son, became the fourth Iemoto in January 2019.
The School was founded on the idea of creating original ikebana suitable for modern lifestyles, and all environments and spaces. Today, the Ichiyo School has Chapters and students worldwide and it continues to bring new ideas to the traditional art form of ikebana.
Ikebana is one of the representative aspects of Japanese traditional culture, and ikebana began with Ikenobo. In 1462 the name Senkei Ikenobo first appeared in historic records as “master of flower arranging.” Senno Ikenobo, who was active in the late Muromachi period (mid-16th century), established the philosophy of ikebana, completing a compilation of Ikenobo teachings called “Senno Kuden.”
Senno Ikenobo taught, “Not only beautiful flowers but also buds and withered flowers have life, and each has its own beauty. By arranging flowers with reverence, one refines oneself.”
Arranging flowers and finding beauty in flowers - these are linked to a heart that values nature and cares for other people. This is the spirit of Ikenobo Ikebana.
Unshin Ohara founded the Ohara School of Ikebana in the late nineteenth century in the Osaka-Kobe area when Japan opened itself to the world. Influenced by the Western culture, he developed a style of ikebana that was to express the beauty of natural scenery. He searched for ways to arrange the brightly colorful western flowers that were being imported into Japan.
The basic philosophy of the Ohara School is to observe nature well and emphasize the seasonal qualities, growth process and the beauty of the natural environments.
The Ohara School is now led by fifth Headmaster Hiroki Ohara and claims more than one million members worldwide.
Sogetsu Ikebana was founded in 1927 by Sofu Teshigahara who concluded that ikebana is a creative art that can take many forms and expressions. His basic premise is that “anyone can enjoy Sogetsu Ikebana anytime, anywhere, using any material”.
Sogetsu Ikebana is appropriate in any room of one’s home, in public spaces such as hotel lobbies, banquet rooms, department stores or out of door locations. Suitable for both Japanese and Western environments, it is one of the most contemporary ikebana schools of design.
Akane Teshigahara is the current and Fourth Iemoto (or headmaster), grand-daughter of Sofu Teshigahara, niece of Kasumi Teshigahara (2nd Iemoto) and daughter of Hiroshi Teshigahara (3rd Iemoto).
There are forty-seven local branches in Japan (one for each prefecture and three in Tokyo) as well as some hundred branches overseas.