Kado Enshu school (華道遠州)

Kado Enshu school

Kado Enshu school is a school of ikebana (Japanese traditional flower arrangement) that originated independently from sado (tea ceremony) Eenshu school. Its head is Ichiju ASHIDA.

This school was particularly popular during the middle and late Edo period.
Compared with the style of 'nageirebana' (flower arrangement in a bottle-type vase) or 'Tachibana' (standing flowers) that existed at the time, the characteristic of this school's flower arrangement was its shape that was created, based on the creator's art and creativity, by adding unique curve to flowers and branches
Although ikebana had been exclusive for the people of samurai and court noble society until then, this school contributed to make it spread among ordinary people. During the late Edo people, many schools that called themselves Enshu school were established throughout the nation. Even so, Ikebana of Enshu school was favored by the samurai society in the Edo period, and it is still prosperous at many castle towns throughout Japan. The founder of this school was Enshu KOBORI and Shunjuken Ichiyo formed the basic patterns of its flower arrangement in the middle of Edo period. Thereafter, three great Enshu schools which can be said as the originators, namely Seifu Enshu school, Nihonbashi Enshu school and Asakusa Enshu school, were founded by Ichiba TEISHOSAI, Isshi SHUNSOAN and Ittoku HONSHOSAI respectively. It is said that the school's flower arrangement added artificially calculated beauty as well as balanced beauty to the traditional aesthetic values of 'wabi and sabi' and expressed Enshu KOBORI's aesthetic consciousness, which is called 'kirei sabi,' in the flower arrangement as it is.

Thanks to the development of wood prints technique, paintings of the school's flower arrangement spread throughout the nation. As some of them were exported overseas, it is said that the line arrangement of this school had an impact on western flower arrangement. Most of the paintings of 'kado,' Japanese ikebana, that were introduced to the Western world at the end of 19th cenury under the boom of Japanese culture were those of Enshu school. Josaih Conder, a British architect who is famous for the construction of modern Western buildings like Rokumeikan in the early Meiji era, introduced Japanese ikebana to his country by his book "The Floral Art of Japan," and he explained the principle, sprit and shape of ikebana almost solely based on those of Enshu school. The school's flower arrangement adopts tenchijin (heaven, earth and man) as the kiku (standard) of flowers, and express Mt. Fuji, the flow of river or a fall by bending branches with high skills called kusabitame (hikitame). The above shape is called Kyokuike (a style of flower arrangement which uses curve) and it is the characteristic of the school's flower arrangement. It is well-known that Rozanjin KITAOJI, an artist, loved Enshu flower arrangement.

Kado Enshu school is a school which Ichiju ASHIDA established in 1993 when he became independent from his father Kazuma ASHIDA, the head of Enshu (former Seifu Enshu school).

[Original Japanese]