The history of structured flower arranging can be dated 500 years back. The roots are obscure but a Buddhist connection is suspected. The first practitioners were Buddhist monks. It was simple in the beginning, only a few tall stems and two shorter stems were used to create the illusion of life in flowers. One did not just place the stems in a special oblong vase, one contemplated in the mind before carefully systemizing a harmonious arrangement.
It wasn’t long before the samurai became avid Ikebana enthusiasts. They brought the lifestyle into the homes of upper class warriors. The sacred alcove, the Tokonoma, a small screen, an incense and candle.
A popular style, the Shoka consists of three main branches, known as “Heaven”, “Earth “, and human.