Ikebana (Japanese traditional flower arrangement) was established in the Muromachi period (1333-1568). Prior to that, people had a custom of offering arranged flowers to Buddha, therefore the concept of ikebana developed into one that expresses something Buddhistic or divine. It also embraces harmony with nature. Three basic sprays are used to signify heaven, earth, and mankind.
After World War II, modern schools of ikebana such as Sogetsu have appeared in an attempt to present this traditional flower arrangement as a kind of formative art. Sogetsu school uses materials other than flowers. There are about 2,000 different ikebana schools at present. The largest of these is Ikenobo with over a million students. Other important schools include Ohara and Sogetsu.
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