Glossary of Ikebana Terms

Ashirai: Ikenobo term for auxiliary branches and flowers used in an arrangement.

Hasami: A pair of sharp scissors used to cut stems and small branches.

Heika: An Ohara School term to describes a tall vase and arrangement used similarly in Nageire arrangements.

Ikebana: The art of flower arrangement.

Ikenobo: The first school of flower arranging founded by Senkei Ikenobo, “The priest by the lake.” Now the term generally applies to all classic style arrangements.

Inkata: The shady side of the arrangement.

Kadai: A wooden stand on which to display ikebana arrangements. Comes in different shapes, heights and designs.

Kare-mono: Materials dried by natural or artificial methods.

Kenzan: A heavy needle-pointed weight that securely holds stems and branches in place.

Komi: The crosspiece used with a kubari to hold flowers in place in a vase.

Kubari: A Y-shaped piece of wood, which when fitted inside the neck of a vase holds and supports the flower.

Kusamono: All kinds of grass material.

Line material: Any long branch or stem that helps establish the structure of an arrangement

Mizu-mono: Term refers to water plants or arrangements made with water plants.

Moribana: An ikebana style that translates to “mounds of flowers” and is usually created in a shallow container. Moribana arrangements can feature colorful flowers or emphasize naturalistic landscapes. .

Morimono: An arrangement that uses materials other than flowers, such as fruist or vegetables.

Nageire: An ikebana style that translates to “thrown-in.” Arrangements have a spontaneous look and are usually created in tall vases without the use of a kenzan. Techniques that use sectional pieces of branches can help support and hold branches and flowers in place.

Rikka: Ancient temple art of flower arrangement from the Ikenobo School.  Most classical style of flower arrangement, highly stylized and dictated by rigid rules and aesthetics.

Scalene triangle: An asymmetrical triangle with three unequal sides forms the basic shape of most ikebana arrangements.

Shin, Soe, Hikae: Terms for the three principal stems in the Sogetsu School.

Shin, Soe, Tai: Terms for the three principal stems in the Ikenobo School.

Shohin-bana: Refers to small or miniature arrangements.

Shoka: A classic Ikenobo style of arrangement with detailed restrictions and rules.  Uses a minimum amount of floral materials.

Shu, Fuku, Kyaku: Terms for the three principal stems in the Ohara School.

Suiban: Flat container usually used for Moribana, occasionally used for Shoka.

Tokonoma: The alcove in a Japanese home where a hanging scroll, a flower arrangement, and often a work of art is displayed. 

Usubata: A 3-legged bronze or copper vase with a shallow flat basin and a well to hold a kenzan. Often used with Shoka arrangements.

Yakueda: Term that refers to the three main line materials used in an ikebana arrangement.

Yokata: The sunny side of the arrangement.