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Sōgetsu-ryū (草月流) is a school of ikebana, or Japanese floral art.


The founder Sōfū Teshigahara in 1948

Sōgetsu was founded by Sōfū Teshigahara in 1927.[1] Sōfū's father was an ikebana master, who taught his son from childhood. Sōfū wanted to become a painter, but he found that the possibilities for creative expression in using green materials are endless, just as in painting.[2]

He found that the strict rules of traditional ikebana did not allow individual expression. He broke away from traditional ikebana and formed his school in 1926.[3] In the beginning, he promoted the school through radio.

As of 2016, there have been four headmasters. Sōfū's daughter Kasumi was a gifted artist. She became the second headmaster until she died at age 47. Her elder brother, film director Hiroshi Teshigahara, took over. The current headmaster is Akane, Sōfū's granddaughter.[3]

The Sōgetsu school is an open-minded and avant-gardist school. The school was one of the first to have English textbooks.[4]

Free-style arrangement

A famous saying by Sōfū Teshigahara and credo of the Sōgetsu school is that Sōgetsu can be done by anyone, anywhere, anytime with any kind of material.[5]

The school is led by Akane Teshigahara, the founder's granddaughter.[6] Noted practitioners include Master Instructor Kōka Fukushima, whose masterclasses worldwide have received acclaim in floral art circles.[7]

Sōgetsu Hall headquarters in Tokyo

The headquarters was constructed by the architect Kenzo Tange.[8]

Beverly Harden, the mother of the actress Marcia Gay Harden, was a practitioner of the Sōgetsu school.[9][10] She later became also president of the Ikebana International Washington, DC chapter.[11]


Sōgetsu typically uses either a tall, narrow vase such as one made from a bamboo stem, or a flat, open dish called a "suiban" in which the flowers and branches are fixed in a hidden kenzan spiked. However, other forms are possible, including highly elaborate creations that fill an entire hall. The arrangements in a tall vase are called Nageire, the ones in a shallow container are called Moribana.

One of Sōgetsu's central ideas is that an arrangement should have three strong elements, each with certain proportions and arranged at a certain angle. But there is considerable latitude to work with whatever materials are available and to express the spirit of the moment.


  • 1st Teshigahara Sōfū ( 勅使河原蒼風), 1900–1979
  • 2nd Teshigahara Kasumi (勅使河原霞), 1932–1980
  • 3rd Teshigahara Hiroshi (勅使河原宏), 1927–2001
  • 4th Teshigahara Akane (勅使河原茜) b. 1960[12]


  1. ^ "Ikebana International".
  2. ^ Teshigahara, Sofu (1979). Kadensho, the book of flowers. Sogetsu Shuppan Inc. pp. 9–12. ISBN 4-88145-001-8.
  3. ^ a b "IKEBANA SOGETSU Time-line - Know Sogetsu".
  4. ^ Beunen, Ilse (2015). Exploring Ikebana. Stichting Kunstboek. ISBN 978-90-5856-504-4.
  5. ^ Teshigahara, Hiroshi (1986). Ikebana Sogetsu. Shufunotomo co., Ltd. p. 1. ISBN 4-07-974618-0.
  6. ^ "IKEBANA SOGETSU Profile - Sogetsu and Akane Teshigahara".
  7. ^ Kenrick, Vivienne (13 August 2005). "Koka Fukushima" – via Japan Times Online.
  8. ^ "IKEBANA SOGETSU Sogetsu HQ Building - Know Sogetsu".
  9. ^ "BEVERLY HARDEN Obituary (1937 - 2018) the Washington Post". Legacy.com.
  10. ^ "Marcia Gay Harden on the Impact of Her Mother's Alzheimer's Diagnosis".
  11. ^ "Past Presidents". 28 August 2016.
  12. ^ "いけばな草月流 プロフィール | 草月の今と勅使河原茜". www.sogetsu.or.jp. Archived from the original on 1 March 2011.

External links[edit]

Media related to Sōgetsu-ryū at Wikimedia Commons