Ikebana is the ancient Japanese art of flower arranging. The name comes from the Japanese ikeru, meaning “to arrange” and bana meaning “flower.”  Over 550 years ago ikebana had its beginnings by a pond at Kyoto’s Rokkakudo Temple where Ikenobo Senkei was recognized as a master of flower arranging.   Today the 45th generation Headmaster, Sen’ei Ikenobo, continues to stress the inherent nature of plants, shussho.

The Arizona Chapter of Ikenobo Ikebana was founded in 1964 and was officially chartered in 1974.

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The goal of our Arizona Chapter of Ikenobo Ikebana is to continue to strengthen our already established ties with organizations in the community, including other ikebana groups and floral societies, Phoenix Art Museum, and the Japanese Friendship Garden.  Through these outreach efforts we plan to increase membership and encourage the study of ikenobo and the development of teachers.


Our beloved historian David Payne passed away on December 30, 2021, but his presence will be felt by his many friends and students for a long, long while. He was a gentle soul with a strong attachment to the people and things he loved.  One of those things was, of course, ikebana.

David owned Payne and Morrison Florists and taught Western floral arranging before his first Ikenobo lesson on March 25, 1982.  Eight years later, he started teaching. He once said that the best part of teaching is to sit down in front of a student’s work and see that he or she has understood the design concepts and used the material in a way that complemented the arrangement.  David’s favorite arrangements to teach were isshuike and nishuike shokas which he often put in the tokonoma in the Asian Gallery at the Phoenix Art Museum.

He was president of Ikenobo of Arizona from 2001 to 2005 and during that time often served as the onstage assistant to the visiting Japanese professors during their annual visits. With his experience and connections to floral wholesalers, he was able to provide the best and freshest materials for the professor.

After his term as president, David took on another important role, that of historian.  In 2006, he produced a history of the Ikenobo Ikebana Society of North America, Arizona Chapter.  He interviewed dozens of current and former members to get as much information possible about the early days of Ikenobo in Arizona.  All of this would have been lost without David’s initiative.

If you ever took workshops from David, you remember them and know why David was the heart of Ikenobo in Arizona.  Thank you, David.

Our workshops are held via Zoom or and in person.  For our Zoom workshops, our certified instructors provide a video lecture and demonstration prior to the workshop.  Students send photos of their finished arrangements which are critiqued by our instructor and then they have an opportunity to modify their arrangements based on the instructor’s critique. Finally, during the actual Zoom workshop, each arrangement is viewed and discussed.

Our in-person workshops include a lecture and demonstration by a certified instructor.  The instructor then critiques each student’s arrangement, giving the student an opportunity to make any suggested changes.  A photograph is then taken which is posted on our website.  Most of our workshops are held in Scottsdale.  Our new location has a lovely Japanese garden that students can enjoy while working on their arrangements.  All floral material is included.  

Once a year we hold a special workshop at the Mesa Community College Rose Garden.  This workshop includes a tour of the garden by our Sensei (instructor) and Rose Curator, Marylou Coffman.

The highlight of our year has to be the workshops and demonstrations led by a visiting professor of Ikenobo from Japan.  These unique workshops fill up fast, so get your reservations in quickly.

View our Calendar for a complete schedule.

You may find you love Ikenobo so much that you want to become a sensei (teacher)!  As a member, all your classes are credited toward certificates.  You will have access to monthly ikebana workshops, including those taught by high-ranking US-based teachers and visiting professors from Japan; a copy of Hana No Arakaruto, the annual Ikenobo magazine; and other benefits.

Ikenobo is the origin of ikebana, the oldest school, dating from 1462 when Ikenobo Senkei arranged several dozen branches in a golden vase and drew admirers from all around Kyoto.  While all ancient peoples had used flowers as offerings, it was only in Japan that the placing and arranging of flowers became codified as kado, the flower path, and developed into the art form of ikebana.   The practice of placing flowers as an offering in Buddhist temples had come to Japan from China in the sixth century; thereafter,  flowers were arranged for enjoyment or for healing and  later for room decorating.  The earliest “standing flower” arrangements, tatehana, gave rise to rikka , originally a seven-branch style placed in the tokonoma of a Japanese drawing room.  Rikka became increasingly complex over the centuries until, by the eighteenth century, it gave rise to an abbreviated style called shoka;  today Ikenobo teaches rikka, shoka, and free style, or jiyuka.    The very essence of Ikenobo is its strong emphasis on shussho, the inherent nature of plants and how they live.   The current headmaster, Sen’ei Ikenobo, has continued to create new styles of rikka shimputai  and shoka shimputai and to further the development of free style arrangements.   Ikenobo continues its over five hundred years of development by teaching styles with ancient roots which harmonize with contemporary life.

To follow Ikenobo’s flower path, one need only choose a certified teacher who  oversees the course of study, including workshops, individualized lessons, and the study of Ikenobo texts.   Although practicing  Ikenobo ikebana is a life-long pursuit, diplomas are awarded along the way, first for student levels, later for instructors, and eventually for professors.   Ikenobo recognizes eighteen diploma levels.

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