Sofu-Teshigahara

Sogetsu Ikebana

Sogetsu Ikebana is a new approach to Japanese flower arrangement pioneered by Sofu Teshigahara, founder of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Sofu is a strong advocate of originality and creative expression, which he found lacking in traditional Ikebana. Sogetsu Ikebana is shaped by his belief that Ikebana goes beyond decorating with flower; it is an art. That one has unlimited freedom for personal expression using all kinds of materials, not just flowers - once the rules are learned and the techniques mastered. This thinking sets Sogetsu Ikebana apart from traditional Ikebana and established it as the foremost school for modern Ikebana.

Sōfu Teshigahara (勅使河原蒼風) 1900–1979

First Iemoto and Founder of the Sōgetsu School of Ikebana, Japan

Born in 1900, Sofu’s outstanding talent in Ikebana was apparent from a young age. In 1927, at the age of 27, he started the Sogetsu School of Ikebana to pursue the concept of ‘zen-eibana’ or avante garde Ikebana. His refreshing Ikebana style was so well received that he became the instructor in Ikebana lessons on NHK radio whose broadcasting helped spread Sogetsu’s fame.

He held his first solo exhibition in 1930 at the Josui Kaikan in Tokyo working with scrap metal, as a new medium. Between 1950 and 1970, he held various exhibitions and demonstrations across Europe and the United States.

The French government awarded him the Order of Arts and Letters in 1960, and the Legion of Honor in 1961; and Japan bestowed the Minister of Education Awards for Art in 1962.

Read more about Sofu Teshigahara and his successors

Sofu_workWorks of Sofu Teshigahara