Kids Web Japan

Types of Ikebana: Heika

The Characteristics of Heika

Heika (which includes rikka, shoka, and seika, among others) is a basic style of ikebana arrangement that uses a tall vase and highlights vertical lines. The biggest feature is the emphasis on bringing out the flowers' natural charms and arranging them in a tasteful and elegant manner.

Flowers: Spanish jasmine and peony (Ohara School)
This piece, which combines the peaceful colors of the peony with the small, yellow flowers of the Spanish jasmine, shows the supple branches drifting to the side, and represents the seasonal beauty of early summer.

Bundling Together at the Mouth of the Vase

Vases with a narrow opening or tall, jar-shaped containers are used, with the stems being bundled tightly together at the mouth. Crosspieces are used to fasten the stems to the vase.

Each school defines its own fundamental forms, and specifies guidelines for the key lengths and angles of branches to be used for each form. Here, we will introduce one example of a heika arrangement using the keisha (slanted) form used at the Ohara School.

Flowers: Virginia sweetspire, Chinese bellflower, and Solomon's seal (Ohara School)
This piece, which features the soothing purples of the Chinese bellflower, brings out the grace in the flowering branches, and elegantly combines some of the flowers of early summer.

Heika arrangements consist of three main elements--the primary, secondary, and ornamental stems; their lengths, positions, and angles differ depending on the type of heika style used.

The primary stem (subject) is tilted forward around 70 degrees and scattered across a 45-degree area to the front and left. The secondary stem is placed behind and to the left of the primary one to give depth. The ornamental stem (object) is arranged so that it slants forward at a 60-degree angle across a 30-degree area to the right of the primary and secondary elements.