About Ikebana International

What is Ikebana?

Ikebana (ē-kĕ-bah-nah) is the ancient art of Japanese flower arranging. A free translation might be “living flowers” or “making flowers come alive”. When flowers are beautifully arranged in a container, the arrangement evokes the whole of nature itself, and people’s relationship with nature.

The organization was founded in 1956 by the late Ellen Gordon Allen whose dream was to create an association uniting the people of the world through their mutual love of nature and enjoyment of ikebana. Today, that dream has spread to over 50 countries/areas, with 143 chapters and a membership of more than 6,000.

The motto of the association is “Friendship through Flowers” and any person or organization accepting that objective is welcome to join us as a member of Ikebana International.

To learn more about Ikebana International and the North & Central American Region – attend one of our Legacy Presentations.

Ikebana International does not teach or endorse any single type of ikebana. It is an association that encompasses over 3000 different schools. The members are people from various parts of the world who enjoy and practice ikebana and have interests in other traditional Japanese art forms. Some schools stress classical styles, others focus on free style, and some are a blend of both. Our members gain the opportunity to earn about ikebana of many different schools-their inspirations, styles, philosophy, history and techniques. We benefit from those interactions through meetings, demonstrations, exhibitions and other events. Another unique feature of Ikebana International is that the organization was founded by and continues to be administered almost entirely by volunteers.

What to expect in a meeting

A typical Ikebana meeting might be a demonstration or a workshop to create a particular floral design or a demonstration or workshop in another Japanese craft such as calligraphy, sumi-e painting, origami or making sushi!

For more information visit the Ikekbana International website at www.ikebanahq.org.

How to get involved in Ikebana

Most Ikebana chapters allow guests to attend one to three of their meetings for either a modest per meeting fee or no fee at all before formally joining the chapter. Individual chapter membership fees range from approximately $60 to $100 annually and some also charge a per meeting/workshop fee. Check out the many chapters in the North & Central American Region on this website.  

Membership benefits
  1. Ability to attend all chapter meetings and workshops anywhere in the world (some have additional fees for attendance)
  2. Opportunity to participate in exhibitions held by your local chapter
  3. Ability to take lessons and participate in workshops of various ikebana schools
  4. Receipt of local chapter newsletter (issued by some but not all chapters)
  5. Full access to this website for I.I. North & Central American Region (NCAR) news
  6. Access to the respective chapters website
  7. Access to NCAR Regional Advocates to support and assist your chapter as needed (only for chapters in the North & Central American Region)
  8. Subscription of Ikebana International Magazine issued three times a year with color plates and illustrations of ikebana arrangements from a variety of schools as well as articles on ikebana and related cultural arts
  9. Subscription to additional newsletters, Chapter Activities and Sakura News, with information regarding what is happening locally as well as in chapters around the world
  10. Ability to attend conferences held in the all seven regions as well as the World Conference.
  11. Ability to transfer membership from one chapter to another upon presentation of a valid full International membership number from any other chapter in the world