A Special Day with FLOWERS AND TEA PART 1

NHK Educational

How flower arrangement is orchestrated with this special location 

A special location: the Ichijō Ekan Sansō (designated National Important Cultural Property) 
Constructed in Nishigamo, Kyoto, in the Kan’ei era (1624-1645) and relocated to Kamakura in 1959.
This mountain villa was constructed by a court noble named Ichijō Ekan (1605-1672) , who was well versed in waka poetry, calligraphy, and all types of literary arts. Ekan’s aesthetic sensibilities are evident throughout, down to the minutest details. 
The ceiling is woven from thin strips of bamboo.
The handles on the fusuma sliding door panels are customized with different designs for each room.
Standing flowers on the cedar doors 
Here, the most cultured men of the time gathered and deepened their friendships through a mutual appreciation of beauty. A 17th-century pair of Rikka “Standing Flowers” paintings on a set of cedar doors at the villa provides evidence of one such exchange. Ichijō Ekan invited the second-generation grand master of the Ikenobō School of Ikebana flower arrangement, Ikenobō  Senkō (1575-1658), to arrange some flowers there and had someone paint the resulting arrangements.
In this letter to his elder brother, Emperor Gomizuno’o (1596-1680),  Ekan writes of how moved he is by Senkō’s exceptional arrangements and wishes for his brother to see them as soon as possible. The emperor replies with great interest and proposes to have the flowers painted.   Their exchange shows the excitement surrounding the new rikka flower arrangements being made by Ikenobō Senkō II at that time.  
Ikebana flower arrangement
The foundation of Japanese ikebana flower arrangement was established in the 14th century in the Muromachi period. At the time, it was used as a form of decoration that was displayed in conjunction with various formal functions that were rooted in daily life.
In the 17th century, Ikenobō Senkō II elevated flower arrangement to an art with the creation of the rikka (standing flowers) form.
Responding to the flower paintings on the cedar door
Rikka is a mode of expressing an entire natural landscape in a single vase. Intended for display in an alcove, the arrangements are meant to be viewed from a single direction from a seated position on the floor in front of them.
The Mark of Beauty : NHK Educational
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