Ohara Ikebana

ikebana flower arrangement

The Ohara School was founded by Unshin Ohara (1861-1916) in the late 1800s as Japan opened to Western influence. The school focuses on two basic forms that encompass a wide variety of styles: Heika in a tall container and Moribana in a flat container. Prior to the 1900s, most ikebana arrangements were vertical in form. As Japan began to import and cultivate a large variety of Western flowers, Unshin created a style that allowed these flowers to be freshly arranged. He also sought to capture nature’s picturesque scenery. This style, named Moribana, became the forerunner of all modern ikebana. It was subsequently adopted by most other ikebana schools and has now become a representative style in the world of ikebana. 

Ikebana Flower Arrangement
Landscape Moribana

Second Headmaster, Koun Ohara (1880-1938) brought the Ohara school to the masses through exhibitions and other forms of public access. He broke new ground with Landscape Moribana, expressed in scenic views and waters-edge arrangements. 

Third Headmaster, Hon Ohara (1908-1995) ushered in avante-garde ikebana, and his creativity kept ikebana at the forefront of the modern world. His numerous one-person exhibitions conveyed his constantly renewed creativity and were a sensation. He continued the expansion and systemization of the Ohara School, securing its position as a world-wide organization.


Fourth Headmaster Natsuki Ohara (1949-1992) was posthumously named Headmaster after his untimely death in 1992. He is known in his short life for exploring creative forms for the new age, originating the minimalist Hanamei and Hana-Isho forms. After Netsuke passed away, Miss Wakaso Ohara assumed the duties of Headmaster until Netsuki’s son reached adulthood.


Fifth Headmaster Hiroki Ohara (1995-present) is leading the Ohara School into the on-line world, capturing the attention of diverse cultural and artistic circles worldwide. He created the Hanakanade arrangement, continuing the modern, minimalist form initiated by his predecessor. Today, the school has more than one million members.