The Rikka style was established in the Muromachi
period, in the 15th century. It is said to be the foundation
of Ikebana, from which Shoka, Moribana and Nageire styles evolved.
There are two varieties of Rikka, the traditional Rikka Shofutai
and the more modern, Rikka Shimputai.
Rikka Shofutai is the most formal
style of Ikebana and has a distinctive character, which expresses
the beauty of
landscape. This classical type of Rikka follows strict rules
and uses special techniques such as wiring. It consists of
nine main stems or parts applying different characters,
and directions of materials to construct a harmonious, scenic
These nine main stems are Shin, Shoshin,
Soe, Uke, Nagashi, Mikoshi, Hikae, Do, Maeoki. These are
also known as yakueda.
has a particular function and point of departure from
an imagined vertical line running through the center of the
This point of departure is called de. Each yakueda also
has a particular insertion position on the kenzan (pin holder).
height, length and position of each yakueda responds
to or supports another. The harmony of height, width
of the most important factors to consider. Apart from
these nine main stems, additional stems, called ashirai are
The vase in Rikka usually is 20-30cm
in height and should open out at the top. The stems should
as a clean,
, vertical line rising from the centre of the kenzan.
This is called
Mizugiwa, literally translated as water's edge.
This modern Rikka style allows more of the arranger’s
expression, thoughts and creativity because it
is released from the rigid
rules and form seen in Shofutai. For example,
Rikka Shimputai does not have fixed points of departure.
of having nine main stems seen as in Shofutai,
two contrasting main parts construct Rikka
Shimputai, these are
known as Shu
and Yo. Usually two or three sets of Shu and
Yo with ashirai are used in a single arrangement.
to consider are contrasting materials, colour,
texture of the
The distinguishing characteristics
of Rikka Shimputai are brightness, sharpness and striking
similar to Shoka Shimputai, although Rikka
Shimputai has a more relaxed
feeling and fresh appearance.