Ikebana (Japanese: 生け花 or いけばな) is the Japanese art of making flower arrangements. The word "Ikebana" means " to make alive flowers". People who want to do Ikebana have to learn many things. It is not just about putting flowers in a vase. Japanese flower arrangements often have special meanings.
Ikenobo is very well known. Until the Mid-Edo Period it was only for upper class people. Ikenobo was started by a Buddhist priest called Ikenobo Senkei in the 15th century. It uses standing flowers (called "rikka"). It is a Buddhist way of showing the beauty of nature. There are 7 branches. Each branch represents something in nature, e.g. a hill, valley, waterfall etc. Later, in the 17th century, it became simpler and was called "shoka". Shoka uses just 3 branches called "ten" (heaven), "chi" (earth) and "jin" (man).
Today Ikebana is very popular among all classes of people in Japan. 15 million people in Japan practice Ikebana.