Ninna-ji Temple is the headquarters of the Omuro School of Flower Arrangement (“ikebana“). What is now the Omuro School was practiced at the temple for some time before it was renamed and the teaching methodology was made public after World War II. From this time, the style of flower arrangement practiced at Ninna-ji was given the name “Omuro School” (omuro-ryū 御室流).
Within the Omuro School there are multiple styles including free-form (jiyūka 自由花) and traditional (seika 生花). You can see examples of these two styles on display daily in the entryway of Goten, free-form is usually placed on the left side with traditional on the right. (The photographs in this post are also in this order.) Free-form is a style with few rules that is intended to express shapes and arrangements that can be seen in nature. The traditional style, on the other hand, has a rigid set of rules establishing the placement and angles necessary in an arrangement. There is one more style in Omuro School, the creative style (sousakubana 創作花). In this style the usually required “main branch” (yakueda 役枝) is not required, it is the most unrestricted style in the Omuro School.