The Daikakuji temple in Kyoto is considered to be the origin of ikebana: In honor of the imperial Saga residence, this form of ikebana is called Sagagoryu. Here was established a center of ikebana, which since then has more than 140 branches both in Japan and abroad.
The Sagagoryu school of ikebana dates back to the early Heian period. While the Emperor Saga (A.D. 786-842) was going for a boat ride on the Lake Osawa, he saw a lovely chrysanthemum on a small island and picked it. Back to his residence, he put it in a vase and arranged it after the three elements: the Sky, the Earth and Man. Then he said: "The one who loves flowers, you should take him as an example." That was the beginning of the Sagagoryu school of ikebana.
There are two kinds of ikebana in today's school of Sagagoryu: Denshoka, the traditional school, and Shinshoka, the modern school, which is more adapted to the tastes of today. The different sub-styles offer a wide range of tastes, going from the classics to the present and reaching till the future of flower arrangement.
Even today, the Sagagoryu school still has its headquarters on the site of the imperial palace, built back in 814. Later, it was changed into an imperial residence and in 876 finally converted to today's Daikakuji temple in Kyoto.
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