A Hanamai arrangement expresses the sculptural beauty of materials through their mutual interaction in a three dimensional space.

In a Hanamai arrangement, there is no distinction between main materials and filler materials. There are also no rules governing the materials length, angle, or position. Looking at the color, form, shape, and texture of the material is integral in capturing the sculptural beauty of the material. It can be viewed from the front only, but can also be viewed from all sides, strengthening its sculptural beauty within the three dimensional space.

In order to achieve a harmonious arrangement, the materials must meet one of the following criteria:

Yoriau (Meeting beauty) – materials are positioned so that they meet at one point. The point of meeting has a sense of tension and space between them.
Fureau (Touching beauty) – materials are positioned so that they do not touch as in nature. Their contact creates a tension in color and form.
Kasanariau (Overlapping beauty) – materials are positioned so that their overlapping expresses the beauty of color and form of the material.
Kumiau (Combination beauty) – using the beauty of Fureau and Kasanariau, materials are positioned to highlight their contrasting and harmonious nature.


The One-Row Form container or the Circular Form container may be used for basic arrangements. Multiple containers can also be used. When using multiple containers, they can be positioned and moved freely, expanding the base area helping to create a large work. It also allows more freedom in the positioning of materials helping to emphasize their sculptural beauty.


Two materials are the standard number of materials, while three is the maximum number used. When looking at the materials, pay special attention to their color, form, texture, shape, and volume. Some materials have harmonious colors, while other have contrasting hues. Some materials have linear forms, while others have interesting surfaces. Some may feel light and airy, while others may feel heavy. The combination of materials helps to create not only tension, but also harmony, and bring out the sculptural beauty in the arrangement.

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