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How To Arrange Five Chrysanthemums

( Originally Published 1913 )

ARRANGEMENTS of five flowers or branches are called Gogyo. They should be arranged like the cut.

No. 1 represents Heaven.
No. 2 represents Man.
No. 3 represents Earth.

But they are placed in the arrangement as they are numbered; No. 3 and No. 4 being attributes to Heaven and Man.

Forming "Steps" or "Dan"

In some arrangements you can make the flowers form "dan" or "steps," like this: If the branches have many flowers or leaves, or if you are arranging numbers of branches together, then put the greater part of the flowers or leaves, as the case may be, in the encircled place in the right-hand figure in the diagram. This is the main body of the arrangement and is called do. Never use this style of arrangement with three flowers.


SELECT the flowers most graceful in shape for Heaven and Man, which would here be No. 3 for Heaven and No. 1 for Man, with No. 5 for Earth, leaving Nos. 2 and 4 as tasuke or attributes. The tasuke should never be taken from the most striking material or most beautiful flowers, for those must be used in the more prominent positions of Heaven, Man, and Earth.

Heaven should have a fuIIy opened flower, turning a trifle towards the back, so as to reveal the back of the flower. The tasuke of Heaven can be either a half-opened flower or a bud. For Man use a half-opened flower or a fuII-blown one. Earth should be full-blown and should be faced straight upwards. One of the five flowers should be behind the Ieaves. This naturally will be one of the tasuke, as No. 2 in the cut, showing the five chrysanthemums arrangement completed.

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