Antique Japanese Usubata Ikebana Vase

Designer VerificationNone
Measures (Inches)
- Height: 16

Made from solid cast bronze, this antique Japanese usubata ikebana vase is composed of two sections: 

-the upper vase section with sculptural relief of a dragon intertwined with waves and clasping in his claws a jewel – the lucky symbol for prosperity. .

-the sculptural base of a writhing dragon whose claws and body give stability as a stand.


Even without being used for an ikebana flower arrangement, this vase stands alone as a feature ornamental display piece, or even as an ornate standard candle holder.
Used by the 'Ikenobo' school of flower arranging and made during the Meiji period, circa 1890’s, the ‘usubata’ (suggestive of the small opening and wide rimmed lip) provides a shallow trough on which the surface of water is exposed. This aids in creating the effect of representing a complete plant growing in its natural conditions. Ikebana flower artists also believe that this style of vase keeps the water sweet for longer and provides added oxygen through the water’s surface ensuring a longer life to the arrangement. Furthermore, the bronze colour seems most like mother earth and so is viewed as best suited to enhance the beauty of flowers.
Upper vase measure is  9" diameter. Total high is 16 including the dragon.