The Wafu School was founded in 1896, during the Meiji era by Wafu Teshigahara. It was originally named the Japan Ikebana Academy.
In 1946 the second generation headmaster, the father of the current headmaster, introduced a more relaxed and individualistic style of ikebana, which was suitable for display in the home. He promoted his unique philosophy of ikebana art throughout Japan, the United States, Europe, China and South America. He was tireless in performing demonstrations around the world, which exemplified his deeply felt belief that through the art of ikebana individuals could find peace and understanding. And if individuals understood each other, he believed, then nations as well could have harmony between them. This philosophy permeated all of Mr. Wafu’s demonstrations, including those at such prestigious organizations as the United Nations.
Since 1992, the third Wafu Teshigahara has continued his two predecessors’ international work. The current headmaster is the third generation of the Wafu family to lead this school. Born in 1949 in Kamakura, Japan, his ikebana artistry is enhanced by his talents in photography and graphic design. Headmaster Teshigahara actively supports the artistic development of chapter members worldwide through regular visits to chapters in Japan and abroad to conduct study sessions and give lectures.
Since 1967, the Wafu School of Ikebana has been certified a Juridical Foundation by the government of Japan’s Ministry of Education, being one of only four ikebana schools to earn this official recognition (Ikenobo, Ohara, Sogetsu and Wafu).
The Wafu School's future, when the headmaster's daughter will lead the school, is already being prepared. Mitsui Teshigahara was officially named Assistant Headmistress of the school in 2003. Headmaster Wafu’s educational efforts are being reinforced by the participation of his daughter. As a father–daughter team, they foster enthusiasm for the unique beauty of Wafu ikebana.