Ikebana, one of the traditional arts of Japan has been practiced for more than 600 years. It developed from the Buddhist ritual of offering flowers to the spirits of the dead. By the mid-fifteenth century, with the emergence of the first classical styles, ikebana achieved the status of an art form, independent of its religious origins, although it continued to retain strong symbolic and philosophical overtones. The first teachers and students were priests and members of the nobility. However, as time passed, many different schools arose, styles changed and ikebana came to be practiced at all levels of Japanese society. The practice of ikebana is called "kado", or The Way of Flowers.
The founders of the Asheville Chapter of Ikebana International considered organizing in 1963 and hosted a visit by Mrs. Ellen Gordon Allen, the founder of I.I., to discuss this possibility. They met at the home of Mrs. E.S. Koon with 36 interested individuals who petitioned for the honor of joining. The charter was granted in 1965. Membership was $7 per year. They had four business meetings and nine program meetings a year. There were notes in the file that membership was to be limited to 20 by I.I. Headquarters.