A kenzan, also called spiky frog or flower frog, is a specific tool used in the Japanese art of flower arrangement ikebana for fixing the flowers in the container. It consists of a very heavy lead plate with inverted copper nails which are fastened in the lead. It looks like a small nail bed. European flower designers normally use ‘oasis' or Floral foam instead of a kenzan.
With this tool, you can flowers, leafs, and branches place on bowls, plates and vases, following eastern philosophic ideas on nature and composition.
You put the kenzan in a vase or other container. The ends of flowers stems and branches are pushed onto the needles, to keep them steady.
The name kenzan (剣山) literally means sword mountain. It was introduced by the Moribana style (flat container) of ikebana. (1)
Different shapes kenzan
Kenzans have different shapes and sizes. Round, square, rectangular and even oval, like a turtle shell and half moon shape, can you buy.
(1) Keiko's Ikebana: A Contemporary Approach to the Traditional Japanese Art of Flower Arranging, p. 45.
Watch the video below about my kenzan toolbox:
If you love watching (flower) videos online, I will invite you to my YouTube channel. Tune in each week to Ikebana Beautiful to learn more about the arts of flower arranging. In this video I show you my toolbox with kenzans.
Buy a kenzan
If you click on the links below the photos of the kenzans, you see where you can buy these kenzans and tools. These are not exactly the same kenzans as shown, but we found it easy to show you where you can buy them. (We get a small commission if you buy one.)
Sun & Moon
How do I keep my kenzan clean?
This little gadget serves a miraculous purpose for flower arrangers who use a kenzan in their arranging. In this video you learn how to clean your kenzan and straighten the needles. I use a steel kenzan clean and repair tool. The tool has two functions.
One end is a hollow thin tube that fits snugly over the needles to straighten the kenzan pins. Bent pins in the kenzan (pin frog) no matter how deluxe the model can be forced out of alignment by particularly tough woody materials used in an arrangement.
The other end can be used to remove plant material that often gets stuck between the needles.
The bell makes it possible to find it back in your tool kit. The size of this kenzan pin straightening tool is approximately 70 mm.
Would you like to learn more about the ikebana supplies I use, have a look at my shop.
Enjoy the video below.
Have a wonderful day.
Watch the video about how to use a Pin Straightener
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Tools you can use for your flower designs
More flower design tools equipment, tips, and instructions, such as kenzan, scissors, etc. you can find here