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Ikebana International was founded in Japan during the period of the Allied Occupation.  Wives of soldiers took lessons at the flower schools, becoming highly skilled and deeply interested in this ancient and enthralling art of Japan.  As they dispersed back to their home counties, Mrs Ellen Gordon Allen, wife of General Allen, had the idea of forming an international society banding them together in "Friendship Through Flowers" and Ikebana International was formed on the 17th August 1956.  Ikebana International represents all schools of Ikebana and to this day is active throughout the world promoting and uniting goodwill through flowers.

Founding of Leicester Chapter, properly Chapter 102 of Ikebana International.

It was originally called “Ikebana in the Midlands”.  It was formed in 1965 by a group of 8 ladies who were given a one-year mandate by Ikebana International.  At the end of that time it was to disband and re-form itself into a Chapter.  The initial meeting was arranged by Mrs. Dorothy Cooke and Mrs. Joan Lutwyche, and during the qualifying year Mrs. Lutwyche visited Japan and returned to give a demonstration entitled “Fresh from Japan”.  In 1966 the group became a Chapter, and Mrs. Lutwyche was elected its first President.  The members owe much to Mrs. Lutwyche for her inspiration, encouragement, and tuition giving Leicester a firm foundation which is still present today.