The origins of Saga Go-ryū date back to the Japanese Emperor Saga (reigned 809-823). His residence in Kyoto was later converted into a Buddhist temple and given the name Daikaku-ji (大覚寺), which is the school's headquarters. The priest-princes (門跡 monzeki) of Daikaku-ji formed the core of the temple for generations.
Tsujii Kōshū (辻井弘洲), who was a disciple of Ohara Unshin of the Ohara-ryū, was invited by the temple to found the Saga Go-ryū school in 1931. He published a number of books on the subject of ikebana, which were also translated into English. The school has been headed by his granddaughter Tsujii Mika (辻井ミカ) since 2014.
The Saga Go-ryū is built on five main styles:
- Shōgonka (荘厳華) is the emphatically solemn and impressive style developed for ceremonial occasions in the religious tradition, uniting the principles of esoteric Rokudai philosophy.
- Seika (生花), the classical style based on heaven, earth and human, was developed to adorn the alcove and is used for guests or ceremonies at home.
- Heika (瓶花) and Moribana (盛花) represent the free style. They are based on the beautiful natural landscape of the Saga environment and suit any occasion, both as Chabana, accompanying the tea ceremony, and as Bunjinbana, the flower arrangement as a poetic expression of a mood.
- The newest style, Shinshoka (心粧華), seeks to depict the essential foundations of the Saga Go-ryū with as few but carefully selected materials as possible.