Wabi Sabi was mentioned in a post about what seems like months ago. I said I would offer a better description of this Japanese philosophy of aesthetics and way of life.
“In a few words, one could say that wabi sabi is the beauty of imperfect things. Of course, that would be overly simplistic explanation for such a deep and profoundly rooted notion in the Japanese spirit. Something between an artistic concept, a philosophy of life and a personal feeling, wabi sabi is everywhere
In Japan, wabi sabi is imperceptible but everywhere: a crack on a teapot, the wood of an old door, green moss on a rock, a misty landscape, a distorted cup or the reflection of the moon on a pond.
The term wabi sabi is composed of two kanji characters. The second part, sabi (寂) is said to date back to the eighth century, when it was used to designate desolation in a poetic way. From the twelfth century, the term evolved and referred more precisely to the delightful contemplation of what is old and worn. It was also used to talk about the beauty of faded or withered things. Sabi could also mean “old and elegant”, or “being rusty”, with an untranslatable impression of peacefulness.
The term wabi (侘) only appeared in the fifteenth century to designate a new aesthetic sensibility closely related to the tea ceremony, which referred to the general atmosphere and to the objects used during this formal service. The definition of wabi can be traced back to loneliness or melancholy, to the appreciation of a serene life, far from the urban hustle and bustle.”
Wabi Sabi is about appreciation and acceptance, striving for excellence rather than perfection, finding happiness in the simplicity and impermanence of all things. Of course, there is much info about Wabi Sabi that can be found on - where else – the world wide web for anyone interested. For great depth and history, I’d recommend taking a glance at japanobjects.com.
Comments are welcomed.