Friday, 14 January 2011


Wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a Japanese aesthetical concept, which can loosely and simplisticly be described as beauty withing imperfection.

It describes how an earthenware pot is attractive thanks to its blemishes, or how cherry blossom is so staggeringly beautiful because of, rather than in spite of, its fragility and short life span.

It is a very Zen concept, and closely linked to the Chinese Taoist philosophy. Both describe how important it is to consider something's strengths based on what it has, rather than assess its weaknesses based on what it does not have.

Again, this is a rather simplified way of summing it up, but more can be found here.

In Japan you will see many examples of the wabi-sabi aesthetic at work, in everything from architecture to tableware.



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