Japanese aesthetic ideals

Aesthetics in Japan is seen as an integral part of daily life and include ancient ideals like:

  • Yūgen (幽玄), an awareness of the Universe that triggers emotional responses too deep and powerful for words; 1
  • Wabi, transient and stark beauty;
  • Sabi, the beauty of natural aging.

In Zen philosophy there are seven principles for achieving wabi-sabi:

  • Fukinsei (不均整), asymmetry, irregularity;
  • Kanso (簡素), simplicity;
  • Koko, basic, weathered;
  • Shizen (自然), without pretense, natural;
  • Yugen (幽玄), subtly profound grace, not obvious;
  • Datsuzoku (脱俗), unbounded by convention, free;
  • Seijaku (静寂), tranquility, stillness.

Source:
Yūgen (幽玄) – Deep Awareness of the Universe

Notes:
1 The exact translation depends on the context.

Published by Jan Höglund

Jan Höglund has over 35 years of experience in different roles as software developer, project manager, line manager, consultant, and researcher. This is his personal blog where he shares his reading, book reviews, and learning.

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