Seeking Wabi-sabi

Wabi-sabi according to Wikipedia

Wabi-sabi according to Resurgence issue 203 – A CULTURE OF SIMPLICITY by Leonard Koren

  • Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete.
  • It is a beauty of things modest and humble.
  • It is a beauty of things unconventional.
  • Wabi-sabi is a nature-based aesthetic paradigm that restores a measure of sanity and proportion to the art of living.
  • Wabi-sabi — deep, multi-dimensional, elusive — is the perfect antidote to the pervasively slick, saccharine, corporate style of beauty.
  • Get rid of all that is unnecessary. Wabi-sabi means treading lightly on the planet and knowing how to appreciate whatever is encountered, no matter how trifling, whenever it is encountered. “Material poverty, spiritual richness” are wabi-sabi bywords. In other words, wabi-sabi tells us to stop our preoccupation with success — wealth, status, power and luxury — and enjoy the unencumbered life.

Wabi-Sabi from Wabi, Sabi and Shibui


Wabi means things that are fresh and simple. It denotes simplicity and quietude, and also incorporates rustic beauty. It includs both that which is made by nature, and that which is made by man. It also can mean an accidental or happenstance element (or perhaps even a small flaw) which gives elegance and uniqueness to the whole, such as the pattern made by a flowing glaze on a piece of ceramics.


Sabi means things whose beauty stems from age. It refers to the patina of age, the concept that changes due to use may make an object more beautiful and valuable. This also incorporates an appreciation of the cycles of life and careful, artful mending of damage.

A good reference page with several books about The Way of Wabi-Sabi

Technorati Tags: wabi-sabi, zen, culture, philosophy


About Dewayne Mikkelson

A technogeek in life and a webdeveloper by profession. Blogging is my favorite sport.
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