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Aldous Huxley said words ". . . are the instruments of thought; they form the channel along which thought flows; they are the moulds in which thought is shaped.” With that in mind, check into the unique, mind-expanding qualities of Japanese aesthetic vocabulary:

* aware --originally surprise or delight, but now tinged with melancholy that may bring us to the brink of tears.
* en --exquisite to the point of fascination.
* okashii --delightfully humorous, maliciously witty.
* miyabi -- elegant and refined providing a quite, delicate pleasure
* mu --expressing a spontaneity that suggests the Buddhist ideal of detachment from self
* yugen --originally "profound or mysterious" but now mainly "intuitively sensed" and lying "beyond" art, related to "eternal loneliness"
* shibumi --colors or patterns with a complete lack of ostentation
* seido -- the inner life or essence of something expressed simply and directly, especially (for example) in a rapid ink sketch
* esoragoto --an "invention in a work of art which, although factually false to nature, heightens the natural effect."
* ki-in --ennobling dignity, spiritually elevated quality.
* notan --density, as of ink tone or mass
* sabi --old and imperfect, slightly melancholy, like a time-worn face. Essential to tea ceremony; must possess makoto, sincerity. In literature a kind of attentive melancholy: "to be found in the autumn disk, in withered fields, or in the sight of drab brown birds winging across a marsh at twilight" (Brower and Miner, Japanese court poetry," Stanford 1961)
* suki --something luxurious or elaborate but also artless or natural.
* wabi --transcendental aloofness (recalls Thoreauvian poverty) (Suzuki, 430)
* wabi-sabi --used together, "a sigh of gentle melancholy and slightly bittersweet contentment, awareness of the transience of earthly things and a resigned pleasure in simple things that bear the marks of that transience" (Jon Spayde in Une Reader Sept-Oct 2001:50) imperfection attributable to natural causes (such as development, wear-and-tear) that evokes a kind of nostalgic pleasure . . .

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