hits counter Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence - Ebook PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence

Availability: Ready to download

Developed out of the aesthetic philosophy of cha-no-yu (the tea ceremony) in fifteenth-century Japan, wabi sabi is an aesthetic that finds beauty in things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. Taken from the Japanese words wabi, which translates to less is more, and sabi, which means attentive melancholy, wabi sabi refers to an awareness of the transient nature of earthl Developed out of the aesthetic philosophy of cha-no-yu (the tea ceremony) in fifteenth-century Japan, wabi sabi is an aesthetic that finds beauty in things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. Taken from the Japanese words wabi, which translates to less is more, and sabi, which means attentive melancholy, wabi sabi refers to an awareness of the transient nature of earthly things and a corresponding pleasure in the things that bear the mark of this impermanence. As much a state of mind—an awareness of the things around us and an acceptance of our surroundings—as it is a design style, wabi sabi begs us to appreciate the pure beauty of life—a chipped vase, a quiet rainy day, the impermanence of all things. Presenting itself as an alternative to today's fast-paced, mass-produced, neon-lighted world, wabi sabi reminds us to slow down and take comfort in the natural beauty around us. In addition to presenting the philosophy of wabi-sabi, this book includes how-to design advice—so that a transformation of body, mind, and home can emerge. Chapters include: History: The Development of Wabi Sabi Culture: Wabi Sabi and the Japanese Character Art: Defining Aesthetics Design: Creating Expressions with Wabi Sabi Materials Spirit: The Universal Spirit of Wabi Sabi


Compare

Developed out of the aesthetic philosophy of cha-no-yu (the tea ceremony) in fifteenth-century Japan, wabi sabi is an aesthetic that finds beauty in things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. Taken from the Japanese words wabi, which translates to less is more, and sabi, which means attentive melancholy, wabi sabi refers to an awareness of the transient nature of earthl Developed out of the aesthetic philosophy of cha-no-yu (the tea ceremony) in fifteenth-century Japan, wabi sabi is an aesthetic that finds beauty in things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. Taken from the Japanese words wabi, which translates to less is more, and sabi, which means attentive melancholy, wabi sabi refers to an awareness of the transient nature of earthly things and a corresponding pleasure in the things that bear the mark of this impermanence. As much a state of mind—an awareness of the things around us and an acceptance of our surroundings—as it is a design style, wabi sabi begs us to appreciate the pure beauty of life—a chipped vase, a quiet rainy day, the impermanence of all things. Presenting itself as an alternative to today's fast-paced, mass-produced, neon-lighted world, wabi sabi reminds us to slow down and take comfort in the natural beauty around us. In addition to presenting the philosophy of wabi-sabi, this book includes how-to design advice—so that a transformation of body, mind, and home can emerge. Chapters include: History: The Development of Wabi Sabi Culture: Wabi Sabi and the Japanese Character Art: Defining Aesthetics Design: Creating Expressions with Wabi Sabi Materials Spirit: The Universal Spirit of Wabi Sabi

30 review for Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    So, you want an excuse for why the drawer in your coffee table is broken off? Why you haven't replaced the sofa that was shredded by your cat's claws? Just tell your guests that you have chosen a wabi sabi life. You are practicing the art of impermanence and finding beauty in the imperfect. You can get away with what Martha Stewart would consider murder by invoking the ancient art of wabi sabi. The beauty of a chipped cup. The magnificence of a rusted wheelbarrow. I have personally decided to ne So, you want an excuse for why the drawer in your coffee table is broken off? Why you haven't replaced the sofa that was shredded by your cat's claws? Just tell your guests that you have chosen a wabi sabi life. You are practicing the art of impermanence and finding beauty in the imperfect. You can get away with what Martha Stewart would consider murder by invoking the ancient art of wabi sabi. The beauty of a chipped cup. The magnificence of a rusted wheelbarrow. I have personally decided to never dust or vacuum again, since dust and debris is so breath-takingly beautiful. How it glints and glitters in the sun!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lennox Brown

    For those interested in Zen Buddhism and the art asthetic that sprang from it, this book is amazing. Many of the ideas in Zen I would describe as "simple but not easy." The vastness of the concepts that inspired the wabi sabi style is difficult to put into words. (For an example of how this can go wrong, read anything by D.T. Suzuki) But Andrew Juniper is a true wordsmith and is able to explain these concepts with just a few short sentences in a way that someone with a Western upbringing can und For those interested in Zen Buddhism and the art asthetic that sprang from it, this book is amazing. Many of the ideas in Zen I would describe as "simple but not easy." The vastness of the concepts that inspired the wabi sabi style is difficult to put into words. (For an example of how this can go wrong, read anything by D.T. Suzuki) But Andrew Juniper is a true wordsmith and is able to explain these concepts with just a few short sentences in a way that someone with a Western upbringing can understand. Just as with a Stephen Hawking book, sometimes the ideas in each paragraph are so big one must take a pause and process each page before moving on. This wasn't from confusion but instead a beautiful wholesale questioning of some very basic concepts I had never examined before. Concepts such as why objects that are old and worn are more beautiful than new or "perfect" ones. What non-duality is and why it gets in the way of one's understanding of the universe. And why there is so much blank space in wabi sabi inspired drawings and artwork. Wonderful stuff. This book goes into how Wabi Sabi permeated into every aspect of Japanese life, in poetry and art and even the drinking of tea. A wonderful book, a wonderful artistic asthetic, and a potential life-changing read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tim Murray

    This book starts so well, explaining how the flaws in an object can increase how good the product is and essentially means that it is unique and there are more things to appreciate. After this the author talks a lot about tea ceremonies. Something I would be interested in but they never actually described what is involved in a tea ceremony. I found this very frustrating. The last third was the worst as it degenerates into a rant about how modern society is evil and everything was better in the ol This book starts so well, explaining how the flaws in an object can increase how good the product is and essentially means that it is unique and there are more things to appreciate. After this the author talks a lot about tea ceremonies. Something I would be interested in but they never actually described what is involved in a tea ceremony. I found this very frustrating. The last third was the worst as it degenerates into a rant about how modern society is evil and everything was better in the old days. If you truly believe this is the case then by all means go live in a cave somewhere. However, the author seems to like the sentiment yet wants to write books, run their shop and live in a comfortable house.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    I prefer reading books about art that have an artist sensibility tied to the writing. This read like Ben Stein wrote it. I learned some things but I did not get the feeling he did any field research. I felt like I was getting a lecture from a climatologist on snowboarding.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Oksana Hagen

    Good. It explains, why there is no Japanese-writer book about wabi-sabi or zen. It is because it is accepted in Japan, that "those who speak know nothing, and those, who know, don't speak". Also, it gives a nice recap of the history of Zen-buddism, that puts everything in place. And after these prerequisites, you may easily venture into better understanding of the concept of wabi sabi. Good. It explains, why there is no Japanese-writer book about wabi-sabi or zen. It is because it is accepted in Japan, that "those who speak know nothing, and those, who know, don't speak". Also, it gives a nice recap of the history of Zen-buddism, that puts everything in place. And after these prerequisites, you may easily venture into better understanding of the concept of wabi sabi.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    I really wanted to like this book. I have a BA in Japanese Studies and the topic was right up my alley. But I couldn't finish it (which is rare). The author's bias kept showing itself too much and his social commentary on modern society was too much. Felt like he was just another white man explaining a culture he didn't really understand. Maybe I'll come back to it, but not anytime soon. I really wanted to like this book. I have a BA in Japanese Studies and the topic was right up my alley. But I couldn't finish it (which is rare). The author's bias kept showing itself too much and his social commentary on modern society was too much. Felt like he was just another white man explaining a culture he didn't really understand. Maybe I'll come back to it, but not anytime soon.

  7. 5 out of 5

    D

    This was my first read about the concept. Well framed. Wabi sabi suggests: impermanence, humility, asymmetry, and imperfection. Wabi sabi is an expression of the beauty that lies in the brief transition between the coming and going of life, both the joy and melancholy that make up our lot as humans. It eschews intellectualism and pretense and instead, aims to unearth and frame the beauty left by the flows of nature. Wabi sabi embodies the Zen nihilist cosmic view and seeks beauty in the imperfectio This was my first read about the concept. Well framed. Wabi sabi suggests: impermanence, humility, asymmetry, and imperfection. Wabi sabi is an expression of the beauty that lies in the brief transition between the coming and going of life, both the joy and melancholy that make up our lot as humans. It eschews intellectualism and pretense and instead, aims to unearth and frame the beauty left by the flows of nature. Wabi sabi embodies the Zen nihilist cosmic view and seeks beauty in the imperfections found as all things, in a constant state of flux evolve from nothing and evolve back to nothing. Wabi sabi uses the evanescence of life to convey the sense of melancholic beauty that such a understanding brings. Japanese culture has been an unstoppable creative force whose influence on world culture and art rival that of any other country. Its distinction is quite astounding for a country 1/30 the size of the USA. The underlying principles of impermanence, humility, asymmetry, and imperfection are diametrically opposed to those of their Western counterparts, whose values are rooted in a Hellenic worldview that values permanence, grandeur, symmetry, and perfection. Japanese art, infused with the spirit of wabi sabi, seeks beauty in the truths of the natural world, looking toward nature for its inspiration. It refrains from all forms of intellectual entanglement, self-regard, and affectation to discover the unadorned truth of nature. Wabi sabi seeks the purity of natural imperfection. Zen Buddhists have always been wary of the pitfalls of language, and consider it the greatest obstacle to real understanding. The phrase Furyu monji, literally 'not standing on words or letters' denotes the Zen concept that no deep understanding can be transferred by the spoken word: "Those who do not know speak, those who know speak not." Trying to explain the path to enlightenment is as futile as trying to catch the reflection of the moon in a pond, and there is a tradition in Zen of maintaining ambiguity so that the mind does not get trapped focusing on the wrong thing. As humans who share the same range of emotions and who face the riddles of life, there lies within us a commonality of feeling beyond any culturally biased cognitive grasp of reality. It is to these intuitive feelings to which wabi sabi is better suited. The word wabi comes from the verb wabu, which means to languish. The adjective wabishii was used to describe sentiments of loneliness, forlornness, and wretchedness. However, these connotations were used in a much more positive way to express a life that was liberated from the material world. A life of poverty was the Zen ideal for a monk seeking the ultimate truth of a reality. Hence, from these negative images came the poetic ideal of one who has transcended the need for the comforts of the physical world and has managed to find peace and harmony in the simplest of lives. Sabi conveys a sense of desolation, employing the visual image as reeds that had been withered by frost. This pattern of use increased, as did the spirit of utter loneliness and finality implied in the term, and went hand in hand with the Buddhist view on the existential transience of life known as mujo. The concept of mujo, from the Sanskrit anitya meaning transience or mutability, forms the axis around which Zen philosophy revolves. The idea that nothing remains unchanged and that all sentient beings must die has always added the touch of finality and brings perspective to all actions of humans. Death's touch is seen as the best possible source of wisdom, for nothing can seem more important than anything else when the idea of not existing is brought into the equation. There is within the Japanese a fascination with death, and unlike the West, which tends to shy away from what might be considered morbid deliberations, the Japanese seek to harness the emotive effect of death to add force and power to their actions. With this force also comes a sense of inconsolable desolation, and it is this feeling to which the term sabi is often applied. With the great haiku poet Matsuo Basho (1644-84), the term sabi was employed as an aesthetic juxtaposition to the essence of life, and threw into focus the impermanence of our situation and the folly of trying to deny this unmovable truth. The beauty of Basho's prose, however, took the negative aspects of old age, loneliness, and death, and imbued them with a serene sense of beauty. Melancholy, an emotion nurtured in the Zen world, was used as a whetstone on which to sharpen spiritual awareness: this was not a self-indulgent self-pity, but rather a sadness tinged with an intangible longing. It was in the face of the most undesirable of human conditions that real beauty could be found and the chords of the unconscious spirit, so aware of our fragility, can be touched very deeply when our worlds are put into context. Some, like the great Zen academic Daisetz Suzuki, suggest that it is a longing for the world we left as children, the world of the here and now, undefined by language or values, just a pure experience of reality. It is a world that, at some point in everyone's children, is surrendered for the world of logic - a world that is constantly being analyzed and explained by intellectual machinations, a world that no longer is in direct contact with the present. For the Japanese, who have a long tradition of spiritual training and an appreciation for sublime simplicity, the beauty captured in the opening of a single bud or the patina of an antique bamboo vase will be far more evocative than an expression of wealth, power, or opulence. "It is an understated beauty that exists in the modest, rustic, imperfect, or even decayed, an aesthetic sensibility that finds a melancholic beauty in the impermanence of all things." As Rikyu said, "The tea ceremony is no more than boiling water, steeping tea, and drinking it." Albert Camus: Man is a creature who spends his entire life trying to convince himself that his existence is not absurd." Okakura Tenshin points out that focusing on the meaning of life tends to make us too heavy and self-important: How can one be so serious with the world when the world itself is so ridiculous? Few people are ready to take on the proposition that their own existence is ludicrous. Wabi sabi, as a tool for contemplation and a philosophy of life, may have an unforeseen relevance as an antidote to the rampant unraveling of the very social fabric, which has held humans together for so long. Its tenets of modesty and simplicity gently encourage a disciplined humility while discouraging overindulgence in the physical world. It gently promotes a life of quiet contemplation and a gentle aesthetic principle that underscores a meditative approach. Wabi sabi demotes the role of the intellect and promotes an intuitive feel for life where relationships between people and their environment should be harmonious. By emboldening the spirit to remind itself of its own mortality, it can elevate the quality of human life in a world that is fast losing its spirituality. "The heaven of modern humanity is indeed shattered in teh Cyclopean struggle for wealth and power. The world is groping in the shadow of egotism and vulgarity." - Okakura Tenshin, 1906 Wabi sabi relates to environmental issues in three ways; 1) Minimize consumption 2) Choose quality products that come from sustainable organic sources 3) Respect nature. The most radical nonmaterialism is continued today in the monasteries around the world, where nuns and monks take on the bare minimum required for a healthy life, sometimes owning a bowl, a robe, and little else. These ascetic lives are chosen to attain enlightenment, and any material possesion is seen as an impediment. True wabi sabi has inherited much of this sentiment. The life it promotes puts little store in the accumulation of wealth or objects. The tea masters chose the rustic pots and the tiny modest hut as their symbols of beauty, and in doing so rejected all the finery and fashions in vogue with the ruling classes. Ryokan: Sometimes I sit quietly, Listening to the sound of leaves falling, How peaceful the life of a monk is, Detached from all world matters, So why do I shed these tears? Living and thinking without clutter is what Ryokan advocated. When he saw the rather egotistic and academic tendencies in Buddhist monks who indulged in learning or other affairs of the intellect, he would write poems that parodied their own self-importance. The options of hedonism v wabizumai. While hedonism tends to be more appealing, it often leads to a lowering of spiritual resolve. Zen maintains that it is effort and discipline that will bear fruits, and if we wish to benefit from this wisdom, there must be a move away from the pervasive goal of instant gratification of the senses. The transition toward a simpler lifestyle, fraught as it is with difficulty, is a path only for those with a resolution to travel its length knowing that it is a path without end, yet a path with heart.

  8. 5 out of 5

    J. Lee Hazlett

    As deep and thorough an explanation of a philosophical precept as one could reasonably hope for. This book does a good job of explaining some complicated concepts without losing the reader. Most readers should be able to get maximum value out of this book with minimal foreknowledge of Japanese culture. There were many instances of odd sentence structure, particularly in regards to punctuation, which I found interrupted the flow of ideas and of my reading. This is why the book is only rated 4 sta As deep and thorough an explanation of a philosophical precept as one could reasonably hope for. This book does a good job of explaining some complicated concepts without losing the reader. Most readers should be able to get maximum value out of this book with minimal foreknowledge of Japanese culture. There were many instances of odd sentence structure, particularly in regards to punctuation, which I found interrupted the flow of ideas and of my reading. This is why the book is only rated 4 stars.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    This book is a great primer for learning about wabi sabi. Juniper is a bit Romantic in parts and throws around a lot of sentimentality for the topic that most Japanese people don’t seem to share. Still, it’s a good read. Definitely worthwhile if you are trying to find a way to figure out the basics of this very complicated philosophy/aesthetic.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    "This idea that artists is not really the creating force is an underlying theme in the arts of Japan, and it is the supreme achievement of an artist to reach the levels where concious effort and thought are abandoned to the dictums of the unseen forces that guide our lives. It is therefore the spirit of the artist at the moment of performance that is the criteria by which art is judged in Japan." "If we wish to be truly creative, then isn't it necessary to go beyond the rearranging of symbols to "This idea that artists is not really the creating force is an underlying theme in the arts of Japan, and it is the supreme achievement of an artist to reach the levels where concious effort and thought are abandoned to the dictums of the unseen forces that guide our lives. It is therefore the spirit of the artist at the moment of performance that is the criteria by which art is judged in Japan." "If we wish to be truly creative, then isn't it necessary to go beyond the rearranging of symbols to produce something that comes from the very source of our being? The answer may be that only those who have transcended the boundaries of dualism, who have succeeded in stopping their internal dialogues, who are able to perceive the world in its 'is-ness' are able to be creative in the truest sense of the word. The value accorded to art in the past, particularly in the East, has been the transference of this magical insight into a physical manifestation of the inexplicable world that the enlightened artist perceives. But if the artist has not drunk from this bottomless well, then does his art have any real spiritual value and is his art able to provide anything other than intellectual amusement?"

  11. 4 out of 5

    Debby

    I bought this book for only Rp 5,000 at Periplus and it turns out to be a good book. If "Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers" by Leonard Koren is a book that explains wabi sabi in a simple and to the point manners, this book is a more elaborate version of it. I personally like this book because it gives a better understanding of wabi sabi's history, culture, spirit, and implementations in art and design. I bought this book for only Rp 5,000 at Periplus and it turns out to be a good book. If "Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers" by Leonard Koren is a book that explains wabi sabi in a simple and to the point manners, this book is a more elaborate version of it. I personally like this book because it gives a better understanding of wabi sabi's history, culture, spirit, and implementations in art and design.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Metal Nyankos

    It had to be tough for Andrew Juniper to write this book. Not only did he have to introduce and explain the concept of wabi sabi, but he also had to place the idea itself in it's proper historical context. He had to juggle history, culture, linguistics and philosophy and then present all of these ideas (and their interconnections) in a readable and engaging way. Juniper was successful in doing so. Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence is such a good book. Juniper infuses his rather thoroug It had to be tough for Andrew Juniper to write this book. Not only did he have to introduce and explain the concept of wabi sabi, but he also had to place the idea itself in it's proper historical context. He had to juggle history, culture, linguistics and philosophy and then present all of these ideas (and their interconnections) in a readable and engaging way. Juniper was successful in doing so. Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence is such a good book. Juniper infuses his rather thorough history lessons with interesting characters (like Sen no Rikyu and Okakura Kakuzo) and weaves a rather poetic narrative, taking us through what wabi sabi meant and means today. Juniper showcases wabi sabi's origins and underlying principles, role in the tea ceremony and traditional Japanese gardens, connection to Zen Buddhism, it's historical ebb and flow, past commercialization and corruption by wealthy enthusiasts, and how one can incorporate wabi sabi into their lives. That last part, making ones life more wabi sabi, feels like the secret focal point of the entire book. I think Juniper is a devout embracer of the idea and wants to encourage others to follow in his footsteps but, before he could share how he truly felt, he had to explain what it all meant and what it all means today. In the later chapters, sacrificially the last five, you can feel his passion for wabi sabi start to emanate from the pages. It's endearing and you can't help but feel swayed by his enthusiasm and (very) low-key arguments for making ones life more wabi sabi. This book is full of fantastic lines and quotes from other wabi sabi-ists (my term). One is by Okakura Kakuzo who wrote The Book of Tea which goes: "The heaven of modern humanity is indeed shattered in the Cyclopean struggle for wealth and power. The world is groping in the shadow of egotism and vulgarity." He wrote that in 1906, but it feels painfully on point for 2018. If you feel moved by Kakuzo's thoughts above, then you will find much to enjoy in Juniper's Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence. We need more books like Juniper's in our lives.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jason Keenan

    https://101booksjapan.blogspot.ca/ There is probably no Japanese concept more mentioned and less understood than wabi sabi. It seems that any exploration of Japanese aesthetics has the term thrown around — sometimes correctly, and other times wildly inaccurately. It’s often imperfectly defined as the Japanese art of imperfection. But it is so much more. Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence by Andrew Juniper serves up some clarity with its interesting examination of what is an extremely chall https://101booksjapan.blogspot.ca/ There is probably no Japanese concept more mentioned and less understood than wabi sabi. It seems that any exploration of Japanese aesthetics has the term thrown around — sometimes correctly, and other times wildly inaccurately. It’s often imperfectly defined as the Japanese art of imperfection. But it is so much more. Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence by Andrew Juniper serves up some clarity with its interesting examination of what is an extremely challenging philosophical and artistic approach. The book moves towards understanding by exploring the history, culture, art, design and the spirit of the concept and the art. Don't get me wrong, you're not getting a definitive definition here. The concept of wabi sabi is difficult to define because at its heart is a lack of codified rules, directives, or structures. Juniper’s book highlights the qualities, ideas, and approaches that make an object or way of life wabi sabi - and as importantly not. It offers a great deal of perspective to help you think about all of the ideas that make up wabi sabi. Wabi Sabi offers a step towards understanding a difficult to define concept — one that is a challenge to clearly explain inside Japan and outside. When you’re done, you’ll have a little more understanding of why a Japanese tea cup carries so much more than something to drink in its rough exterior and uneven lines.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ta0paipai

    A more complex concept than the book explains, Juniper succeeds at simplifying wabi sabi into a materialistic concept and practice, missing the spiritual, sensual nuances. Although the book starts with a good explanation of the concept and its intertwining with Japanese culture, it ends with a silly "wabi sabi your life" guide that misses the true spirit if the concept. A more complex concept than the book explains, Juniper succeeds at simplifying wabi sabi into a materialistic concept and practice, missing the spiritual, sensual nuances. Although the book starts with a good explanation of the concept and its intertwining with Japanese culture, it ends with a silly "wabi sabi your life" guide that misses the true spirit if the concept.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marjan

    One of the best books on the subject. The language is soft, poetic and well written. Unfortunately the author fell into a trap of giving out some "design tips and guidelines" which are completely redundant and often work in a sense of limitation rather than liberation. But overall a book which is worth reading twice! One of the best books on the subject. The language is soft, poetic and well written. Unfortunately the author fell into a trap of giving out some "design tips and guidelines" which are completely redundant and often work in a sense of limitation rather than liberation. But overall a book which is worth reading twice!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    hehe laugh at the rhyming name, no just kidding your zen is no laughing matter! Like the ideas in here but hard to absorb, prefer Buddhism Plain and Simple for my Zen teachings, but this may be worth another look...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Johann

    I read it from an architect's point of view. Great read if you want to understand some of the themes that influenced modernist pioneers like Frank L. Wright. I read it from an architect's point of view. Great read if you want to understand some of the themes that influenced modernist pioneers like Frank L. Wright.

  18. 5 out of 5

    bibliotekker Holman

    Japanese wabi sabi defies simple definition. That said, this book goes far in defining the indefinable. An interesting read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Yakov Pyatnitskov

    I liked the prose, the language and the obvious love and appreciation for the concept, for Japan and Eastern philosophy as a way of living with which this book was written. Wabi sabi as a concept is now much clearer to me even though at times the text became too verbose. The pictures in the book, even B&W were absolutely stunning and sometimes had me looking at them for minutes. Those pictures alone (a single rose, fallen autumn leaves, an elegant piece of wood) are in themselves the best and on I liked the prose, the language and the obvious love and appreciation for the concept, for Japan and Eastern philosophy as a way of living with which this book was written. Wabi sabi as a concept is now much clearer to me even though at times the text became too verbose. The pictures in the book, even B&W were absolutely stunning and sometimes had me looking at them for minutes. Those pictures alone (a single rose, fallen autumn leaves, an elegant piece of wood) are in themselves the best and only description of wabi sabi you may need. And for those who want to understand Wabi Sabi without reading the whole book here is a story from introduction: "Long ago a man out walking encountered a hungry tiger, which proceeded to chase and corner him at the edge of a small precipice. The man jumped to avoid the impending danger and in so doing managed to catch the limb of a tree growing from the small escarpment. While he hung there he became aware of a second tiger, this one at the foot of the precipice, waiting for him to fall. As his strength began to wane the man noticed a wild strawberry that was growing within his reach. He gently brought it to his lips in the full knowledge that it would be the last thing that he ever ate – how sweet it was." That story is for me the essence of Wabi Sabi and our life in a nutshell: transitory, nuanced, impermanent and yet so beautiful and so rich once we start paying close attention to it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Genis Cardona

    ‘The transition toward a simpler lifestyle, fraught as it is with difficulty, is a path only for those with a resolution to travel its length knowing that it is a path without end, yet a path with heart’. This is a very devious book. You bought it and read it to better understand the tea ceremony and wabi sabi pottery and art. Yet, the philosophy underlying wabi sabi drinks deeply from zen, advocates a worldview far removed from the pursuit of hedonism pervading society nowadays. Reading this bo ‘The transition toward a simpler lifestyle, fraught as it is with difficulty, is a path only for those with a resolution to travel its length knowing that it is a path without end, yet a path with heart’. This is a very devious book. You bought it and read it to better understand the tea ceremony and wabi sabi pottery and art. Yet, the philosophy underlying wabi sabi drinks deeply from zen, advocates a worldview far removed from the pursuit of hedonism pervading society nowadays. Reading this book is a dangerous decision: it may force you to question your way of living, it may plant a seed.

  21. 5 out of 5

    William Anderson

    A cultural overview of a particular set of Japanese beliefs that are apparently embedded into every day customs and societies. Anecdotes, and history lessons abound not just covering the meaning of the term, or even its heritage, but giving a sprinkling of the histories, of Zen, Taoism and Buddhism as well. Overall a relaxing read, that is sometimes heavy on word use. The author skillfully depicts visuals and examples.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    It’s a short book, but Juniper should have wrapped it up a little earlier. The last few pages seem to try to be him applying wabi sabi to the Western world, a feat he earlier claims is impossible. It’s the end of the book when the “white guy writing about a culture he appreciates but doesn’t really -get-“ vibe comes out. The beginning of the book was illuminating and it was a quick and overall enjoyable read especially if you enjoy connecting art to philosophy/existential questions.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Short and informative but with poor illustrations. This quote sums up a lot: “Wabi Sabi is an intuitive appreciation of a transient beauty in the physical world that reflects the irreversible flow of life in the spiritual world. It is an understated beauty that exists in the modest, rustic, imperfect, or even decayed, an aesthetic sensibility that finds a melancholic beauty in the impermanence of all things.” page 51

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Webber

    Had some great content in the beginning, but was reduced to editorializing, bemoaning "hedonism," implying homeopathy works (it doesn't), extolling organic as healthier (it isn't), and blaming science for plastic pollution (and most of what's wrong with western society). This was particularly frustrating, as the book started out talking about Wabi Sabi being nearly impossible to truly define, only to end with the author proclaiming his interpretation as a panacea for all social ills. Had some great content in the beginning, but was reduced to editorializing, bemoaning "hedonism," implying homeopathy works (it doesn't), extolling organic as healthier (it isn't), and blaming science for plastic pollution (and most of what's wrong with western society). This was particularly frustrating, as the book started out talking about Wabi Sabi being nearly impossible to truly define, only to end with the author proclaiming his interpretation as a panacea for all social ills.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Avi

    This gave me a greater appreciation for Japanese ceramics (and aesthetics in general, I suppose). I missed a lot of its memento mori like subtext, and how it can play out in Japanese culture. The book also has a bunch of fun anecdotes about eccentric ancient characters if you're into that kind of thing. This gave me a greater appreciation for Japanese ceramics (and aesthetics in general, I suppose). I missed a lot of its memento mori like subtext, and how it can play out in Japanese culture. The book also has a bunch of fun anecdotes about eccentric ancient characters if you're into that kind of thing.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sultan

    The tone is somewhat in academese, with many unfamiliar terminology and long sentences, so it made me sleepy sometimes. However I think the content is informative and rich (which is not the case with the recent non-fiction books). This was enlightening. Recommended.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ken

    A good explanation of the the wabi sabi life; from the spirituality to the art to the design and to the life style. This is a good read for those interested in the current minimalist life style trend.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ernesto P.Sotto

    Wabi-Sabi-Simple but very profound Japanese philosophy: "nothing lasts,nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect". Think about it...wouldn't this be the best prescription for a simple,blissful life? Live a contented life, now. Wabi-Sabi-Simple but very profound Japanese philosophy: "nothing lasts,nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect". Think about it...wouldn't this be the best prescription for a simple,blissful life? Live a contented life, now.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Hanlon

    On the Mount Rushmore of the handful of great English-language books on wabi sabi. Juniper has a great take from a more aesthetic look at the topic and a strong complement to the books on the topic written by Leonard Koren and Richard Powell.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

    Wabi-sabi (侘寂) represents Japanese aesthetics and a Japanese world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.