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Wabi Sabi Philosophy: Nothing Lasts, Nothing Is Finished, Nothing Is Perfect

Wabi Sabi, one of the most influential space concepts in Japan, has become a part of daily life both in Japan and around the world. There are many deep and meaningful concepts that are part of Japanese culture. The customs and habits of the country are very interesting and consist of a combination of different forms of philosophy. Japanese culture and philosophy has a unique ideology of beauty and aesthetic perception. And let's examine in detail the philosophy of wabi sabi, which is a wonderful reflection of this understanding on space and lifestyle.

Wabi-sabi is the idea of ​​finding beauty in all aspects of nature's imperfections. It is about the aesthetics of what is known to be “imperfect, discontinuous and incomplete”. Wabi-sabi is also deeply influenced by Buddha's teaching and can be linked to Buddhist thought. Essentially, wabi-sabi is a concept or ideology derived from the "Buddhist teaching" of the three signs of existence, which are "impermanence" (mujō), suffering (ku), and the void or absence (kū) ​​of self-nature. It is an elegant way of describing the natural and pure and acknowledging the beauty of any substance or being in its most natural and raw form. The Western world has transformed the concept of beauty into a phenomenon that is becoming more and more refined and more inaccessible. This distorts the idea of ​​natural beauty and struggles with existing flaws, on the contrary, the Japanese belief and concept of wabi-sabi accepts people and everything with their flaws.

Wabi-sabi has a profound influence on Japanese culture. We can see the influences of this philosophy in Japanese gardens, architecture, and many other forms of art. It is also embedded in the environment and way of life in which the people of Japan live. It reflects their temperament and lifestyle and also connects with Zen Buddhism.

Experiencing life in its most natural form is a joy to wabi-sabi, a wonderful theory that is brought to life through art and space. Would you have guessed that a philosophy drawn from the simplest ideas and common everyday thought would have such a beautiful effect? The most important element that makes Japanese architecture unique is the effect of wabi-sabi. Even in the Japanese contemporary design style, wabi-sabi is blended throughout the space to give a unique sense of aesthetics and comfort. 'Wabi' denotes simplicity, discontinuity, imperfections while 'Sabi' denotes the influence of time on a substance or any object. 'Wabi-sabi' embraces the idea of ​​aesthetic appreciation of aging, imperfections and expresses the beauty of imperfections created by time. In architecture, when these concepts come together they complement each other, expressing simplicity and the truest form of an object. With this philosophy, simplicity and comfort are included in the space in a way that is disconnected from the materialist obsessions of the world.

It can be easily applied in every moment of life. It has integrity and is very difficult to describe in a single text, but it can be easily applied in every moment of daily life. The endless pursuit of perfection in the workplace, in relationships, in business life often leads to disorders such as stress, anxiety and depression. It is here that wabi-sabi invites us to pause. This philosophy encourages us to focus on the blessings hidden in our daily lives and to reflect and appreciate how things are rather than how they should be.

In his book Wabi-Sabi Simple, Richard Powell described wabi-sabi as "a lifestyle that appreciates and accepts complexity, but also values ​​simplicity". Powell says wabi-sabi acknowledges three simple truths: "Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect." In Zen philosophy, there are seven aesthetic principles in reaching wabi-sabi: “Kanso” meaning simplicity, “Fukinsei” meaning asymmetry or disorder, “Shibumi” meaning simple beauty, “Shizen” meaning unpretentious naturalness, “Yugen” meaning delicacy and elegance, “Datsuzoku” means freedom and “Seijaku” means peace. The timeless wisdom of Wabi-sabi is more important than ever today for people seeking meaning and fulfillment beyond materialism. For many of us, the concept of wabi-sabi is difficult to understand and digest at first. However, it becomes clearer and easier to understand when simplified and broken down.

The main intention behind the concept is hidden in the daily life and art, culture, traditions and habits of the Japanese people. It is different from what the rest of the world sees, but it opens the door to a wondrous belief with the power to change mindsets, a shared perception of what beauty and aesthetics really are and can be, once entered.

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