Tea ceremony and chashitsu: the ultimate example of Zen design

Chapter 3-4: Tai’an – Rikyu’s microcosmic teahouse

“Tai-an” is the ultimate small tea hut, designed by the legendary tea master Sen no Rikyu. According to architect Kengo Kuma: “You won’t understand what Tai-an is all about until you actually crawl into this small hut and experience the very moment when the building, which is almost as small as your body, starts dissolving and enveloping your body softly and lightly, as if it were your clothes.”

The history of Japanese aesthetics (1) – Mono no aware that “utsurou”

Roll back the clock 1,000 years to the Heian Era to find the origin of the elusive and ambiguous Japanese aesthetics where the aristocrats explored the culture of “mono no aware.” It is amazing to find how much the aesthetic style had changed, but the fundamentals remain the same to this day.

Ginkakuji: the labyrinth of wabi-sabi

The Jisho-ji, commonly known as Ginkakuji (the Silver Pavilion), is a villa created and lived by the 8th Muromachi shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa. It is considered the pinnacle of Zen-inspired wabi-sabi aesthetics. MUJI’s advisor Kenya Hara and Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto has unique perspectives on Ginkakuji.