Curious perspective of Japandi: the many faces of Japanese-Scandinavian crossover

”Japandi” marries Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics, “surprisingly” similar two cultures that are far apart. But in reality, it’s a natural crossover and Japanese have had natural affinity toward Scandinavian culture for quite some time. Find curious blends of the two in literature, music, movie and fashion.

History of Japanese aesthetics: Mono no aware, mujo, wabi-sabi and iki

Japanese aesthetics are known for its simple and minimalist design details and unique appreciation of natural beauty. There have been a couple of decisive moments in history that helped cement those qualities. “History of Japanese Aesthetics” reviews social backdrops of 1) Heian, 2) Kamakura, 3) Muromachi and 4) Edo period and discuss how they influenced the formation and crystallization of Japanese aesthetics.

History of Japanese aesthetics 1: the Heian period and Mono no aware

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.

History of Japanese aesthetics 3: Muromachi and wabi-sabi

The beauty of decluttering according to Kenya Hara, Japanese “emptiness” aesthetics guru

Japanese graphic designer Kenya Hara is known for his “emptiness” design philosophy as you can see in MUJI products. He says we shouldn’t own too much because it will ruin the beauty of our living environment. Find his take on decluttering to live a truly rich live.

“So-an,” the 1000-year-old Zen tiny house

The tiny house was already a “choice” for some 1,000 years ago. In medieval Japan, people called their version of the tiny house 草庵 (so-an), “thatched hut” away from home. Practitioners of Buddhism, artists and/or wanderers created the “tiny house movement” and created so-an as a base for freer, ideal life.

Tea ceremony and chashitsu: the ultimate example of Zen design