How to apply Japanese minimalist, Zen design to your home?

If you want to introduce Zen-taste minimalist design, what are the tips? There are several critical Zen aesthetics such as “subtraction”, “condensation” and “absence” that strongly influenced modern minimalist design. Find them through MUJI and other iconic product design.

The aesthetics of “absence” in Ukiyoe: Hiroshige – One hundred of Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige was an Ukiyo-e master excelled in emphasizing essential elements only. His One Hundred Famous Views Edo is a prime example of his aesthetics of subtraction and absence.

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.

Anonymous is beautiful: “The Profiles of Design” by Naoto Fukasawa

Japanese product designer Naoto Fukasawa quotes from his book “The Profile of Design.” Find where his minimalist, quiet yet powerful design came from.

Why is MUJI’s minimalist design called Zen?

The Japanese household brand MUJI is often dubbed “commercial Zen” for its no-frills, minimalist design and approach. But exactly what kind of Zen aesthetics are seen in MUJI? Two prominent designers Kenya Hara and Naoto Fukasawa give us inspiring clues.

Aesthetics of “emptiness” by Kenya Hara

Kenya Hara is a Japanese graphic designer who has been playing a pivotal role shaping MUJI’s brand philosophy. As a member of MUJI’s Advisory Board since 2001, along with Naoto Fukasawa, he strengthened the concept of “emptiness,” which is behind MUJI’s minimalist design.

Kenya Hara, Japanese “emptiness” aesthetics guru, on decluttering (2)

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.

The Butterfly Chair designed by Sori Yanagi

Sori Yanagi’s butterfly stool and the evolution of plywood designer chairs

Japanese industrial designer Sori Yanagi designed the iconic butterfly stool in 1956 by leveraging emerging plywood processing technology.

What is wabi-sabi in Japandi?: a practical guide for confused design lovers

Are you Googling “wabi-sabi” because you are interested in Japandi – the Japanese/Scandinavian design aesthetic hybrid? Are you confused because you haven’t found information/inspiration you are looking for? We can help you, as we write a lot about Japanese aesthetics, including wabi-sabi.

What is kirei-sabi?

Wabi-sabi, traditional Japanese aesthetic, is anti-luxury and anti-elegance. But 小堀遠州 (Kobori Enshu, 1579-1647) added refinements and elegance to wabi-sabi. Enshu was a unique figure who was a high-ranking samurai bureaucrat, Tea Master AND great designer at the same time.