“Simplify!” Steve Jobs’ relentless quest for Zen design

Steve Jobs is known to have practiced the Soto-school of Japanese Zen, and is also known to have loved the kare-sansui garden of the Saijo-ji in Kyoto, which was founded by a prominent Zen priest/garden designer in the 14th century. Find how Jobs leveraged Zen philosophy to design simple and minimal Apple products.

Katsura Imperial Villa (Katsura Rikyu)

Katura Rikyu (Imperial Villa), built during the 17th century in Kyoto by an aristocrat family, is often dubbed as the culmination of traditional Japanese architecture. Its simplicity is very “modern.” You will be amazed how the fine, subtle lines define architecture so cleanly and potently, and how it dissolves into nature seamlessly but elegantly.

Recipe for Japanese caramel pudding “purin”: reduce sugar – drastically!

One of the characteristics of the Japanese cuisine is its obsession with texture. Especially with deserts, Japanese are almost fanatical in adding special textures, whether it’s sponginess, wobbliness, smoothness, crispiness or crunchiness. The beauty of it? You rely less on sugar, butter or cream – the “guilty” ingredients to find pleasure in what you eat. When you focus on the texture, you rely less on the quantity of sweet/fatty ingredients. It’s much healthier and more blissful.

The Zen of Minimalism: How Minimal Design is a Catalyst for Happiness

We tend to think of minimalism as an art movement and a minimalist lifestyle as two separate things, but they share a common philosophy. It has to do with how we leverage our inner ability and potential. Connect the dots among De Stijl, Zen rock garden and “decluttering.”

Debunking the myths of Japanese food: is it really healthy and natural?

Japanese food can be unhealthy and non-natural. Debunk common myths about Japanese food by remembering “less is more” philosophy.

Demystifying the mysteries of Japanese aesthetics

What’s the common secret behind traditional Zen arts/culture, wabi-sabi, MUJI, Japanese architecture, sushi and Totoro? It’s the unique approach toward nature.

Discover the aesthetics of “less is more”

When you abandon “more” to start embracing “less is more,” what is actually taking over “more” to make us happy? Zen could help you find the answer.

Circular economy 300 years ago

Circular economy already existed 300 years ago in Edo (Tokyo). It was filled with lively, resilient people and opportunities for design. Get inspired by their energy and creativity.

Minimalist Ukiyo-e & paints by Hokusai

Japanese cheesecake: wobbliest, lightest and most delicious?

There are two types of cheesecakes that are popular in Japan: traditional New York style, and “souffle” type cheesecake. Unlike very “cheesy” New York style cheesecake, souffle is light and spongy because it uses beaten egg whites.