Japanese aesthetics

understanding Japanese aesthetics is about re-discovering our relationship with nature.

Learn important concepts such as “wabi-sabi,” “ma,” and “emptiness ( 空(kuu)).”

Buddhism and Zen crystallized the concept of ” 空 (kuu),” which is the core magic of Japanese aesthetics that let beauty emerge from emptiness.

MUJI, Kenya Hara, Kengo Kuma, Toyo Ito, Shigeru Ban, Sou Fujimoto etc.

Articles related to Japanese aesthetics

Zero Narrative

Chapter 1-9

Chapter 1-8: Nagata farming method and the power of zero

November 21, 2017/by [email protected]

Yoshino Cedar House x Airbnb: True sharing enabled by “people”

April 14, 2017/by [email protected]

Chapter 2-7: Sugar, as the new black

Rental Space Tower by Sou Fujimoto: House Vision 2016

October 8, 2016/by [email protected]

Happiness through the lens of Minimalists

October 10, 2017/by [email protected]

Zero and Sustainability: aesthetics matter

History of Japanese aesthetics 3: Muromachi and wabi-sabi

November 11, 2019/by [email protected]

Chapter 1-13: Zeroing in on our potential

Absence in Ukiyoe: Hiroshige – One hundred of Famous Views of Edo

December 10, 2016/by [email protected]

Want to design your own living style? apply for MUJI House

July 7, 2016/by [email protected]

Abundance by subtraction in music: piano & Nobuyuki Tsujii

March 11, 2017/by [email protected]

Abundance by absence in music: “Absolutely on Music” by Haruki Murakami and Seiji Ozawa

December 11, 2017/by [email protected]

Chapter 2-2: Ikebana – the art of subtraction

November 27, 2017/by [email protected]

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

September 20, 2017/by [email protected]

The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 – 21st century perspectives

September 28, 2017/by [email protected]

Origami, the co-existence of art and math

July 1, 2016/by [email protected]

Chapter 2-4(2): Effect of subtraction 2

Shou sugi ban, primitive-modern architectural material

December 29, 2016/by [email protected]

The Japanese House: Sou Fujimoto

May 19, 2017/by [email protected]

Kintsugi: Repair beyond repair

February 16, 2017/by [email protected]

MUJI “Wood House” model home in Kanagawa, Japan

August 20, 2017/by [email protected]

Zen perspectives in Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Las Vegas Project

December 18, 2016/by [email protected]

Chapter 1-2: Full because it’s empty

November 27, 2017/by [email protected]

Beauty of ambiguous architecture: Sou Fujimoto

March 29, 2017/by [email protected]

Kengo Kuma: Our cities need to “ferment”

March 16, 2017/by [email protected]

How much is sufficient? “80% Full Product” by MUJI

December 15, 2016/by [email protected]

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

April 28, 2017/by [email protected]


October 30, 2016/by [email protected]

Is it color? Or is it absence of color? White: color of Zero

January 2, 2017/by [email protected]

Chapter 1-11: Power of Zero

Tanada Terrace Office: MUJI x Atelier Bow-Wow House Vision 2016

October 17, 2016/by [email protected]

Tofukuji kare-sansui by Mirei Shigemori

September 15, 2017/by [email protected]

How sweet is deliciously sweet? AISSY quantifies sugar in cookies

July 7, 2016/by [email protected]

Japanese cheesecake: wobbliest, lightest and most delicious?

December 30, 2016/by [email protected]

Chapter 1-7: Discovery of zero = abundance

November 22, 2017/by [email protected]

Chapter 3-3: Small is engaging – MUJI toothbrush stand

January 7, 2018/by [email protected]

Chapter 2-6: Deliciousness in the modern world

Grand Third Living: Kengo Kuma x Toyota House Vision 2016

October 8, 2016/by [email protected]

Celebrate what you already own: Patagonia

July 7, 2016/by [email protected]

Chapter 1-14

Re-discovering human-size comfort: MUJI’s Good Fit Right Angle Socks

December 15, 2016/by [email protected]

Open House with Condensed Core: House Vision 2016

February 6, 2017/by [email protected]

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

December 1, 2016/by [email protected]

Why is MUJI’s minimalist design called Zen?

November 26, 2016/by [email protected]

Chapter 3: Abundance by condensation

January 10, 2018/by [email protected]

Chapter 4-2: Absence on senses

December 2, 2017/by [email protected]

Chapter 1-10: Roots of Zen – Japan in the Middle Ages

Nissin Cupnoodles Museum

July 7, 2016/by [email protected]

Chapter 2-2: Ikebana

Chapter 4: Abundance by absence

December 10, 2017/by [email protected]

Prince’s Piano & Microphone: Ultimate Art of Absence

April 19, 2018/by [email protected]

Chapter 2: Abundance by subtraction

Tradition of shoe repair: it’s about renewing relationships

March 10, 2017/by [email protected]

Why we need Zero

Zero (kuu): the core tenet of Zen Buddhism

Chapter 5-1: Geographical settings of Europe and Japan

Train baby’s taste buds to define deliciousness properly: Plum Organics

July 7, 2016/by [email protected]

Katsura Imperial Villa (Katsura Rikyu)

August 17, 2017/by [email protected]

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

January 5, 2018/by [email protected]

Minimalist Ukiyo-e & paints by Hokusai

February 8, 2017/by [email protected]

The MOMAT Exhibition: The Japanese House – Architecture and Life after 1945 –

August 17, 2017/by [email protected]

Kenya Hara and the aesthetics of “emptiness”

February 2, 2017/by [email protected]

Discover the magic of smallness: MUJI’s toothbrush stand

January 13, 2017/by [email protected]

Yoshino-sugi Cedar House : Go Hasegawa x Airbnb

December 27, 2016/by [email protected]

iFixit – rediscover the joy of making and repairing things

December 10, 2016/by [email protected]

Applied Origami, as state-of-the-art engineering

December 16, 2016/by [email protected]

Chapter 3-5: MUJI House – Edit your own life style

December 16, 2017/by [email protected]

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

April 4, 2017/by [email protected]

Chapter 2-3: Haiku – the beauty of worlds’ shortest poem

November 26, 2017/by [email protected]

Circular economy 300 years ago

February 12, 2017/by [email protected]

Chapter 3-6: MUJI Hut

December 1, 2017/by [email protected]

Chapter 2-5: Is sushi cuisine of subtraction?

November 23, 2017/by [email protected]

Demystifying the mysteries of Japanese aesthetics

March 30, 2017/by [email protected]

Chapter 2: Abundance by subtraction

November 30, 2017/by [email protected]

Chapter 3-2: Bonsai – the art of condensation

January 8, 2018/by [email protected]

My Neighbor Totoro: honest face of nature

March 22, 2017/by [email protected]

Tea ceremony and chashitsu: the ultimate example of Zen design

June 25, 2019/by [email protected]

Chapter 3: Abundance by condensation

“Deceptively simple line”: Charlie Brown, a cartoon of Zen

November 25, 2016/by [email protected]

“Great Transformation of Architecture”: Toyo Ito and Sustainable Architecture

December 6, 2016/by [email protected]

Tune-up your senses at optimal level through decluttering

July 3, 2016/by [email protected]

Haramaki, Heattech or MUJI?: waste heat recovery of the people, for the people

December 18, 2016/by [email protected]

Chapter 1-10: Zazen – empty your body and mind for mind-FULL-ness

November 5, 2017/by [email protected]

Penguins are not boring: Asahiyama Zoo

July 7, 2016/by [email protected]

Chapter 2-7: Activate your taste buds by subtraction – Plum Organics

November 6, 2017/by [email protected]

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

August 9, 2019/by [email protected]

Zero sugar: re-adjusting deliciousness to make your diet easier

December 29, 2016/by [email protected]

Chapter 4-3: Absence in business – Nissin Cupnoodles Museum

December 1, 2017/by [email protected]

Aesthetics of “emptiness”: Kenya Hara, designer of Zero

December 4, 2016/by [email protected]

MUJI x UR: MUJI beautifully fixes-up old-fashioned urban apartments

January 14, 2017/by [email protected]

Chapter 1-2: Full because it’s empty

Dwell on design 2017: Small is beautiful

June 29, 2017/by [email protected]

Truth of sharing economy: what are we really sharing?

December 17, 2016/by [email protected]

Rental Space Tower by Sou Fujimoto (2): House Vision 2016

March 27, 2017/by [email protected]

Analogue Renaissance! Re-discoveing the beauty digital cannot deliver

August 11, 2016/by [email protected]

Discover the aesthetics of “less is more”

March 18, 2017/by [email protected]

MUJI Hut: tiny house dissolving into the environment

April 27, 2017/by [email protected]

What is Zero?

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

May 29, 2017/by [email protected]

Chapter 2-3: Haiku – the beauty of worlds’ shortest poem

Where would millennials live when they go minimal?

January 3, 2017/by [email protected]

Chapter 2-8: Taste buds’ performance and Plum Organics

Chapter 4-6: Absence is the mother of creativity

November 27, 2017/by [email protected]

Chapter 2-6: What is deliciousness by the way?

November 15, 2017/by [email protected]

Chapter 2-5: Subtraction on taste – how do we determine deliciousness?

Zero perspectives in “Small Architecture” by Kengo Kuma

December 2, 2016/by [email protected]

Hiragana-No Spiral House: Yuko Nagayama x Panasonic

September 21, 2016/by [email protected]