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The Art of Living: Japanese Philosophies for Our Living Spaces - Condopreneur

The Art of Living: Japanese Philosophies for Our Living Spaces

Encompassing the land of the rising sun is a set of deep-seated principles and foundational philosophies that are intertwined in all aspect of life. These ethics flow through Japanese society, seeping themselves within tradition, art and design. Let’s traverse this path of wisdom and artistry to uncover ways that will enrich our living spaces and consequently, our lives.

The world is moving at an ever-faster pace, it’s all about what must be done, what’s new, what’s happening. We’re bombarded with non-stop information., always looking for what we assume is perfect, trying to hide any flaw; either within us, or our environment. A different perspective is needed for the sake of our sanity, not a new way of thinking but rather an old philosophy. A philosophy that happens to be deeply rooted in Japanese tradition, Wabi-Sabi. At its core, Wabi-Sabi is rooted in the acceptance and appreciation of imperfection, acting as a counterpoint to our relentless pursuit of “purity” and performance. Inviting us to lighten our pace and digest the beauty within the imperfections, this approach to life can be mimicked in our living space by using Japanese furniture that incorporates the philosophy of Wabi-Sabi. An aged wooden table bearing the marks of time, a stone mantlepiece uniquely molded by the forces of nature, a lamp made from raku pottery showcasing Earth’s variable colours – are all expressions of Wabi-Sabi being infused within timeless pieces. The end result is a living space that feels personal, authentic, and deeply connected to the natural world, allowing us to appreciate the fleeting nature of life.

Using the concept of Wabi-Sabi as a foundational presence within Japanese aesthetics, we can dive deeper into another philosophy that encompasses the notion of imperfect beauty, Fukinsei. A principal that values asymmetry and irregularity, symbolizing the worldview that perfect beauty or harmony is nonexistent within the natural world. In terms of designing our living spaces, we achieve this state not by arranging furniture in perfect symmetry, but rather by finding the right balance through conducting thoughtful placements of different pieces. These individual pieces can be designed with irregularities such as a table that isn’t perfectly rectangular, retaining the organic shape of the wood. By implementing Fukinsei and fostering a distinctive personality for our living environments, we inadvertently begin to enrich our cognitive and emotional selves.

As our appreciation for the natural and irregular deepens, we begin to understand realm of subtle beauty, quiet sophistication, alternatively referred to as Shibumi. It’s a principle deeply engrained in Japanese aesthetics that dismisses loud and eccentric designs, while championing subtlety and refined simplicity. We are able to cultivate an environment that exhibits serenity when incorporating Shibumi as part of our living spaces. When constructing our spaces with a minimalist design ethos, carefully selecting just a few furniture pieces that serve both practicality and aesthetic functions, we avoid clutter while inducing our environment with
tranquility. The proper lighting and colors need to be infused in our Shibumi space to compliment the minimalist furniture. We can create an ever-changing play of shadows by using earthy tones, natural and subtle artificial light, thus capturing the shifting beauty as phases of the day pass us by. A living space influenced by Shibumi is more than just a home –– it’s a peaceful retreat, a place to disconnect, rest, reflect, and rejuvenate. It’s about making each element count, giving us a space that’s deeply personal, tranquil, and harmonious.

While the understated elegance of Shibumi graces our atheistic choices, beneath the surface of the simplicity, a layer of subtle mystery and depth exists, representing the aesthetic principle, Yugen. Encompassing the beauty that can’t be seen, the unspoken, the indirectly implied, suggesting that which is beyond what can be said. It’s an experience. Pieces in our living space will be simple and functional on the surface, but with deeper observation, a depth of design and craftsmanship will be apparent only upon careful observation. A chest of drawers with a hidden compartment, or a sliding door that reveals a spectacular view, incorporating Yugen in our spaces will create a sense of wonder, inviting exploration and a deeply resonating experience beyond the immediate visual appeal.

By observing our living spaces through the lens of these principles, each one adding their unique component, our homes can shelter us while becoming sanctuaries that elevate our state of being. These principles serve us beyond merely aesthetic design – they’re a pathway to living with authenticity, mindfulness, and harmony. Let’s carry them along our journey, creating an
environment that reflects our inner conscience, an environment designed for living and thriving.



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