The first 228 words from
Wabi-Sabi: Further Thoughts

“In 1994 I introduced the term
‘wabi-sabi’ in a book titled Wabi-Sabi:
for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers . . .

“The observations and principles identified in the book as wabi-sabi have probably always been of interest to the aesthetically inclined, but perhaps they had never before been conveyed with such rhetorical intensity, or at such a receptive cultural moment. As a consequence, many people found the book’s vocabulary and conceptual schemes useful in describing aspects of their work. Some even found inspiration for making new things. Over time, other writers and thinkers began incorporating these theories and elucidations into new books about wabi-sabi.

“I was generally gratified by the widespread acceptance of the wabi-sabi paradigm. However, in the book’s zeal to present the concept in an easy-to-comprehend manner, it omitted an explanation of the circumstances under which the Japanese words “wabi” and “sabi” came to be conjoined. This has contributed to numerous misconceptions about wabi-sabi’s actual place in Japanese history. The present volume has been written, in part, to untangle these misunderstandings. It aims to clarify exactly how wabi-sabi came to be and, in the process, further illuminate its character. (On another level, the text itself is a methodological “how to” intended for those involved in creating new aesthetic paradigms.) . . .”

Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers

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