Hello, this is TORA.

Here, “Wabi and Sabi,” representative words in Japanese, will be discussed. You may have heard “Wabi” and “Sabi” somewhere.
They are written as “詫び” and “寂び” in Kanji.

These words are very difficult to explain to foreigners. They are so uniquely Japanese that they can’t be translated into other languages.



Enjoying a tranquil lifestyle.
One of the aesthetic theories in Sado (tea ceremony) and Haikai (17 syllable verse).
The elegance of clarity and stillness found within simplicity.

It is an aesthetic sense developed after the middle ages that was particularly valued during tea ceremonies.
Sennorikyu’s idea of “actively enjoying simple and serene lifestyle by acknowledging the materialistic deficiency and inconvenience” became “Wabi.”


The elegance of Kanjaku Kotan. “A place consistent with Sabi.”
To be old and with character. Elegance of being wilted and austere. “A cup characterized by Sabi.”
A poet, Basho Matsuo, refers to “Sabi,” using Haikai:“in Haikai, rather than what is expressed in the subject or the expression of the verse, it is what is expressed in author’s feelings, which are capturing the subject of the verse.”

Hmmmm….. this is hard.
We do indeed hear these words often in tea ceremony, but they are extremely difficult to understand.

Initially, they originated from different points. [“Wabi” was being satisfied even with deficiencies, and “Sabi” was an expression of unconcerned, serene feeling.] Then, at some point, “Wabi Sabi” came to mean, [to find beauty in things that offer stillness and loneliness, while being simple.]

Identity as Japanese person.

The Western sense of beauty is characterized by gorgeousness, and is centered around the beauty of symmetrical or artificial things.
In contrast, Japanese sense of beauty leans toward natural things, and has been based on the beauty of things that wither away.
“Wabi” and “Sabi” represent such Japanese sense of beauty.

In short, a person cannot find the beauty of “Sabi,” without a sense of “Wabi.”

These are very profound words that are also very Japanese.
Japanese people should be fully aware of this, and cherish what they stand for.
It would be even better if they can share these words with foreigners.


How was it? They are somewhat difficult words, but also very important ones for Japanese people, and embody Japanese spirit.
Going forward, I hope you will experience many instances of “Wabi and Sabi,” which are part of Japanese sense of beauty.

That’s all for today.

Otsukaresama deshita