[Ads-l] wabi-sabi

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 9 12:13:03 EST 2018

The word “wabi-sabi” has wide use in English. There are, for example, a Wabi Sabi Hair Artistry and a Wabi Sabi Crystals, Wellness and Gifts in Ontario, and a Wabi Sabi Foto in Buffalo, NY. Searching for “wabi-sabi” on Etsy yields more than 8000 hits, though if you look at the last page, “wabi-sabi” is not in the product keywords, so the search algorithm must be going beyond simply the search term.

It is listed on Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/wabi-sabi <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/wabi-sabi>) and Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi>), but not the English OLD (though it has wabi at https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/wabi <https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/wabi>).

Definitions on the Urban Dictionary go back to 31 January 2008 (https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=wabi-sabi <https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=wabi-sabi>).

The term in English appears to come from the 1959 “Zen and Japanese Culture” by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki (https://tinyurl.com/ycpjdfu9 <https://tinyurl.com/ycpjdfu9>). An earlier work of his mentions “sabi” and “wabi”:

1927 (Google dated)
Essays in Zen Buddhism (First Series), Volume 1
Daisetz Teitarō Suzuki
https://tinyurl.com/ybwok4ez <https://tinyurl.com/ybwok4ez>

By this spirit, or this artistic principle if it can be so designated, I mean what is popularly known in Japan as “Sabi” or “Wabi” (or “Shibumi”).

Three example videos:

20 March 2013
Wabi-sabi: The magnificence of imperfection: Cheryl Hunter at TEDxSantaMonica
Cheryl Hunter (TED Talk)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1gxziZwmkc&vl=en <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1gxziZwmkc&vl=en>

18 January 2018
Interview of Karla Dreyer
Embrace Imperfection With Wabi Sabi! on Breakfast Television
https://tinyurl.com/y7s5bopn <https://tinyurl.com/y7s5bopn>

5 March 2018
4 design principles to create the ultimate Wabi-Sabi bedroom
Dayna Isom Johnson
https://tinyurl.com/y9e53wsx <https://tinyurl.com/y9e53wsx>

Articles on the internet:

October 2010
Wabi Sabi Your Life: 6 Strategies for Embracing Imperfection
Gretchen Roberts
http://www.wholeliving.com/133628/wabi-sabi-your-life-6-strategies-embracing-imperfection <http://www.wholeliving.com/133628/wabi-sabi-your-life-6-strategies-embracing-imperfection>

18 August 2015
Embracing Wabi-Sabi
Mikki Brammer
https://medium.com/@zady/embracing-wabi-sabi-1f4050028e22 <https://medium.com/@zady/embracing-wabi-sabi-1f4050028e22>

Fall 2016
WELCOME TO ARCH 622 (the webpage for an architecture course)
Ricardo L. Castro
http://archserv.architecture.mcgill.ca/prof/castro/arch622-16/wabi-sabi.html <http://archserv.architecture.mcgill.ca/prof/castro/arch622-16/wabi-sabi.html>


impermanence and imperfection

Underscoring the notion of impermanence is the concept of “wabi-sabi”, which artists, designers, architects, writers, musicians, craftsmen, and philosophers have been using in Japan since immemorial times. Wabi-sabi is an elusive concept but an important one in our present historical condition. Originating in the  East, the concept transcends borders and has full validity in the contemporary western context of design activities from art, literature, music to architecture and related fields.

4 January 2018
"Wabi-Sabi" Is the Latest Wellness Trend to Impact the Internet
Jenny Brownlees
https://thethirty.byrdie.com/wabi-sabi <https://thethirty.byrdie.com/wabi-sabi>

https://nobleharbor.com/tea/chado/WhatIsWabi-Sabi.htm <https://nobleharbor.com/tea/chado/WhatIsWabi-Sabi.htm>

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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