Japanese aesthetics

Miyabi (雅) is one of the oldest of the traditional Japanese aesthetic ideals, though perhaps not as prevalent as Iki or Wabi-sabi. In modern Japanese, the word is usually translated as "elegance," "refinement," or "courtliness" and sometimes referred to as "heart-breaker".

1. Shibui objects appear to be simple overall but they include subtle details, such as textures, that balance simplicity with complexity.

2. This balance of simplicity and complexity ensures that one does not tire of a shibui object but constantly finds new meanings and enriched beauty that cause its aesthetic value to grow over the years.

3. Shibusa is not to be confused with wabi or sabi. Though many wabi or sabi objects are shibui, not all shibui objects are wabi or sabi. Wabi or sabi objects can be more severe and sometimes exaggerate intentional imperfections to such an extent that they can appear to be artificial. Shibui objects are not necessarily imperfect or asymmetrical, though they can include these qualities.

4. Shibusa walks a fine line between contrasting aesthetic concepts such as elegant and rough or spontaneous and restrained.

To wander on in a huge forest without thought of return. To stand upon the shore and gaze after a boat that disappears behind distant islands. To contemplate the flight of wild geese seen and lost among the clouds.

Zeami was the originator of the dramatic art form Noh theatre and wrote the classic book on dramatic theory (Kadensho). He uses images of nature as a constant metaphor. For example, "snow in a silver bowl" represents "the Flower of Tranquility".