Since the 15th century, this concept has inspired people to find beauty in imperfections, as a broader acceptance of the cycle of life and death.
Wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a way of life based on accepting transience and imperfection. It teaches us how to embrace the cracks, crevices, and ruined parts, and to go beyond the initial impression and feeling, in a continuous pursuit of perfection that makes us disdain something that may seem initially ugly. It teaches us to understand how to accept things as they are, with their marks of passing time, highlighting authenticity and courage.
As Cheryl Hunter reminds us, «a thing can only be considered to embody perfection if it also embodies a correlated degree of imperfection.»
Wabi-sabi encourages recognizing beauty in the ephemeral, the simple, and the natural. It is a philosophy that values objects and moments weathered by time, and celebrates the unique character of things shaped by history. Instead of seeking rigid perfection, wabi-sabi urges us to appreciate the aesthetics of imperfection and find grace in the incomplete.
This notion also extends to aspects of daily life, encouraging us to cherish fleeting moments and transitions while accepting the inevitable changes and vicissitudes of existence. By embracing wabi-sabi, we can find peace in the harmony between nature, humankind, and the passage of time, reconnecting with the simplicity and beauty of reality as it is.