Japanese “ZEN” and “Wabi-sabi” pottery


Bizen ware

Last year we had several promotional events in Colorado to present our products including Bizen ware. A few visitors asked us, “Are those products related to ZEN??” or “Is this a Wabi-sabi pottery?” I never expected those words, “ZEN=禅” and “Wabi-sabi” came out from them. Both words are associated with Japanese Buddhism. According to Wikipedia, “Wabi” is rustic simplicity, freshness or quietness that can be applied to both natural and human-made objects. “Sabi” is beauty or serenity that comes with age. Honestly speaking, it is a concept that is hard to explain even for Japanese people as it contains deep historical and cultural insights!

The Japanese beautiful rock garden (Karesansui) which is a “dry landscape” garden, is known as a “ZEN garden”. It creates a miniature landscape through composed arrangements of rock, water features, moss and bushes and other natural elements. The selection and placement of rocks is the most important part of making a Japanese rock garden.

Zen garden

A garden is a mirror of history, culture and religion of where it is designed and created. When I visited Zen gardens in Kyoto, I asked myself “What is the focal point of the garden?” and extended my thoughts to the intention of the creators. This helped me rediscover the attractiveness of the gardens.

It was such a pleasant surprise for me that concepts of Wabi-sabi and Zen reflecting Japanese tradition and culture are recognized outside of Japan. We think simplicity and elegance of Bizen ware help people to understand the concepts.

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