Posted On April 4, 2021
Wabi-Sabi are born separately and referred to different things. The word “wabi” originally meant solitude living in nature away from society, while “sabi” meant “withered,” “inclined,” “withered,” or “flowerless. By the 14th century, however, the two words took on a more positive meaning, with ‘wabi’ representing the more positive aspect of living alone in nature – the quiet, simple simplicity. Sabi, on the other hand, focuses on aging and finding beauty in a weathered character, instead focusing on the serenity that comes with time, which inevitably wears away and makes the wounds a sign of experience. The conflation of the two terms into the more optimistic wabi-sabi was triggered by Buddhism, in which working people in 14th century Kyoto saw accepting this reality as a positive step towards enlightenment.