Wabi: Lonesome Beauty of Nanzenji

Simple beauty of Nanzenji in lingering snow

By Masayoshi Hirose    - 1 min read

In late January of 2011, on one of the coldest winter days in Kyoto, coldness that freezes you to the bone, I visited Nanzenji Temple. These photos were taken with my frozen fingers.

One of the most characteristic cultures of Japan is 'Wabi Sabi'. Although I don't fully understand this concept, to me it is to accept things as they are, as natural as they are, and to enjoy them, even if they look too simple, too bare, too sad and lonely due to the lack of decoration or volume.

When I looked at the almost-bare trees and plants in the garden of Nanzenji Temple, I had a feeling similar to Wabi Sabi, and came to more fully understand it.

Nanzenji Temple; My Home Sweet Home
1. Miyabi: Subtle Beauty of Nanzenji
2. Wabi: Lonesome Beauty of Nanzenji
3. Sabi: Sad Beauty of Nanzenji

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Takako Sakamoto

Takako Sakamoto @takako.sakamoto

I was born in and grew up in Tokushima prefecture, and have lived in many places since then: Nishinomiya, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Fukuoka and Fukui. I am currently living in Yokohama City. All the places I lived, all the places I visited, I have loved dearly. The historical places where people lived, loved, suffered, and fought - places where I can still hear their heartbeats - mesmerize me. I'd like to retrace the footsteps of the people who lived in Japan a long long time ago, and introduce to you what they left behind on this soil.  

Original by Masayoshi Hirose