By Maryam Azish*

Iranian author unveils book on Japanese culture

Tehran, Dec 20, IRNA – The Persian book of 'Wabi & Sabi Keywords to Understanding Japanese Arts and Literature' was unveiled in a ceremony in Institute of Humanities & Cultural Studies in Tehran on Thursday.

The unveiling and critical ceremony was attended by several Iranian university professors, students and researchers, reports as well as the book author Professor Ayat Hosseini.

Speaking in the gathering, Hosseini said the words wabi and sabi cannot be translated so easily, adding that the aesthetic features of wabi and sabi are as follows: Asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.

He stressed that wabi originally refers to the loneliness of living in nature and getting remote from society. Wabi now represents simplicity, freshness or quietness, and can be applied to both natural and human-made objects, he added.

'Sabi is beauty or serenity that comes with age, when the life of the object is in any visible repairs,' he added.

The author said according to American artist, aesthetics expert and writer, Leonard Koren, wabi and sabi can be defined as 'the most conspicuous and characteristic feature of traditional Japanese beauty and it occupies roughly the same position in the Japanese pantheon of aesthetic values as do the Greek ideals of beauty and perfection in the far West.'

Hosseini said a good example of this issue may be traced in certain styles of Japanese pottery and also the country's tea ceremony which are very simple-looking.

According to media reports, wabi and sabi both suggest sentiments of desolation and solitude. In the Mahayana Buddhist view of the universe, these may be viewed as positive characteristics, representing liberation from a material world and transcendence to a simpler life.

Mahayana philosophy itself, however, warns that genuine understanding cannot be achieved through words or language, so accepting wabi and sabi on nonverbal terms may be the most appropriate approach.

Wikipedia contributed to this story.
*Azish is a member of IRNA English News Desk
Edited by: Behnaz Gholipour
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