Tag Archives: kenya-hara

Simplicity in Japan

Simplicity, says Kenya Hara, creative director of Muji, is a “central aesthetic principle” in Japan and is what differentiates the visual appeal of the East from that of the West.

In an interview for The New York Times looking at the unique design of Japanese bentō, Hara provides a comparison of the East and West’s vision of simplicity and further thoughts on Japan’s unique aesthetic.

While Japanese are known for their particular aesthetic sense, I would say we also have an incapacity to see ugliness. How come?

We usually focus fully on what’s right in front of our eyes. We tend to ignore the horrible, especially if it is not an integral part of our personal perspective. We ignore that our cities are a chaotic mess, filled with ugly architecture and nasty signage. And so you have the situation where a Japanese worker will open a beautiful bento box in a stale conference room or on a horrendous, crowded sidewalk.

via @zambonini