Adyan Nair
1 min readApr 1, 2020

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Wabi sabi’s origins are in ancient Chinese ways of understanding and living, known as Taoism and Zen Buddhism, but wabi sabi began to shape Japanese culture when the Zen priest Murata Shuko of Nara (1423–1502) changed the tea ceremony. He discarded the fancy gold, jade, and porcelain of the popular Chinese tea service, and simple, rough, wooden and clay instruments. About a hundred years later, the famous tea master Sen no Rikyu of Kyoto (1522–1591) brought wabi sabi into the homes of the powerful. He constructed a teahouse with a door so low that even the emperor would have to bow in order to enter, reminding everyone of the importance of humility before tradition, mystery, and spirit.

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