Mindfulness through Ma

Mindfulness through Ma

More than a gate Another Japanese spatial concept that contributes to designing a mindful space is the boundary in motion. One of the Japanese words for this is Ma, which generally means “gap.” The Chinese character for Ma (間) represents a gate made out of two doors with the moonlight coming through. But Ma is much more […]

Utsuroi in Japanese Architecture and Landscape

Utsuroi in Japanese Architecture and Landscape

Utsuroi: changing space Utsuroi, another Japanese spatial concept that causes the self/space boundary to blur, is present throughout Japanese architecture and gardens. Utsuroi means gradual and inevitable change from one state to another. It can also refer to reflection or projection of one thing onto another. Both meanings suggest that nothing is reliable, and everything is […]

Space for Well-being: Chrysanthemum Show Opening Lecture at Smith College

Space for Well-being: Chrysanthemum Show Opening Lecture at Smith College

Yoko Kawai was invited to talk on “space for well-being” to open the Chrysanthemum Show at the Botanic Garden of Smith College. It was an honor and excitement to address the enthusiastic audience of 200 people! The Fall Mum Show has been the popular tradition at the Botanic Garden since the early 1900s. Yoko used […]

Yugen and the Art of Mysteriousness in Japanese Architecture

Yugen

[videojs_video url=”https://pedarch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/PED-Blog-Post-2-1.mp4″ poster=”https://pedarch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Post2.jpg”] Yugen: appreciating the unknown Japan is a country made up of islands. Surrounded by the ocean, its climate is humid and constantly changing. Along the coast, high mountains are often covered in mist and fog. In part, familiarity with these transforming, obscured landscapes–as seen in this scroll from the Edo period–is what […]

Self, Space, and Beyond: Where and How Do We Experience Mindfulness?

Connections between the mind, body, and environment Imagine you are walking through an outdoor path in Kyoto, surrounded by bamboo. While you walk, your blood pressure happens to decrease. Is it because you are taking in the smells of the bamboo as you walk? Is your mind communicating a positive reaction to the space to […]