MIYABI (雅) is one of the traditional Japanese aesthetic ideals,
though not as prevalent as Iki or
Wabi-sabi . In modern Japanese, the
word is usually translated as "elegance," "refinement," or
"courtliness" and sometimes to a "sweet loved one".
The ideal posed by the word demanded the elimination of anything that
was absurd or vulgar and the "polishing of manners, diction, and
feelings to eliminate all roughness and crudity so as to achieve the
highest grace." It expressed that sensitivity to beauty which was the
hallmark of the Heian era.
Miyabi is often closely connected to the
Mono no aware , a bittersweet awareness of the transience of
things, and thus it was thought that things in decline showed a great
sense of miyabi. An example of this would be one of a lone cherry
tree. The tree would soon lose its flowers and would be stripped of
everything that made it beautiful and so it showed not only mono no
aware, but also miyabi in the process.
Adherents to the ideals of miyabi strove to rid the world of crude
forms or aesthetics and emotions that were common in artworks of the
period, such as those contained in the Man\'yōshū , the oldest
extant collection of
Japanese poetry . The Man\'yōshū contained
poems by people of every walk of life, many of which stood in stark
contrast to the sensibilities of miyabi. For example, one poem in the
collection likened a woman's hair to snail innards. The ideals of
miyabi stood firmly against the use of metaphors such as this.
Furthermore, appreciation of miyabi and its ideal was used as a marker
of class differences. It was believed that only members of the upper
class, the courtiers, could truly appreciate the workings of miyabi.
Miyabi in fact limited how art and poems could be created. Miyabi
tried to stay away from the rustic and crude, and in doing so,
prevented the traditionally trained courtiers from expressing real
feelings in their works. In later years, miyabi and its aesthetic were
replaced by ideals inspired by
Zen Buddhism , such as
Yuugen and Iki .
The characters of the classic eleventh-century Japanese novel "The
Tale of Genji " by
Lady Murasaki provide examples of miyabi.
* ^ Japanese Aesthetics and Culture Nancy G. Hume, ISBN
Japanese social concepts and values
Senpai and kōhai
Senpai and kōhai (先輩/後輩)
Kyōiku mama (教育ママ)
Net cafe refugee
Net cafe refugee (ネットカフェ難民)
Parasite single (パラサイトシングル)
* Iki (いき)
Mono no aware (物の哀れ)
* Yūgen (幽玄)
* Yawaragi (和らぎ)
* Gimu (義務)
* Giri (義理)
Giri choco (義理チョコ)
Honmei choco (本命チョコ)
Honne and tatemae (本音/建前)
* Wa (和)
* Amae (甘え)
Japanese political values
* Shame and Japan
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