Tag Archives: Jun’Ichiro Tanizaki “IN PRAISE OF SHADOWS”

Minimalism and East Asia

The first picture is Jil Sanders by Raf Simons 2009, I will happily put the reference for the second picture if you give me the reference.

If we apply Four Seasons Color Theory in respect of  aesthetics of  countries, then Japan will be definitely a Winter type. Just read this beautiful short essay “IN PRAISE OF SHADOWS” by Jun’Ichiro Tanizaki . It is a real treat. You will find that all epithets which characterize Winters are applicable to the traditional Japanese aesthetics –  purity,  color blocking , clear lines and minimalism.

Jun’Ichiro Tanizaki in his  “IN PRAISE OF SHADOWS” writes the following:

“Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty. Our ancestors made of women an object inseparable of darkness, like lacquer-ware  decorated in gold or mother of pearl. They hid as much of her as they could in shadows, concealing her arms and legs in the fold of long sleeves and skirts, so that one part and one only stood out – her face. The curveless body may, by comparison with western women, be ugly. But our thoughts do not travel to what we cannot see. The unseen for us does not exist…..

Our ancestors cut off the brightness on the land from above and  created a world of shadows. and far in the depth of it they placed woman, marking her the whitest of being. If whiteness was to be indispensable to supreme beauty, then for us there was no other way.

The point here is that one’s color palette (Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn) may determine the entire style direction. In case of Winters it could be Minimalism,  a complicated concept, which sounds simple. Then the alliance of Uniqlo (a Japanese Brand ) with Jil Sanders (one of the founders of Minimalism) is not surprising.

Minimalism does not tolerate lots of accessories because  it is a human body, which is the major accent. There is no vibrant energy in this style. It is a pure thought where the focal point is the body. The concept resonates  with  Winter Season concept in  the Seasonal Color Theories. Winter signifies the death of nature with its pure, clear, frozen images. It also signifies the contrast, especially  the contrast of no-colors – black and white.

Are all Winters minimalists?:))) I am a Winter type and I tend to like Minimalism.

Jil Sanders for Uniqlo 2011