The Easel

Getting to Noh: Myths of Japanese Minimalism

Japan has absorbed the influence of ornate Chinese aesthetics without forfeiting its simpler vernacular tradition. To Japanese eyes the two do not conflict – for example, a simple teahouse in an elaborate palace garden. Occupying forces after WW2 liked the unfussy aesthetic and suddenly Japan was the home of minimalism. Not really. “There is no real Japanese minimalism. If there were, then there’d be no Marie Kondo”.