Aesthetics and the sense of beauty in Japan occupy a special place and are at the foundation of the Japanese national identity. In Japanese culture, every aspect of daily life can become an aesthetic experience. Objects and rituals have to be both beautiful and functional at the same time. This duet of beauty and functionality is illuminated by the constellation of a number of aesthetic concepts. Concept of MA which is often translated as “space between”, “mindful pause”, or as a “negative space” could also be understood as “active silence” or “presence of absence”. From architecture to literature, painting, calligraphy and culinary arts, MA is ever-present in performing arts, martial arts, and all “meditation in motion” practices.
Japanese character for MA is part of such words as world, humankind, space, time, moment, circle of friends and many others. This paper will focus on MA in Chanoyu, commonly known as the Japanese tea ceremony, in particular, its applications to the contemplative pedagogy, the ways of teaching and learning of this discipline. The research is based on my students’ diaries, which is one of the components of the “Japanese Aesthetics” course taught in a Canadian university. Though Japanese aesthetic concepts are deeply rooted in the country’s cultural fabric, it doesn’t mean that they cannot appeal to the tastes of non-Japanese. Moreover, I argue that they can be successfully applied as a methodology in various disciplines, pedagogy in particular.
Alexandre Avdulov, Saint Mary's University, Canada
About the Presenter(s)
Dr Alexandre Avdulov is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at Saint Mary's University in Canada
See this presentation on the full schedule – Monday Schedule