Space for breathing

It is almost nine months since we began to stay home due to Covid-19. Our daily life has changed dramatically. Many people including myself feel that we are not breathing enough fresh air. Then, customers started to call us about the ways to improve their gardens. It is natural that people are now more aware […]

Applying Japanese Spatial Concepts to Contemporary Architecture

Buildable Philosophies How can you use Japanese spatial concepts in your home? Your garden? Your office? Will doing so make you more mindful? These concepts may seem abstract, but they are buildable concepts. As you can see in the Katsura Imperial Villa and the Itsukushima Shrine, these concepts are not imaginary. They are present in […]

The Itsukushima Shrine and the Many Meanings of Hashi

Hashi in motion A secondary concept of Ma is hashi. Generally, hashi means “edge.” The origin of this pronunciation of hashi comes from the Japanese word hashike, meaning a boat, or a barge. Therefore, saying the word hashi unconsciously carries an image of a boat moving between two borders. In this example, the boundary exists in the […]

Michiyuki and the Katsura Imperial Villa

Michiyuki: Traveling and Beyond Being under water blurs the self/space boundary because you are always in motion. Michiyuki, the Japanese spatial concept for “moving self,” means traveling from once place to another. It specifically refers to the space you covered and the time you spent while traveling. But by translating Michiyuki to “traveling,” something is […]

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 […]