“Less is more” as many minimalists would say, is truly the simplest, yet conceptually complicated design philosophy. The uncluttered and serene design philosophy of the Japanese minimalism came from thousands of year of Japanese tradition. This concept was originated from Japanese Zen Buddhism, a religious that focus a lot on inner mental peace, instead of materialism. Japanese minimalism encourages a serene, simple and uncluttering lifestyle, emphasizing strongly on balance, mindfulness, simplicity and nature.

 A Japanese Zen Buddhism Temple (Source from livejapan.com)

The minimalism concept is gaining popularity, not only in Japan and Asia, but also in the west. This concept can be easily been found in interior design, art, or even in people’s lifestyle. A type of material that is inevitable in the concept of Minimalism is wood. Especially in interior design and decoration setting, wood can offer a sense of nature, warmth and relaxation to the living spaces, which can directly give people a feeling of destress.

“Wood is prized in Japanese minimalism design. Without the component of wood, you cannot really call your design minimalism design” Shinto Honda, the chief designer of Shinto Design House.

Nowadays, Minimalism is no longer only a stand-alone design concept. It can be crossed over by other concepts too. A very popular example is the “Japandi” design. It has combined the Japanese minimalism with the Scandinavian functionality in order to give people the feeling of tranquillity, nature, simplicity and practicality.  

An example of Japandi interior design (Photos from: normcph.com)

The minimalism concept goes against modern consumerism. It reminds us the beauty of keeping life simple, having less is more and pay attention to those which are the most important in life. In such a materialistic world, embracing minimalism might be a way to help us to find the true meaning of life again.