The Japanese Aesthetic


I’ve always had a thing for the Japanese aesthetic, which as I’ve seen so far is intertwined in all parts of Japan society.

I would characterize it as “at ease,” tranquil, quiet strength, nature oriented and natural beauty, etc. I saw the aesthetic in Japan art and sculpture in the Tokyo National Museum today. I saw it on the train and in the streets where there’s no argumentation at all and everyone seems really at peace with life. I hear it’s the case in business boardrooms, where confrontation is demurred. I see it in religion — Buddhism and Shinto and so forth. I see it in its poetry: the best haiku is based on landscapes and seasons and nature. I see it in the intellectual outlooks of the people: they tend to shun individualism, promote the collective, go with the flow, and basically yield to the natural elements of the world.

There’s something refreshing about the Japanese aesthetic, especially since it accompanies such a successful economic country with hard driven workers. It’s refreshing because it seems so pure from top to bottom in the country and it coexists even in a commercial, cosmopolitan city such as Tokyo.

Ben Casnocha
Ben Casnocha is the author of the bestselling business book
'My Start-Up Life: What a (Very) Young CEO Learned on His Journey Through Silicon Valley", which the New York Times called "precocious, informative, and entertaining." He founded Comcate, Inc., an e-government software company, at age 14. Ben's work has been featured in dozens of international media including CNN, USA Today, CNBC, and ABC's 20/20. At a conference in Paris PoliticsOnline named him one of the "25 most influential people in the world of internet and politics".

BusinessWeek recently named Ben "one of America's top young entrepreneurs." He writes prolifically on his blog which the San Jose Business Journal called one of the "Top 25 Blogs in Silicon Valley." He's also a commentator for public radio's "Marketplace."

In addition, Ben has given speeches at dozens of universities and organizations around the world. He has traveled to more than 25 countries and he also co-runs the Silicon Valley Junto, an intellectual discussion society for business and technology executives. In his free time Ben enjoys playing chess, ping-pong, reading, and writing.

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