We owe a debt of gratitude to the centuries-old culture of Japan. Consider the complementary concepts of wabi-sabi and kintsugi, which have helped Westerners gain an appreciation for the beauty of imperfections. Japan has introduced gourmands across the globe to some delectable edible offerings—sushi and ramen, of course, but also tonkatsu, okonomiyaki, matcha, and onigiri.
Another of Japan’s gifts to people around the globe is Zen Buddhism. We’ll leave the debate over its definition—is it a religion, a philosophy, a practice, a lifestyle, all of the above?—for another time. Today we’re focusing on the Zen aesthetic,