Wa 和 Harmony is the aesthetic and core value that drives Japanese people, embedded deep down in our subconscious mind. Harmony with people, nature, season and the life force energy.
In Japan, our life evolves with the season. We surrender to nature, ride on the wave of nature and be harmonious with it. The seasonal rituals of Sinto and Buddhism, are practiced to bring harmony with our inner self and nature.
Wa is one of the four principles of Tea Ceremony, Wa Kei Sei Jaku (Harmony, Respect, Cleanness, Tranquility) originating from the 16th century.
Living consciously with awareness
Harmony brings inner-peace...
It’s a beautiful virtue. However, when it comes to communication, typical Japanese characteristics that reflect the virtue of harmony could be a challenging fact to comprehend for non-Japanese.
When Japanese people start talking, we do utmost to create and keep the harmony in conversation.
The Japanese conversation is suggestive. Many words were omitted and it gives space to the other person to interpret in his/her own words. We would avoid confrontation at all costs.
When disagree, instead of saying No, or showing disagreement, we will divert the answer by saying “Perhaps” or “I will think about it” etc.
When we meet, we exchange the greeting ritual of bowing, exchanging our Ki, life-force energy, trying to feel and read the atmosphere, what others have in mind. It is our instinct to keep a harmonious atmosphere within the group. There is occasional silence in between the talk. In this silence, we calibrate and adjust the emotional energy.
In western culture, for example in Dutch culture, pragmatism is one of their core values as well as keeping harmony. So that, In communication, people’s primacy is to express themselves as clear as possible and make others understood as effectively as possible.
Both of them has a goal to achieve Harmony in their own way!
I hope this background will help you understand each other with compassion.
Japan’s geography, climate and the medieval social structure gave birth to this virtue of Harmony. Japan had a feudal social structure until 1868. It was a code of conduct for each individual to be in the harmony in their social group.
The island geography created a strong community bond. Challenging climate conditions, typhoons, earthquakes, living volcano made us a humble resilient being. In Shinto, the Japanese indigenous religion & life philosophy, seasonal rituals are important to connect the power of nature and the universe for the peaceful living condition. Distinctive four seasons inspire us to celebrate its beauty.
Harmony for our modern lifestyle in Europe
We can stay more conscious to create moments to feel our outer world. For example, on a rainy day, instead of getting disappointed, we can tune into the energy of rain, let it clear the unwanted emotion that no longer serves us. On a joyful spring day, pick the flower from our garden or a field, bring it to our room and cherish it.
Feel nature, feel the season, celebrate the beauty of them.
Harmony with the frequency of nature brings joy and peace. It creates space and stillness in our inner being. So that we can stay compassionate and loving to each other in this hustle & bustle modern day living.
Watch Video on 5 minutes on WA - The Japanese Art of Harmony