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Art of Lovely: 3 Feminine principles from Ancient Japanese Culture

Team Lovely, we can learn a lot about the art of femininity from Ancient Japanese culture.

Japanese women are known to cultivate their femininity in a myriad of elegant ways, artfully mixing traditional and modernity. Even in today’s fast-paced world, a significant amount of their personal time is placed on flourishing in their femininity, beauty, elegance, etiquette and social skills.

Here a 3 principles that we can glean from their delicate art of femininity and apply in our lives:

1. Cultivate calmness:

As stated in #TheJourneyToLovely 4 Pillars of Elegance, Discretion is the hallmark of an elegant woman. In Japanese society, silence and serenity are sacred principles. You don’t need to raise your voice to make your point and if a situation requires you to get out of character, make the decision to gracefully leave. Calmness of the mind and tranquility of the heart are characteristics associated with femininity in Japan.

Being soft spoken and discreet in demeanor is a wonderful way to nurture a gentle spirit that is precious, feminine and a seal of refinement.

Japanese women teach us that with delicate skills you can be more persuasive and attract more favor than by being overly dramatic.

As the saying goes, “you catch more bees with honey”.

2. Surround yourself with beauty

Even in today’s modern Japan, women are encouraged to behave in refined and feminine ways. To help them on this mission, Japanese culture promotes the art of beautifying one’s surroundings and add touches of elegance and sophisticated accents to daily habits.

It’s no wonder that the global phenomenon, who invested the KonMari method of organizing your spaces with only what sparks joy is Japanese. Indeed, Marie Kondo’s system of elevating our homes into sanctuaries where we truly honor ourselves has taken the world by storm. In her Netflix series, she applies the Japanese tradition of “blessing” our homes and allowing beauty to replace clutter.

Surrounding oneself with beauty is a very spiritual concept in Japanese culture.

By honoring our hearth, giving thanks and visualizing our home as a place where you can be safe, joyful, creative and experience life as it’s best, you are projecting yourself to live that reality.

Japanese women realize that by surrounding themselves with beauty, it is more than an aesthetic pursuit but one that is rooted in spirituality.

For centuries, the culture, religion and spiritual tradition of Japan were synonymous with elegance, beauty and refinement. This concept of natural beauty is not considered as being something flamboyant but instead a balanced ideology of sophistication, elegance and spirituality.

3. Practice beautifying self-care:

This principle of appearance management or looking your best is called midashinami. This concept of Japanese elegance, beauty and refinement find its origins in the Bushido, the code of honor of the ancient warrior of Japan. Yamamoto Tsunemoto mentioned it in the book Hagakure as being important to a Samurai: “Every day you took care of yourself so that if it were your last, you would die presentably.”

In the western world, sometimes the pursuit of elegance and beauty can be seen as motivated by materialism and excessive perfection. In Japan, however, this noble pursuit is illustrates the level of one’s character and inner development.

Being well dressed or being surrounded by beauty is something very spiritual for the Japanese and these concepts are not seen as incompatible as some may perceive materialism and spirituality to be.

Which brings to mind a similar principle found in the following biblical verse:

“You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.”- 1 Peter 3:4

Which of these Japanese social customs will you be applying in your life? What feminine practices will you be adopting as you pursue your Journey to Lovely? Share your thoughts below.