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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Wabi-Sabi, The Japanese Pursuit of Imperfection


Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.

New cars are perfect. The paint shines. There are no dents or scratches. The interior has not a single spilled drop of coffee or muddy footprint on the floor. The car only looks like that for about 10 seconds, but it’s a beautiful 10 seconds. Those who embrace the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi are far less heartbroken when their perfect car becomes imperfect.

Wabi-sabi is the idea that things are changeable and imperfect by their very nature. A thing doesn’t need to be perfect to be beautiful, particularly not a car. This goes contrary to the legions of enthusiasts and professionals who work tirelessly to take older, worn-out vehicles and return them to how they were when they were new.


The two ideals can exist side by side, despite being polar opposites. The creativity and dedication required to restore a vehicle or even to repair a newer one is something to be admired. It’s a skill not everyone is able to master.

According to CarsYeah, wabi-sabi suggests that we simple take a different approach to things that have been used and changed by the world. A dent, some rust, a scraped fender, all show the imperfect and changeable nature of life. Rather than fighting those changes, choose a wabi-sabi approach and embrace them as a part of the process.

1947 Chevrolet 3100 Rat Rod