Archive for the 'Melancholy' Category

Oct 20 2007

Poetic Living

From Oriental Secrets of Graceful Living (1963) by Boye de Mente:

SHINMIRI (Sheen-me-ree)—Another word that is laden with a serene type of sadness is shinmiri. A completely colloquial term known and used by all Japanese, shinmiri refers to a type of atmosphere that is charged with intimate tranquility and sad contentment, and is characteristic of traditional life in Japan. The idea of passing time alone, austerely, while letting one’s mind dwell on nostalgic events of the past, or giving up the hectic life of the city for a quiet, rustic type of existence in some isolated countryside, is not unique to Japan. But no other people crave it like the Japanese. As a result of this craving, the Japanese attempt to create the atmosphere of shinmiri in their surroundings, their music and their literature. Rain is often one of the most important ingredients of a shinmiri atmosphere. An afternoon spent sitting quietly in a Japanese style room that looks out over a garden which is being pelted by a late fall rain is certain to be flooded by a strong sense of shinmiri.

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