The Mujo concept

 

Mujo (moo-joh) implies mutability, transcience, and uncertainty. It is one of the more profound aspects of Japanese thought. It is said to be the mental trait that provides the Japanese with the capacity to change with the times without destroying their inner core.

 

The mujo concept is most commonly and most recognisably expressed in a number of Japanese art forms in which images are left incomplete, allowing individual viewers to 'complete' them according to their own aesthetic abilities. This is especially conspicuous in some painting styles that consist of only a few brush strokes. The Bonsai Mujo logo is an example of this. The sketch invites the viewer to complete the composition using his/her knowledge, imagination and artistic appreciation.

 

Mujo is an essential component of most Japananese traditional arts such as bonsai, gardening, flower arranging and the tea ceremony.

 

To the Western mind, which generally demands that things be complete down to the most minute level, the mujo approach to representations of nature often has a far more powerful impact on the viewer – emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually – than detailed imagery.

 

The power of the mujo principle lies in quietly and serenely letting the viewer participate in the representation, in this case, of nature encapsulated in a bonsai.