Japanese Web Design: Not Just Chaos and Simplicity

Japanese Web Design: Why You So 2003? was a very interesting read.

When I think of Japan I tend to think of beautiful design. Zen gardens, temples, shrines, tea ceremonies, manga, anime, wabi-sabi… the list goes on and on. Yet for some reason Japan just can’t put any of this together to make a decent looking website. Where did they go wrong? What in the world happened? Time to find out.

In response to the article, a summary of Japanese anonymous bbs thread was posted on a blog. The comments are in Japanse but going through the screenshots is worth your time if you’re interested in this subject (note the linked blog itself is kind of… chaotic).

Shinjuku - in the morning
Shinjuku – in the morning (by pictinas; cc: by-nc-nd)

In general I liked Tofugu’s post, but I’m not sure just wabi-sabing the current design is the solution to the chaos. Because I believe both chaotic Tokyo neon signs and minimalistic shrine architecture are reflecting the beauty and interestingness of this culture. Living in Japan today can naturally exposes you to many aspects of traditional Japanese Aesthetics as well as modern ideas and products.

I could be biased but I am seeing a lot of great web designs coming out of agencies that embraces cultural diversity within themselves (e.g. I love works of AQ). We don’t need to stay stuck with zen, miyabi, or even kawaii. I look forward to more innovation in Japanese design that come out of unique situations that people are living today.

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