What is your KANSEI ?

“…..the weaving itself is just a tool to express our true selves. The only aim of SAORI weaving is to express our minds freely without regulations. In creative activities, the thought process means much more than the technique.  Simply put, everything was leading me to comprehend that kansei is inherent in everyone. 

Misao Jo

Misai Jo, founder of the Saori approach to handweaving, talks and writes often about an individual’s kansei.  This word has no direct equivalent in the English language, so we need to explore further to gain some insight to this important word.

In Japan, the terminology of Kansei draws back on the German philosopher, Baumgarten. The aim of Kansei study is to seek the structure of emotions which exists beneath human behaviors. This structure is referred to as a person’s Kansei. In the art and design field, Kansei is one of the most important elements which brings the willing or power of creation. The attitude of a person in front of art work and design is not based on logic, but on Kansei.

 It is a word which inclusively involves the meaning of words such as sensitivity, sense, sensibility, feeling, aesthetics, emotion, affection and intuition. And Kansei works to increase the creativity through images with feelings or emotions.  In the history of product design, the emphasis on mass production caused a disregard for the individual’s preferences and feelings.

For many of us our intuition and emotional responses have been suppressed and dulled by years of formal education and training. Saori weaving is a way in which we can cast off these restraints and delight in discovery of our own kansei!


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