gorfram

FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

Gorfram
16 years ago

I didnÂt know what these were, so I looked them up.

Definition of "Ma":

"1. room; space(availabe) 2. time, interval; leisure"

ÂMartinÂs Concise Japanese DictionaryÂ, Samuel E. Martin,

Charles E. Tuttle, Rutland, VT, 1994, p. 525.

"Lit. 'empty, gap, space'. The space between two structural parts."

(listed under: "Aki (also written kuugeki, ma), Category: architecture/general terms"

ÂJAANUS: the on-line Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical TerminologyÂ,

link from alphabetical index entry


"the Japanese sense of place; usually regarded as having both a time and space component, space/time."

ÂA Guide to the Gardens of KyotoÂ, Marc Treib and Ron Herman,

Kodansha International, NY, 1980 (Rev. 2003), p. 195.


"Space; depending on its use, ma can represent linear, planar, volumetric, temporal, or social spaces."

ÂJapanese Garden DesignÂ, Marc P. Keane,

Tuttle Publishing, Boston, MA, 1996, p. 175.


Only one of the sources I have handy gives a definition for "Mu":

"Nothingness, emptiness; a teaching of Zen Buddhism."

ÂJapanese Garden DesignÂ, Marc P. Keane,

Tuttle Publishing, Boston, MA, 1996, p. 175.


So, Edzard, what do "ma" and "mu" mean? :)

- Evelyn

Here is a link that might be useful: Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology

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