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wabisabi...even smart japanese people can't really explain it clearly to me.

but wikipedia can!:

Wabi Sabi - a basic concept of Japanese aesthetics, stressing unpretentiousness, plainness, earthiness, and satisfaction with imperfection.

Wabi-sabi (?) represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience. The phrase comes from the two words wabi and sabi. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete".

Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity, simplicity, modesty, intimacy, and suggest a natural process.

see also: half-assed lumpy raku cups; illegible spastic calligraphy