Modern Iki Project

The goal of this website is to revive iki, deepen its understanding,
 and promote it thorough its use in art and design.

Classic iki

Iki was originally an aesthetic ideal developed in the late Edo period, in Edo (former Tokyo). Let's call this historic iki "classic iki." It should be noted that iki has always been a part of popular culture, not of (so called) high culture. Iki was talked about among the townsfolk of Edo, or Edokko. People talked about iki fashion, which would be plain and simple but refined. Iki is also applied to a behavior rather than a concrete objects. A typical phrase of Edokko goes "If I'm afraid of 'two skewers,' how can I eat grilled tofu? Ever seen a grilled eel? He's got four or five of them!" "Two skewers" refers to the pair of swords, thus a samurai. A typical Edokko also hates to be seen as a miser. He claims that he won't keep any money overnight, and spends within the day he earned. This might be turned out be an "excuse" for his generosity to others.