Ma: Exploration of the method for grasping intangible emptiness

Masato Hirahatake, Nobuyuki Kobayashi, Maeno Takashi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


To adapt to rapid social changes in modern society, new communication forms and methods must be made with regard not only to logic but also to emotion. In particular in the design field, in which emotions and sensitivity enhance the impression of the intended recipients, designers are beginning to evoke the power of “emptiness," which attracts attention and stirs the imagination. In Japanese society, “emptiness” is known as the concept of ma. Ma has had a lasting significance in Japanese society. However, this concept remains difficult to grasp, and consequently, it is not used efficiently in communication. Therefore, to promote the active use of ma, the methods for understanding the diverse uses of ma merit analysis. This study develops an analytical method to approach ma, which is hoped to engender a stronger grasp of the type, scope, and way of using ma in certain circumstances. Using this method, this research analyzed ma used in non-language vocal storytelling in US and Japan TED videos as a type of communication. The results reveal differences in the uses of ma and related trends with respect to storytelling.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmotional Engineering Volume 4
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9783319294339
ISBN (Print)9783319294322
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Social Sciences


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