The unique atmosphere and environment of chanoyu are often called 'wabi and sabi'. They refer to a tranquil and serene world, and an elegant simplicity of environment.
This calm and somehow lonely condition, or the taste for elegant simplicity which is a denial of colouration has been developed as an aesthetic which is perhaps unique to Japanese culture.
The word 'wabi' is derived from the verb 'wabu', meaning 'dejection, bitterness, being reduced to poverty'. Sabi is derived from the verb 'sabu', meaning 'to get old, to be discoloured'. The origin of the word 'wabi' is 'the bitterness of things not turning out as we want them to' and of 'sabi' 'the weakening of the vital powers'. So both of them are among words expressing negative feelings.
However, these words for negative emotions were actually given a positive value and were used on the worlds of chanoyu and of haiku as 'terms used to express beauty'. It could be said that this is where Japan's unique aesthetic sense and attitude towards culture lie.
Originally, the words 'wabi' and 'sabi' which express negative emotions, changed to words expressing aesthetic feelings against the background of waka culture. From the Heian period to the Kamakura period in the world of waka, the conditions of kanjaku (quiet, tranquility), kanso (simplicity) and kotan (refined simplicity) were born.