Japanese believe that wisdom resides in nature and human beings live by basking in the wisdom of nature. This differs from the western conceptual climate, which posits wisdom on the part of human beings and states that nature, an undomesticated wilderness, should be controlled by human intellect. This western idea, which puts humans at the center, functions to express the will and responsibility of this living nucleus, the human being.
“In premodern Japanese aesthetics, the distance between art and nature was considerably shorter than in its Western counterparts.”
Arthur Waley has commented upon Zeami's use of the term and given a kind of deginition: "[Yûgen] means 'what lies beneath the surface'; the subtle, as opposed to the obvious; the hint, as opposed to the statement. It is applied to the natural grace of a boy's movements, to the gentle restraint of a nobleman's speech and bearing... [...]