Japan is geographically small and isolated. It has very little resources except for water. Up untill the middle of 19th century, Japan had almost no contact with foreign countries; it had to live on what scarce resources it had. Japanese needed to be the expert in efficient resource management....to survive.
I belive this is the underlying secret for the success of Prius (most energy-efficient hybrid vehicle) and whole bunch of other energy/resource efficient products that Japanese companies offer. For centuries and centuries, Japanese were under constant pressure to maximize output by using minimum input, which probably became our second nature.
I took lessons for Japanese flower arrangement for a very short time of period. I was totally amazed when I dawned to me that it was not the flowers that I was arranging! It is the space or dimention in between or around flowers that I had to capture and display.
You don't have to have so many flowers to impress people. Mimimum is beautiful because it's not all about flowers. Japanese flower arrangement enjoy the combination and interaction of what is there (flowers) and what is not there (nada). Art of minimum input.
photo by: YAYAYAYAYAY!