Etymology: Made up of two Japanese characters. The first, “yu,” means dim or diﬃcult to see. The second, “gen,” originally described the dark, tranquil color of the universe—something calm and deep. Meaning: The meaning depends on the context; the explanation most commonly oﬀered is an awareness of the universe that triggers an emotional response too deep and mysterious for words. You may ﬁnd that deﬁnition opaque, but it is an attempt to explain in words something that is fundamentally ineffable. Or you may feel a spark of recognition somewhere deep within. This is likely a feeling you’ve experienced but never before had a word for. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Eight Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 47 Word: Döstädning A Swedish solution to the mess of death. Arts & Culture Issue 46 Word: Wintering When to withdraw from the world. Arts & Culture Issue 45 Word: Explication An explanation to end all explanations. Arts & Culture Issue 44 Word: Anecdata Fact, meet fiction. Arts & Culture Issue 43 Word: Knolling The fascinating history of the flat lay. Arts & Culture Issue 42 Word: Hyperobject A word for things too huge to name.