This can be considered a replacement to my earlier post, Iyashikei: The Genre of Catharsis. That post is outdated and bad, so please ignore anything in it that contradicts with this post.
Describing iyashikei is hard. I’ve tried it before, and it didn’t turn out that well. However, after reading a fairly large number of takes on the subject, including academic papers focusing on the healing genre outside of 2D culture, I think I’ve been able to come to a semi-workable definition. This is going to take a bit of time and quite a few words, so strap in as a I explain my current understanding of iyashikei as a unique genre.