Japanese Minimalists

Fumio Sasaki’s one-room Tokyo apartment is so stark friends liken it to an interrogation room. He owns three shirts, four pairs of trousers, four pairs of socks and a meager scattering of various other items.

The 36-year-old editor has made a conscious lifestyle choice, joining a growing number of Japanese deciding that less is more.

Fumio Sasaki (via Agência EFE)
Fumio Sasaki (via Agência EFE)

Influenced by the spare aesthetic of Zen Buddhism, these minimalists buck the norm in a fervently consumerist society by dramatically paring back their possessions.

“Spending less time on cleaning or shopping means I have more time to spend with friends, go out, or travel on my days off. I have become a lot more active,” he said.

Others welcome the chance to own only things they truly like – a philosophy also applied by Mari Kondo, a consultant whose “KonMari” organizational methods have swept the United States.

“I became a minimalist so I could let things I truly liked surface in my life.”

Definitions vary, because the goal is not just decluttering but re-evaluating what possessions mean, to gain something else – in Sasaki’s case, time to travel.

src: japantimes.co.jp


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