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Declutter Your Mind with Japanese Minimalism


Japanese Minimalism

Fumio Sasaki lives in a one bedroom apartment in Tokyo. He has adopted a Japanese minimalism as his lifestyle.  He has exactly 20 items in his closet. No more, no less. His apartment, which is only 20 square meters (215 square feet), doesn't have any furniture at all. Mr. Sasaki prefers to spend his time traveling or creating memories with his friends. He has detached himself from everyday objects in order to live a clean, orderly life.

Saeko Kushibiki's home in Fujisawa, Japan only holds the bare essentials. March 31, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Saeko Kushibiki’s home in Fujisawa, Japan only holds the bare essentials.
March 31, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

A Life Rich in Experiences

Mr. Sasaki is not alone. There are an increasing number of people in Japan embracing the minimalist lifestyle. The lifestyle, he says, allows him to focus on what is important to him. Instead of spending his weekends cleaning or rearranging his possessions, he travels and enjoys a freedom many of us can only dream of.

Fumio has written a book about his experiences entitled, "Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism." Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Fumio and his lifestyle is that he is just a normal individual inspired by simplicity. The book offers tips for those interested in minimalism and also reflects on the way his life has transformed since he began his journey over two years ago.

Minimalist Fumio Sasaki doesn't own a mop. Instead he uses wet wipes to clean his floor. Tokyo, Japan, February 19, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Minimalist Fumio Sasaki doesn't own a mop. Instead he uses wet wipes to clean his floor.
Tokyo, Japan, February 19, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

American Inspiration

Surprisingly, Mr. Sasaki attributes his new life philosophy to an American named Andrew Hyde. Hyde sold all but 15 of his possessions and spent his time traveling to over 42 countries.

At just two and a half years old, Naoki Numahata also thrives with a minimalist lifestyle. Tokyo, Japan, March 4, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
At just two and a half years old, Naoki Numahata also thrives with a minimalist lifestyle.
Tokyo, Japan, March 4, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Andrew Hyde is a self proclaimed vagabond and minimalist with a passion for travel and writing. His book, appropriately named "A Modern Manual 15 Countries with 15 Things" is also available online.

Minimalist Naoki Numahata's daughter's closet. Japan, March 4, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Minimalist Naoki Numahata's daughter's closet.
Japan, March 4, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Live Simply, Travel Far

Everything has a use and a place in this apartment. Tokyo, Japan, February 19, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Everything has a use and a place in this apartment.
Tokyo, Japan, February 19, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

One thing minimalists have in common across cultures is the desire to travel and experience life. A life without shopping and clutter offers a freedom to save money and see the world. Friendships thrive when time is spent on people and not things.

Minimalist Saeko Kushibiki sits on the floor of her living room where she enjoys reading. Photo taken in Fujisawa, south of Tokyo, Japan, March 31, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Minimalist Saeko Kushibiki sits on the floor of her living room where she enjoys reading.
Photo taken in Fujisawa, south of Tokyo, Japan, March 31, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

It's important to note that a minimalist lifestyle is typically not done out of necessity or for lack of money. In order to truly benefit from minimalism, individuals must want to live a life free of possessions. In this way, minimalists can focus their energy on other passions such as friends, family, and life experiences.

Saeko Kushibiki's kitchen has features a kettle for tea and a gas range for cooking. Photo taken in Fujisawa, south of Tokyo, Japan, March 31, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Saeko Kushibiki's kitchen has features a kettle for tea and a gas range for cooking.
Photo taken in Fujisawa, south of Tokyo, Japan, March 31, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Katsuya Toyoda doesn't concern himself with fretting over what to wear in the morning. His minimalist lifestyle gives him the freedom to focus on what's important. Photo taken in Tokyo, Japan, March 5, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Katsuya Toyoda doesn't concern himself with fretting over what to wear in the morning. His minimalist lifestyle gives him the freedom to focus on what's important.
Photo taken in Tokyo, Japan, March 5, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

The bathroom of minimalist Fumio Sasaki is seen in Tokyo, Japan, February 19, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
A minimalist bathroom, gleaming white and simple. Tokyo, Japan, February 19, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter