Declutter Your Mind with Japanese Minimalism

Declutter Your Mind with Japanese Minimalism

September 23, 2018 8 Comments

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



8 Responses

Jill Meyer
Jill Meyer

February 06, 2018

I have been working towards minimalism for a few years now. I have read so many books. So many blogs. Watched videos and movies. NOTHING hit me like this book. NOTHING. My friend, a long time minimalist, said it was a quick weekend read. This is not a quick weekend read for me. I can barely make it through a few pages, let alone a few paragraphs before I am up and running with more ideas! This book awakened me on so many levels. I finally “get it” I understand what minimalism is about. Minimalism is not, truly not, just about the physical things. It is so much more. SOO MUCH MORE. I am eternally grateful for Mr. Fumio Sasaki. I felt like he wrote this book, just for me. Thank you from the depths of my heart and soul.

Keeny Vu
Keeny Vu

December 22, 2017

The life-changing magic of tidying up also a good one.

Claire
Claire

November 12, 2017

I’m reading his book at the moment. It is so inspiring. I’m not sure that I could live quite as minimally as Fumio, but it is helping me to declutter enormously and it’s even helping me to lose weight!

paula
paula

October 27, 2017

i think fumio sasaki is a young genius ahead of his time.what about natural catastraphies earthquakes not to mention asthma from alergens, dust mites from dust. i tend to just wonder where to begin usuallyWhat freedom to be able to just be able to walk out the door.im starting today!this young man is a Saint !

Sheila Blazenko
Sheila Blazenko

October 26, 2017

Thank you for your adventures into minamal living. I will again endeavour to downsize my life. Now that I have seen the pictures on the website, it has inspired me to do better. Again thank you.

Hasan
Hasan

October 17, 2017

Amazing!

Grace Nkem
Grace Nkem

October 13, 2017

No, I’m afraid this is not consumerist. The idea that one’s agency, individuality, and self may be expressed through material possessions— and that expressing oneself like this matters or provides fulfillment— is a commodity-fetishist consumerist scam.

Peter Yates
Peter Yates

October 10, 2017

Nice, though too pristine. Also little potential for agency in the form of making, using tools and materials. So it is in a way consumerist in the end.

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