Do You Really Need That? Minimalism in Japanese Homes

  • Minimalist environments are becoming more popular in Japan these days. Though minimalism has already been seen in many homes abroad, the Zen-inspired homes of the Japanese people are quite different. As space has always been an issue in the country, it becomes normal to live in small spaces wherever in Japan. Because of this, some people have taken it to the extreme of only living with the barest of necessities.

    The Concept of Minimalism

    Minimalism is based on Japanese aesthetics that adhere to the rule that nothing stands out when you have too much. A total lack of clutter is said to give meaning to life and new possibilities. Many Japanese love to spend some quiet time alone after a long busy day. This gives them the time to think and find their real purpose in life. The nature of this has been highly influenced by Zen Buddhism, which emphasizes concentration through meditation. An example of this is the bowing of heads with a deliberate pause before coming back up, which shows utmost respect. Another is the presentation of a room that limits all physical form and space in order to create a peaceful mind for thoughts to explore properly.

    The Practice of Minimalism


    The practice of minimalism is expanding in the country as many people have actually changed their lifestyle choices. Some of them were passionate item collectors who gave up their hobby. Others even put their collections on sale or simply gave them to friends or relatives in order to declutter. Buying only the things that you really like results in less time for shopping yet more time with family and friends. It also gives you the chance to start a new hobby or get involved in meaningful activities. The main goal is not just throwing away or lessening things but also re-evaluating the importance of your possessions. Some minimalists also say that having only a few items could also help you survive an earthquake in a country that is regularly stricken by one.

    If you need advice on how to declutter, you can check Marie Kondo’s book which is available worldwide and in over 40 languages. Marie Kondo is a decluttering expert and organizing consultant from Japan. Click here for her homepage.

    This practice is gradually growing in the country as it allows only the important things in your life to surface. It also gives you insight into the true state of nature and a more liberated way of living. Did you already hop on the minimalist bandwagon? Or do you live happily with your many possessions?

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