Less is more as Japanese minimalist movement grows
By Megumi Lim
TOKYO (Reuters) - 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.
Money isn't the issue. The 36-year-old editor has made a conscious lifestyle choice, joining a growing number of Japanese deciding that less is more.
Influenced by the spare aesthetic of Japan's traditional Zen Buddhism, these minimalists buck the norm in a fervently consumerist society by dramatically paring back their possessions.
Sasaki, once a passionate collector of books, CDs and DVDs, became tired of keeping up with trends two years ago.
"I kept thinking about what I did not own, what was missing," he said.
He spent the next year selling possessions or giving them to friends.
"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. Continued...