Goodbye, things: the new Japanese minimalism by Fumio Sasaki

Lately, you may have heard of “Minimalism” gaining popularity. This is a movement which can be defined in many ways, and I personally like Joshua Becker’s definition: “Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it”. I see myself as a minimalist and try not to hold onto anything that isn’t useful nor beautiful. Fumio Sasaki is also a minimalist which drew me to his book: “Goodbye, things- the new Japanese Minimalism”. I was intrigued by what a single individual living in Tokyo sees as minimalist living compared to me, or even compared to Becker who is part of a family of four.

Fumio used to struggle with self-image and bought all kinds of items, thinking they would improve him as an individual and impress people. But underneath this mirage, he was unhappy and struggled somewhat with alcohol and unhealthy relationships. After discovering minimalism, he has slowly regained himself. During one chapter, he explains how his minimalist journey has improved every aspect of his life: he now has more gratitude for the few items he possesses (and most importantly, for his relationships), he no longer is influenced by consumerism because he spends his time mindfully doing constructive and uplifting things, and he has reduced his vices. All in all, minimalism has shaped his entire outlook on life- not just reduced the number of his possessions.

I found Fumio’s book to be quite helpful; it was a quick read that could be easily be picked up for tidbits of encouragement in the de-cluttering processes and provided personal examples from Fumio himself. It certainly helped me with my fall cleanup time, and it encourages me to seek out what is truly valuable in life.



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