At the moment, there are about 200 objects in Fumio Sasaki’s apartment. But before, it was cluttered with junk and useless stuff. He was lazy, he complained about not having enough money, and couldn’t find time for his hobbies. Everything changed when he learned about the minimalist lifestyle.
In general, the traditional Japanese culture is all about simplicity or Zen — the philosophy that is supposed to clear your mind and that gave us things like calligraphy and haiku. This is why many famous minimalists are people from Japan. They refuse modern consumer culture and they only have the most necessary things. This lifestyle is also becoming popular in the West. For example, Marie Condo’s decluttering technique is used in Europe and the US.
We at 5 Fun Facts agree that this philosophy deserves a chance and Fumio Sasaki’s story is definitely worth sharing.
Fumio Sasaki’s apartment
Sasaki now has only 3 shirts, 4 pairs of socks, 2 jackets, and a few other pieces of clothing. In his bathroom, you can see a razor, scissors, and a bottle of soap he uses to wash his face, his hair, and even his dishes. And this is what his place looked like before:
His apartment was cluttered with stuff. He didn’t have enough shelves for all the books he had, and he had never even started reading most of them. His CD and DVD collections took up a lot of space. In his closet, he had clothes that he considered “his favorites” but he had only worn them a few times. In the corner, there was a guitar and an amplifier that he didn’t have enough time for.
Every evening, Sasaki just sat in front of the TV and drank beer. He would wake up late and go to work hating every moment of his existence. He constantly compared himself to other people and couldn’t change his life. He even broke up with his girlfriend because he couldn’t provide for her and then he bought lottery tickets hoping to win a lot of money.
But everything changed when Sasaki saw an article about minimalism. He realized that he was irritated with the mess, but he didn’t have enough energy to make his place clean because there was so much stuff.
It took him a year to get rid of all of his useless stuff. He gave some of it to his friends and gave his book and CD/DVD collections to a store. He also scanned all of his photos and letters so he could store them digitally.
His apartment is just 215 square feet, but it seems much bigger now. Some of his friends calculated that there are only about 150 objects in his apartment, but Sasaki says he has more.
Sasaki’s mind became free along with his space. Now, he does a lot of physical activity and in his free time, he goes camping in the mountains. Sasaki believes that people forget that they can and should leave their apartments.
He prefers to spend his money and time on traveling, good food, meeting friends, and self-development. Things don’t matter to him anymore. He has everything he needs. He doesn’t choose what to wear in the morning, he doesn’t spend hours choosing the perfect shampoo, and he spends about 2 minutes washing his floor.
Sasaki is a magazine editor and he has a blog on minimalism. He also wrote the book “Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism” that became a bestseller.
More and more people from Japan are becoming radical minimalists. Check out these other Japanese apartments that don’t have any useless things.
Katsuya Toyoda’s apartment
This is Katsuya Toyoda’s apartment. He is also an editor. He only has a desk, a wardrobe, and a futon — a mattress he puts on the floor at night. And when he wakes up he stores the futon in the wardrobe.
He doesn’t have any useless things in his kitchen or bathroom. Toyoda’s clothes are also very minimalistic. By the way, popular opinion is that the Japanese like minimalism thanks to Steve Jobs. But some people believe that minimalism actually originated in the East.
Naoki Numahata’s apartment
Writer Naoki Numahata is a minimalist and he has a daughter.
He believes that it is important in Japanese culture to leave space empty. This leaves space for everything to be filled with people’s imagination.
Saeko Kushibiki’s apartment
Saeko Kushibiki also got rid of all the things she didn’t need. Her small closet has all of her necessary items and she only has enough dishes for one person to use.
Kushibiki doesn’t need a chair, she sleeps on a mattress and puts it in her closet when she wakes up.
Do you like the idea of minimalism or do you like it when things are messy?