Extreme Minimal Living In Japan

Extreme Minimal Living in Japan

Could you live like these Japanese minimalists? Then again, maybe you already do.

In Japan, a recent buzz word is "minimalist" (ミニマリスト or "minimarisuto"). The word has a long history and various associations with art, design, and literature, but here, the idea is to simplify one's life with a bare minimum of possessions.

Extreme Minimal Living in Japan

[Photo via 2ch]

Extreme Minimal Living in Japan

[Photo: grow_smaller]

As Naver points out, a few years back, the minimalist lifestyle trend became somewhat of a thing in the West.

Extreme Minimal Living in Japan

[Photo: retire2k]

There is a stereotype that Japanese living is minimalistic, which does have some truth in the way Japanese houses are traditionally designed, with rooms serving multiple purposes. And Japanese design does tend to be minimal and abstract. This is the country that gave the world Muji.

Extreme Minimal Living in Japan
Extreme Minimal Living in Japan

[Photo via 2ch]

However, in Japan, as with everyone, there are folks who love to surround themselves with stuff. Some folks, with lots and lots of stuff.

Extreme Minimal Living in Japan

[Photo: ryunosuke_kawai]

As a new Japanese book on minimalism hit number one of the Amazon sales ranking and as "minimalist" has become a catchy new word for Japan, the country's media has increasingly been introducing minimalism on television. The media reports that "living without stuff" leads to "happiness."

Extreme Minimal Living in Japan

[Photo: niji2001]

Japanese minimalism means nothing in the living room, which, actually, seems harder these days than it would have been, say, twenty or thirty years ago. The reason? Today's Japanese houses have hardwood floors and not tatami mats, which are fairly comfortable for lounging around.

Until the last two decades or so, most Japanese people lived their lives at home on the tatami mat floors. Honestly, hard flooring is considerably less comfortable and designed with chairs, sofas and rugs in mind. These minimalists should really live their stripped down existences on tatami, which certainly is possible if you rent or buy an older, and often cheaper apartment.

Extreme Minimal Living in Japan

[Photo: AngieW0303]

Extreme Minimal Living in Japan

[Photo: AngieW0303]

On 2ch, Japan's biggest forum, some commenters thought this extreme kind of minimalism seemed like living in prison and worried how it would affect people growing up in this kind of environment. People were quick to point out that out of all the things these minimalists parted with, they did keep their computers and televisions.

Extreme Minimal Living in Japan

[Photo via 2ch]

Top photo: Bandit_HAMMER


Comments

    Looks clean.... I like clean.

      It's like the first few months of moving into a brand new house, up until your room mates start leaving clothes, plates, receipts, drink cans, DVD cases, paper towels, electrical cords, junk mail, and shopping bags everywhere...

      *Sigh* I wish I was a millionaire living alone

    Those guys in the sixth photo have the same blanket my dog has In her kennel

    There's a difference between minimalism and living like a someone who is barely keeping it together. That kitchen and cupboard is just downright depressing. I think I'll just keep with the KonMari method to stay minimalistic thank you.

    I live a minimalist lifestyle. It's called being poor and young haha. My living room is practically empty except for two desks, two chairs, and my computers, and the upstairs is just a bed and dressers. The rest is just clutter.
    Also... using your laptop on the floor which squatting? That just sounds painful.

    No couch? No deal. Needs a couch and a desk at least I say.

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