In this video Sasaki Fumio, who has been described as Japan’s most famous minimalist, describes why he reduced the number of things he has to just 150 and what made him change to a life of minimalism. Although we may think that minimalists have to be highly organized to live as they do, paradoxically he thinks that most people who are minimalists are like him, people who are unorganized and untidy and if they have a lot of things, they are just surrounded by mess. Minimalism is their way of getting control over their immediate environment by not having a lot of stuff to deal with.

I am a pretty organized person who puts things away and keeps track of things and that is maybe why I have not felt the urge to adopt minimalism in this extreme form, though I do try to minimize the number of things that I buy and own. I do share with Fumio being quite content to eat the same or almost the same food day after day. The same with clothes. That simplifies life considerably.


  1. Marshall says

    I’m perfectly content eating the same meal for lunch and the same meal for dinner all days of the work week. Having a meal prep Sunday really helps reducing stress after work (if you have stress after work)--your food only needs to be heated. But make sure it’s something healthy that you enjoy!

    It sounds like he adopted minimalism not because he thinks humans have too much clutter and mess, but because he himself has made bad choices with the items with which to surround himself. I own many things that I rarely use, but they come in handy once in a while and, when they do, I’m glad that I have them--things like flashlights/lanterns for camping, playing cards, puzzles, board games, books, clothing, etc.

    I note that one of the categories of items he cuts out of his life are things that serve entirely decorative purposes--pictures, vases, flowers, etc. These are items that would increase his “item count” but have very little impact on the clutter of one’s lifestyle, so it almost seems like cheating. If I got rid of all of my clothing and replaced them with five of the exact same pieces, I’d greatly reduce my number of items owned, but at the cost of not being able to wear a variety, which is something I’d like to do.

    I appreciate and agree with the message of not owning way too much that it causes your stress in your life, but I’ve always disagreed with the mantra of “only owning things that you need.” You should also own things that you want, as long as they increase your overall satisfaction in life.

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