32 photos that show how obsessed Japan is with minimalism

It doesn't always make sense to have a lot of valuable possessions lying around in your house

It's cheaper to be a minimalist
Minimalism is taking over. Figures like Marie Kondo are becoming famous by spreading the gospel of throwing everything out and keeping just what you need.

The movement is most prominent in Japan, where the influence of Zen Buddhism instills a desire for simplicity. There, less is more.

There's also practical concerns. It's cheaper to be a minimalist, and because Japan is regularly beset by earthquakes, it doesn't always make sense to have a lot of valuable possessions lying around in your house. Nearly half of earthquake injuries come from falling objects.

Take a fascinating look into the sparse aesthetic of minimalism:

In Japan, some bedrooms are so stripped down that they don't even have beds.

What does a minimalist keep in his fridge? Not much.

The bathrooms also keep it simple.

This one couldn't be more austere. There aren't any consumerist products in sight.

Sink counters exist to keep stuff on them. All you need is a toothbrush, and that doesn't require one.

A window ledge can be just as useful as a sink counter.

Everything has its place.

Just one spoon and one fork is necessary.

Minimalist Saeko Kushibiki stores away her futon mattress in her apartment. Out of sight, out of mind.

Even living rooms are decluttered. The only furniture items here are a desk and a chair.

But sometimes not even a chair.

It's all about having only simple objects ...

... but that doesn't mean they can't be beautiful.

The lack of furniture means more space to stretch out.

It's easy to keep your kitchen counter clean if you don't have much to put on it.

This ceiling lamp is just a plain white circle.


Because there aren't many items in the first place, the ones you need are easy to find.

They're easily within reach.

Hanging objects on simple hooks is a clean, popular storage strategy among minimalists.

Part of the minimalist philosophy is keeping together the objects that belong together.

It's a way to declutter your life ...

... and your mind.

Each object has its own place and purpose ...

... but sometimes minimalism means not owning a mop.

There's a certain beauty to it.

There's nothing to distract you ...

... and you never need to think about which pot to use for which dish.

Windows and decorations don't compete with each other.

Some scenes are perfect for Instagram ...

... even in the least likely situations.

You get to think of your possessions in a fresh way.

The negative space speaks louder than the spaces filled with stuff.


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