Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

32 photos that show how obsessed Japan is with minimalism

Jacob Shamsian
Friday 27 October 2017 13:12 BST

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. For them, 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.

8 signs Japan is a demographic timebomb

Take a fascinating look into the sparse aesthetic of minimalism:

In Japan, some bedrooms are so stripped down, 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 de-cluttered. The only furniture here is a desk and chair

...and 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 de-clutter 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

And 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

Read more:

• This chart is easy to interpret: It says we're screwed
• How Uber became the world's most valuable startup
• These 4 things could trigger the next crisis in Europe

Read the original article on Business Insider UK. © 2016. Follow Business Insider UK on Twitter.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in