What Japanese Think of Marie Kondo's "Sparking Joy" Method

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Marie Kondo became very popular outside Japan, but what do Japanese people think of her “sparking joy” method?

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46 thoughts on “What Japanese Think of Marie Kondo's "Sparking Joy" Method”

  1. Let me save you money: Hi I am Marie Kondo and I am a cute Japanese woman and I will tell you all about me and a few words on decluttering. So buy all my books and watch my programs and you will love me as much as me.

  2. I think it is also the time quality, that has to do with her impact. it has to with how we live. to those, who say or experience, something like the one you quoted – getting rid of something enthusiastically and then regretting it the next day, did miss two points. first point: things, Marie Kondo says about items that are helpful. there are things, that may not spark joy or give as a kind of uplifting feeling, but would deserve a kind of 'respect', validation for what it can do and how it can help you. once you realize that, you develope with time a kind of uplifting feeling toward those too (maybe differently), because you see, how these things are helpful und you develpe an attitude for gratitude. she wrote about a personal experience she had in her first days as student in her own home. an incident with a ruler instead of an screwdriver. the other point that was missed out: that over enthusiastic feeling during the selection period, makes one astray from being present in that moment of decision. that is most likely why that person threw away something, she needed the next day. but that just means, one can learn a bit more in live with every experience one makes. not that it was wrong to let the feeling decide. one has to remember, that nowadays a lot of people are far from being centered with their gut feelings or even their own reasoning. I think, that is one of the main reasons, why so many resonate with what she wrote in her first book. the others may be drawn to her, because of that need for minimalism, that has to do with the time quality we live in.

    PS: by the way, I was in that 'minimalist' and just getting, what I really need phase about 16 years before. then nobody said minimalist to a person, that just had little things in his live. minimalism was just a word out of art, architecture and fashion. one rather would have said 'spartan' livestyle. that was before youtube trends. at that time I realized, just going by what one REALLY needs, is not the ultilmate way to support you in your live. something was missing, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I just noticed, how often I did miss out on things, that where just beautiful by itself. later I didn't persue that way and wasn't thinking to much about it. with Marie Kondo's first book, I finally found the last pieces of the puzzle. because I went that path before – that spartan living thing, I find people, happily and emphatically insisting, that it is best to get rid of things, the more the better or when you had no need for them for about 3 month, just through them out. that just shows, how detached people are from themselves and what surrounds them. when they make decisions both ways. getting things and getting rid of things. a bit unbalanced for my taste.

  3. Kondo has never said to "keep books under 30". She's sold 30 million copies of her book in 40 languages, and has signed for a second season of her show on Netflix. Kondo is loved around the world!

  4. I watched her show on Netflix after reading her book a while ago. My husband (he’s Japanese) and I moved in together about a year ago. Our apartment is larger than both of our old apartments combined, but it’s still a Japanese apartment and he had so much stuff it felt super narrow.

    He was around while I was watching some of the show. He seemed to think the house-greeting parts were silly, but he finally agreed to go through and tidy paperwork and clothes he doesn’t wear.

    Now we can fit a ton of stuff we actually use in the oshiire in the guest room. ⭐️

  5. To me, danshari is a higher level, like an ideology. And Marie Kondo helps execution esp on pleasure stuff (clothes, memorable items..etc), but not with reality stuff.

    It is like inception. They plant a seed of thoughts in you unconsciously. Then you use it flexibility, develop your own rules instead of following religiously.

  6. I didn't read her books, I saw some of her videos which I think is absolutely "no-brainer", something which I have been doing since marriage.
    If a person is organized or lived in a small apartment, no one will actually need Konmari method.

  7. I agree with KonMari method, though sometimes I also translated the "Spark Joy" as something I use or not. Sometimes people just keep piling up things they don't really need, right?

    But about her book, I completely agree on the first one-star review on 3:55. I closed her book right away when she said that we should throw away our books. She said something like, "If you're saying that you're gonna read the book later, you won't really read it. So, it's better to throw it away/dispose the books you know you won't read."

    I have many, many books. Some of them is still unopened. But no way am I gonna throw it somewhere. I will read it some time later on my free time.

  8. Marie Kondo's ideas about things having spirits/energy are rooted in Shinto, I believe (interesting that some of the Japanese reviews didn't seem to realize this).

    I am confused about her comment about books, too, but I think the "30 books" applies to her specifically. She isn't telling everyone they should only have 30 books (I am a bookworm, so many of my books "spark joy"). That said, considering the backlash, I think she should have clarified what she meant.

  9. Yuuta, make a video on what Japanese think of incest, it's a modern stereotype coz of Anime tht incest isn't bad in japan. People would like to know if that is true.

    Edit: can I get some likes so yuta notices me

  10. I can’t speak for Japanese people, but I think Marie’s method is particularly useful for westerners who are hoarders. For people who hold a lot of emotional value in their items and are sentimental, I think by thanking items etc. they may not feel as guilty getting rid of it.
    The whole “reduce/cut out things you don’t use, throw out things etc” is also a method here promoted by lots of minimalists and environmentalists, but I have friends who hoard, and those methods never worked.
    For people who are not as attached to items, this aspect is removed.
    Personally, I love her tips for folding and for organizing and have used them for years. I’m not as big on the “spirituality” part, but I can appreciate the idea of being grateful for items in a more general sense.

  11. I think her method of gathering everything in the same category (clothes, books, papers, or whatever) and putting it all in one big pile is very useful. It gives you a different perspective and makes it easier to see how much crap you have that you don't need.

  12. "If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful"–William Morris, 1880
    So it's not exactly a new concept and there are always many paths to the same goal.
    As far as I'm concerned, as long as it works for you it doesn't matter if it's Marie Kondo, Danshari or William Morris.
    The important thing is whether the concept resonates with you or not.

  13. Hmmm… Is digital media not popular over in japan? I can't think of any good reason why anyone would have to limit their books down to 13.

    Are audio books and digital books not popular?

  14. I think her book speaks more to hoarders , a lot of times people just tell hoarders to throw things away or assume if you toss it away for them they'll be cured. that is not how it works, real hoarders give emotions to their stuff , making them emotionally attach to them, which is why her talking to the objects and using a concept such as "sparking joy" works so well with that mentality. I personally don't think she can help me with my hoarding.
    Because when I was little I had spend more time around objects that were meant to entertain me rather than people so I tend to put emotions into the objects which are similar to friendships. the older the object the closer it is to my heart so i would feel like i am betraying it if i were to toss it, and that is a disgusting feeling. same goes for objects with faces so I try not to get any of those , as my room is filled with stuffed animals.
    I have gotten better on my own in a similar way to thinking of "sparking joy" I realized that a lot of stuff don't have an emotional affect on me anymore, in particular anything newer that i get.
    because of this I learned to throw away more and more stuff, if I find it doesn't "spark" a reaction and it's not useful then there is no need for me to keep it.
    despite that I still have a bunch of useless things I can't deattach from. I am aware of it.
    but also decluttering too much can cause panic , and a relaps , making you feel like you have to buy more to fill the uncomfortable void in your room. taking it slowly and safely was the best option for me. there are many different people in the world and I think that her book was just more appealing to people with a similar mentality to mine just a tad less extreme. anything that works is welcomed

  15. I Marie Kondo-ed my contact list, now I have 5 VIP, 3 essentials, 4 work related & 2 friends. Lol. Really spark joy when I see the list. Apparently I've been hoisting strangers for years. I wonder what'll happen when I Marie Kondo-ed my SNS. Probably more hilarious.

  16. I agree with the criticisms. I haven't read her books, but I watched the Netflix series. It really baffled me why she is so popular now. Really, she teaches nothing new. The only this is "Spark Joy" and thanking items, but those concepts aren't new either.
    I was pleased to see someone brought up that following "spark joy" lead to them getting rid of something they needed. That was something I really wondering how effective that would be.I tend to clean in a very similar manner as she does except instead of choosing items that "spark joy" I think in terms of "is this relevant to me and my current lifestyle". If I haven't used something within a year or year and a half I let it go. Maybe asking "is this relevant to me now?" or "does this serve me now?" would be better questions to ask. Cause letting go of something you need or finding joy in everything you have are very real traps for some people.

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