Lifestyle & design of Japanese minimalism

Do you like natural wood finishes, light and white colors, furniture with simple lines, and contact with nature?

Then you can probably adapt the minimalist Japanese style in your life.

The so-called Japandi design mixes the concepts of minimalism with the Japanese philosophy to live with the essential.

One of the most famous Japanese minimalists is Fumio Sasaki, who wrote the book Make Room In Your Life that deals with the minimalist lifestyle in Japan.

Meet Fumio Sasaki

Minimalism and Japanese Idiosyncrasy

In this society, minimalism is naturally adapted, taking into account the importance of the tea ceremony. Only that moment matters, to taste the tea and the conversation. A definition of minimalism long before the minimalism as a movement took force.

Traditional japanese house

A trigger for the Japanese minimalist community's increase leaving behind the excessive consumption that characterizes this country was the earthquake of 2011, with all the information pushing a big part of Japanese society to live with only the necessary.

According to Sasaki, "Minimalism seeks to reduce the number of possessions in favor of what matters (although) important things will depend on each one."

In other words, we only acquire what we need when we need it, not letting ourselves be carried away by the offers, like big furniture that we only use a couple of times a year, this tendency seeks that we concentrate on ourselves.

Japanese Minimalism and Nature

This thinking makes Japanese minimalism get very close to nature in part because of its traditional culture.

Use plenty of natural textures such as wood, stone, or gravel; also we choose colors that do not look "artificial" in this style we use white but also the range of browns, beiges, greys, and green that plants provide.

minimal japanese wood and paper screen

Although the different minimalist styles can be confusing, there are some differences, for example, the Nordic minimalism that is in a similar concept to the Japanese uses the colors white, black and blue, and seeks to generate the feeling of being in a hut. At the same time, the Japanese try to bring the person closer to nature.

minimalist japanese stairs

According to Sasaki, organizing is not what this minimalism is trying to achieve. Here there is a difference with someone like Marie Kondo, who teaches us to get rid of what doesn't bring us joy, she doesn't explain it from a minimalist point of view, but from a practical point of view and to give a home to everything that one wants to preserve.

In that case, minimalism may or may not be a result of that process. Japanese minimalism seeks to make you reduce everything that is not essential.

What defines Japanese minimalist design?

They are light-colored environments where the harmony of color prevails, and there is a clean and open reading of the space. The decoration goes to the last place, and in areas like corridors or corners, there is nothing unless necessary.

The rooms show their function without the need to have an excess of objects that do not contribute to it.

Furniture and Decoration

Low furniture is a classic Japanese style for thousands of years ago. It adapts incredibly easily to this trend, even the futon's use, which is the Japanese version to a western bed, where the futon is rolled up and stored in the closet, leaving the room free.

If you incorporate western style furniture, the design is simple with elegant lines, and if you purchase decorative objects, they are fundamental in color and texture.

The Role of Nature

japanese house with a garden

Natural light and illumination are vital, and artificial light takes second place, you want to achieve a feeling of warmth.

Bring nature inside, through a garden, or if it's not possible through a balcony or window with natural plants.

You can also choose to use interior plants if that's all the time you can compromise to take care of them, in this article I share some of the best plants for minimalist homes.

Some recommendations to adopt this lifestyle

Here are some tips that are given by Fumio Sasaki in his book Make Room in Your Life

  • Start by giving away, selling, or donating everything that's junk.

  • Cut down on all your repeat business and get rid of everything you haven't used in a year.

  • Discard anything that produces visual noise.

  • Throw away anything you have to make it seem like you're someone you're not.

  • Clear your mind that you don't want to leave something behind because it was expensive when you bought it.

  • Don't buy something because it's cheap or takes it away because it's free.


Here are some other Minimalist Lifestyle posts you might find interesting.

10 Minimalist Questions

10 Tips To Be Organized

10 Ways To Save Money

A Minimalist Is Not A Cheapskate

Avoid These Minimalist Mistakes

Reasons To Take Your Shoes Off Before Entering Your Home

The 6 Type Of Minimalists

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