Wabi and danshari

I am a closet (not very closet) Orientalist, and love all things Japanese. One day I will visit the country…at which point my Romantic fanatsies may come crashing to the ground, but that’s ok.

I came across this lovely article with a powerful little idea, which the Japanese call danshari, which is translated as "de-clutter": http://www.missminimalist.com/2011/08/minimalism-around-the-world-danshari/

The money shot for me is a quote inside this little article:

断捨離 Danshari – “de-clutter.”

The three kanji in this compound mean “refuse – throw away – separate.”

Self-help author Hideko Yamashita, drawing on yoga philosophy, promotes a three-step system for de-cluttering one’s life (both physical and mental) in Japan:

  1. refuse to bring unnecessary new possessions into your life;
  2. throw away existing clutter in your living space; and
  3. separate from a desire for material possessions.

I love the asceticism implied in this lifestyle. The trick is how to make it work as a family? How to inspire danshari in your kids? Or your spouse?

There is an obvious connection with the Japanese aesthetic of wabi, or simplicity – the idea that three peaches in a simple black bowl will do for decoration.


About spaceloom

An urban monk, and an experienced spiritual director with a Masters in Psychology. Married with two children. Want to know me better? Read my thoughts.
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