Here's Japan's most famous minimalist

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/04/10/heres-japans-favorite-mini.html

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Before he became a minimalist he says “All I did was drink and play video games,” and now he is much happier.

Honestly, he does not sound happier.

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I love this episode of Absolutely Fabulous where they visit their minimalist friends in flashback.

and the next clip where the minimalist friends visit them (after they had children).

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I have more things in my pockets EDC than Fumio owns.

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I know you’re joking. But a lot of deeply depressed people fall into the kind of behavior he got himself out of. It’s great the lifestyle change worked for him.

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Sheer brilliance.

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He may be the most famous, but I doubt he’s the most minimalist person in Japan.

https://en.dhammadana.org/sangha/monks/belongings.htm

The obligatory things
A bowl ; a double robe ; an upper robe ; a lower robe ; a belt (to fix the robe around the waist); a sewing needle – with thread (to mend his robes); a razor (to shave the head and the beard); a water filter (to use water without killing living beings, to filter impurities in the water or fruit pulp –which is forbidden after noon).

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Does fame count as a thing?

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Are we talking about minimalism or asceticism? I would argue they’re not the same thing.

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Indeed, I expect there are people who only drank and played video games before giving up all but 150 things, but failed to get a book deal and are not quite so happy.

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The thing that struck me is how this has opened up room for gratitude in his life. It’s not clear if the short grace he says before his meal is religious, but he’s clearly thankful toward and mindful of the other humans who make his life and each of his 150 material possessions possible.

If it does he says he’s not happy about owning it.

My question would be, do all the digital movies, TV shows, games, etc. on his computer count as things in his view?

I remember a similar gag on “Malcolm in the Middle”, with a flashback to the main couple’s all-white 80s-tastic minimalist apartment right before they had their first kid.

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I was expecting a modern classical composer in the school of Reich and Reilly.

Q: How many minimalists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: Just one. Duh.

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Like this?

image

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Personally, as someone with a huge physical media library, and a huge digital media library, I wouldn’t count the digital media library as individual “things” beyond the laptop itself. If I don’t have to make more than one trip to carry the entire thing, it’s minimal in my book.

As he pointed out, many of his things are multipurpose. What single purpose would a laptop have? Sitting on a lap, I guess.

I’m wondering whether his laptop’s desktop (that sounds weird) is cluttered or neat.

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I don’t see why drinking a lot and playing video games all the time would require owning lots of stuff

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Perhaps he also practices minimalism when it comes to expressing happiness.

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That was one of their best episodes!

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This kind of description has always got me wondering about the boundaries of ownership. There are things in the monastery which are “communally owned” (cookware, cleaning implements, some books, etc). So wouldn’t the clothes be considered as belonging to the community?

The office where I work, I have “my” chair and “my” stapler, even though they don’t legally belong to me.

Do you live with anybody? How many items in your domicile do not strictly belong to either of you?
Does Fumio make use of any shared things? It’s possible that owning a whole entire 150 things could be considered selfish!

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That red Swingline stapler is effectively everyone’s, whether you like it or not.

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