The term minimalism was first introduced as an American visual art during the 1960s often associated as an abstract expressionism. But in Japan, minimalism is popularly practiced as a way of living in simplicity. Many Japanese attribute minimalism to the philosophy taught as a religious tradition practiced in association with Buddhism. For over 2,000 years, the powerful influence of Buddhism has shaped the way how Japanese live their lives of constant simplicity as a way of life. Remember that nothing is really useless until its non-existent at all. Everything has its use and fit. It just really need some little tweak, twist or work to make it functional.
Zen Loving People
Japanese Zen teaches one to unclutter the mind, be sensible with emotions, keep the body healthy and exhibit pure spirit. Everyday simplicity to the Japanese works like the ticking of the clock, the waves on the ocean, the rays of the sun. In short, simplicity is not only a distinct human value but an integral part of being a Japanese. Here are a few insights why the Japanese made minimalism their way of life.
Safety. By having less things and less clutter in their area, earthquake injuries caused by falling objects will also be lessened. Study shows that nearly half of actual accounts of earthquake injuries were caused by falling objects.
Organization. Keeping things you only use will not only help in keeping you with less chores of cleaning, organizing and storing. Since you only have less, things are easier to find and account. It practically make your life easy and simple giving you more time to worry and plan for more important agenda.
Out of sight, out of mind. With less things to remind of the past, one can easily forget, let go and move on. It can teach one to treasure only what they need most and let go and dispose of things that were less of value and use.
Functionality. The Japanese believe everything has a reason and a purpose. When you buy things, you buy it for a purpose or use. But what most people do not foresee was that the usage of certain things can be for other purpose too. It just need a little ingenuity to use it further until it proved itself useless. A porcelain mug can be both a mug and a personal oven to warm your cookies as you eat them with your favorite coffee or tea. Put piping hot water in it and its warmth will likewise warm the cookie beneath. You can enjoy and drink your favorite coffee or tea in it. After drinking, eat the still warm cookie beneath. And to further its use, the mug can make a perfect romantic night lamp if you decide you no longer want it as a mug. Just put a scented candle inside, lit it and walla! you can now turn it as a lamp which will put calm and romantic mood in your room.
A window ledge or shelf can be re-designed and reinvented for use as a decorative piece to beautify and decorate your house or even use as a sink counter.
Economical and practical. Minimalism is all but being economical and practical. Its not about the issue of whether you or you don’t have money to buy a new one or a replacement. Its all about how one appreciate and treasure things and serve its full purpose.
Minimalism in general was the best practice that not only help one to have that discipline in living life in its simplicity but more about how we might learn to appreciate that everything has a purpose and a reason. Being a minimalist like how most Japanese were do not only help them live their life according to their belief but generally help conserve things and contribute to the keeping of Earth, our only home free from clutters and wastes as we atone from our bad and wasteful habits to make our planet a safe better place to live in. Minimalism as the Japanese way of micro living teaches simplicity and that having less can do more benefits not only as a better human being who care and appreciates everything but help in the conservation of the bounty we see around as we make Earth, the only place we call home a better place to live in.