Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism

Fumio Sasaki

Book cover

A fun book to read as an antidote to the got-it-all-figured-out attitude of Marie Kondo and many other stars of Big Minimalism. Sasaki writes a lot like a Murakami protagonist–kind of unsure and adrift, sometimes talks about being lonely, really enjoys housework and sundry fastidiousness, but mostly pretty agreeable. Even his odd hero-worship of Steve Jobs seems of a piece with the brand-attentiveness of the protagonist of 1Q84. I think the subtitle “The New Japanese Minimalism” is an unfortunate piece of cultural essentialism and coattail-riding, but I blame his publisher for that. I like his bit about moving in 30 minutes, and having more room on his floor to play Carcassonne. I also aspire to sleeping on a tatami mat that I can roll up and put on a shelf.

My Goodreads rating: 3 stars