How Marie Kondo’s philosophy is rooted in Japanese tradition

Posted by Bobby Leesman on

The KonMari method is the latest craze in interior design. With books, a Netflix show, and public appearances, founder Marie Kondo has taken the world by storm.



But her ethos of a beautiful, minimalist lifestyle has roots that are thousands of years old. Let’s take a look at the inspiration behind the KonMari method.



Shinto beliefs


Marie Kondo is a believer in Shinto animism – and even spent five years as an attendant at a Shinto shrine.



The first thing you need to know about Shinto is the Kami. Kami are spirits that dwell in everything: people, animals, and even objects. This is why Marie Kondo recommends treating our homes and possessions with respect.



Choose objects which “spark joy” - and when something is no longer useful, thank it with kindness before you throw it in the trash.



The power of antiques


Shinto beliefs also have something to say about antiques and collector’s pieces. In the concept of tsukumogami, if an object has given 100 years of service, then it acquires a soul. That’s one reason why antique furniture and objects seem so powerful and meaningful to us.



Modern efficiency


However, the KonMari method isn’t just a repackaged version of Shinto. Marie Kondo is an academic with years of research and practice behind her. And she’s combined her beliefs with 20th century innovation, according to historian Eiko Maruko Siniawer.



In the KonMari method, every item in your home should have a place. That way, you can always find what you are looking for. This concept was developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor, who worked on factory efficiency back in the 1920s.






So Marie Kondo’s methods bring together the best of West and East to create harmonious home design. Have you tried this approach in your interior design? How do you blend eastern and western ideas to decorate your home?






Older Post Newer Post