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THE WAY OF THE MINIMALIST
by Fumio Sasaki

THE WAY OF THE MINIMALIST by Fumio Sasaki

Published in Japan by Wani Books (Japan) June 2015

299 pages in Japanese

US rights sold to W.W. Norton – publication set for April 2017

Full English translation by Eriko Sugita available July 2016

Everything about the way I am today would have been too embarrassing for the old me to admit back when I used to be full of empty pride. But I really don’t care about it now. The reason for that is very simple. I’m perfectly happy the way I am.

Fumio Sasaki, a bachelor who works as an editor at a publishing house in Tokyo, talks about how he has created more time for himself and lived a happier life since getting rid of the bulk of his material possessions.

Sasaki isn’t someone who has suddenly become aware of the meaning of life and started living on a shack on some deserted island. He’s just a regular guy who had been frustrated with issues at work, gone through tough times, and very often was focusing on what other people had, and what he did not have. Such comparisons were not making him happy.

Anxious about the uncertain future, he decided to change his life. By reducing his possessions to a bare minimum, he realized the meaning of real prosperity: the joy of living with very little.

Sasaki talks about giving thought to the reasons why we’re often incapable of throwing away our possessions. He points out that while it may be tough to part with the familiar, those items aren’t us. Our possessions can even turn on us and become dangerous weapons, as seen in many cases during the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Sasaki talks about the associations between minimalism, inner reflection, and reduced stress. Surprised to find that meditation has helped improve his concentration, he says that since he started considering minimalism as a part of his life, he has become more focused and content, as if a haze that had always enveloped his muddled senses has slowly been clearing up.

Fumio Sasaki was born in 1979. He is an editor at a Japanese publishing house. He runs a website praising the virtues of minimalist practices.