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Marie Kondo (近藤麻理恵) who is known from Netflix reality show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo“, using “KonMari method” to declutter people’s houses.

I found her show on Netflix when I was looking for something to watch one day and her show caught my attention as she is Japanese as I am.

I couldn’t finish watching the first episode as it wasn’t really my thing nor something was weird.  But the questions came up.

Who is this Marie Kondo? Where and how does she come all the way from Japan and be on Netflix without even speaking English?

I have never heard about her before, yet when I searched her online in Japanese, I was surprised that she was already a popular cleaning consultant in Japan.

And some said that Marie Kondo possessed something that American people would like.

Let’s look into the secret of her magic.


KonMari Method is Tidying Up or Buying More?

Marie Kondo is a Japanese 34 years old woman from Tokyo, has moved to Los Angels with her family in 2014. She has been a cleaning consultant since she was 19, and developed “KonMari” method.

Her husband, Takumi Kawahara is her manager.

—-(Time, Marie Kondo)—-

Marie Kondo is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (also a best seller in Japan, Germany, and the U.K.) and was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2015. She is the founder of the KonMari Method.

—-(End here)—-


Kon Mari method is based on her philosophy of “Spark Joy” (Tokimeki (ときめき) in Japanese).

What you will do is to ask yourself, “Does this item spark joy?” to declutter items you own.

It may sound comforting to some who is somewhat emotional but may be disturbing to some who is practical.

I would say about myself as more of a practical person and imagine decluttering based on this philosophy, most of the stuff I own should be gone so that I have to replace them again.

In her 2011 book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, she writes:

“Don’t focus on reducing, or on efficient storage methods, for that matter. Focus instead on choosing the things that inspire joy and on enjoying life according to your own standards.” The goal is to reach your own personal “click-point,” where you feel at ease with all you have. ”

Kon Mari method may work for someone like “Carrie Bradshaw” from “Sex and the City” who were obsessed with expensive shoes.

She didn’t focus on reducing but on buying more shoes.

I see that the “Spark Joy” philosophy of KonMari Method actually works when you purchase something rather than decluttering.

Carrie at one scene wanted to buy her place but she didn’t have enough money as a downpayment. Miranda, her lawyer friend asked her how many of those expensive shoes she spent her money on, was like an equivalent amount with the downpayment.

Carrie character has proved that point. “Spark Joy”=”Spend More”


Kon Mari method philosophy comes from Shintoism?

All things have spirit in them” is Marie Kondo’s belief which is behind her Kon Mari method.

This ideology is associated with “Shintoism”, which might come from her experience working as “Miko” (shrine maiden/ female Sharman) when she was attending Tokyo Women’s University.

A Miko or a medium once performed spirit possession, interprets the words of the possessed person to make them comprehensible to other people present.

Miko at shrines today do no more than sitting at receptions and performing Kagura dance, so I do not think Kondo was actually performed as spirit possessor.  However, the ideology behind the KonMari method is probably influenced by this.

A least it would make scenes the word she said: “all things have spirit in them”.


KonMari method is not as popular as you would think!?

As my friend in Japan who read one of her books said: “KonMari method takes lots of time to tidy your items up.  So it can be done by only someone who has a lot of time in hand.”

And Another friend said: “Even if I do not feel “Spark Joy” of items I have to keep them. I cannot just throw away stuff as I do not have a good-paying job to buy the replacement”.

Most of us who are busy paying bills and making living somehow, won’t even have time to think about which item you “Spark Joy” when cleaning houses.

In fact, some people who are watching her show are probably dreaming to be a KonMari consultant, hoping to make living this way.

That might be the reality behind the scene of Netflix.  Showing viewers what KonMari method can do, and sell her KonMari seminars and other stuff so that she can earn lots of money and share with some.

Why Marie Kondo’s Netflix show won’t actually change us

The Racist Backlash Against Marie Kondo of Netflix’s ‘Tidying Up’

“The sneering and commodification of the Japanese author and host reveal a truth: White people really don’t like it when they feel like an Asian woman is telling them what to do.”

—-(end here)—-


At the end of the day, Marie Kondo whatever connection she has to go on Netflix and become somewhat famous in Japan and America, the KonMari method is actually a money-making marketing scheme.

Without some big money or big religious group or connection with some politicians are needed to be popular, in other words, that how popularity is made of.

Similar to network marketing as well, only the top is the one who makes money.  The rest, which is most of us working hard for them.

That is the true reality show we live in.

Do not fall into those marketing schemes but be hopeful for yourself what you are good at doing could make living and help your neighbours.