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  • Writer's pictureAya

Kon-Mari meets the US market

Updated: May 27, 2019

Kon-Mari or Marie Kondo, the Japanese tidy-up guru. I’ve seen her name almost everyday last couple of weeks. She’d been popular for a while and I heard her name even when I was in Japan (more than 4.5 years ago). In the States, I knew her books have been in bookstores and people were talking about her. However, soon after her TV series started from January this year in Netflix, literally everyone started to talk about her and her method. It seems a lot of people loved her and her method.

New York Times wrote articles about her. In 2016, it was introducing her and her method. But in 2019, the article is talking about her cultural and social influence in the States.

I feel many Japanese people including me are observing this phenomenon with surprise and pleasure which has a sense of relief. Why are we surprised? There are two reasons. First one is that her method/behavior/way of thinking is welcomed by American people. Second, a stereotypical Japanese woman (with long black straight hair, slim and cute appearance, and delicate and graceful behavior) is respected very much. Why do we see this with pleasure? I assume that a decent amount of Japanese people who live overseas follow the idea of “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” and have been trying to adopt host country’s custom and norms. Moreover, a relatively big number of females try to be independent and to have her own person. Maybe some of them have been living by putting on a bold front on. So when they realized Kon-Mari is well accepted without being judged and/or rejected when she talks and behaves naturally and she expresses her opinions without losing her femininity. And I believe this phenomenon encouraged a lot of people.

When you live and/or work overseas, it happens very often to encounter different values and priorities. If it happens too often, you might start to doubt your own values and priorities. And it is quite normal to lose confidence and/or feel anxious.

What your daily life would look like if your beliefs and values were stable whatever happens around you, just like Kon-Mari? What will happen if you understand from bottom of your heart that it is OK to live the way you are?


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