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  • Writer's pictureAkiko Murakami

End of year house cleaning

Oh my god, it is already end of the year! Just one more day to 2018..

In Japan, we have a traditional custom to do the end of year house cleaning. (大掃除)

In most of the households, schools, companies, people take time to do major clean-ups.

It is to welcome a new year in a clean, purified environment.

In a last few days, I did my part, decluttered the entire house including kitchen, bathroom, book shelves, windows and floor etc..

I felt good afterwords, sweeping, wiping, scrubbing, and throwing away unnecessary things. (Of course, some went for, recycling, repairing, re-using, and for giving away, too!)

Recently, in Japan, especially among women, "Dan-Sha-Ri (断捨離)" , a method of decluttering and organizing has become very popular.

「断」Dan : cutting off, to refuse

「捨」Sha : to dispose

「離」Ri : to detach

Originally, the basic idea was drawn from yoga philosophy.

断 is the first step, in which you refuse to bring any unnecessary new possessions into your life.

捨 is the second step where you dispose existing clutter in your home, and

離 is the third step which advises you to separate from desires for material possessions.

断捨離 is that it’s not just about de-cluttering for physical purposes, such as making your living space more minimalistic or to clean things out just for the sake of cleaning. It’s also meant to be for the wellness of our mental & emotional state, too.

to make us aware that we are not defined by what we own.

To my good surprise, Danshari idea is also gaining popularity in US, after a translated book was published.

--The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing--

Here is the proof,

The wall Street Journal featured the Japanese author, and the article's title was;

In Shinto, "MISOGI (禊)" or ritual purification are done with water, in a river, ocean, or under the waterfall. Misogi literally means "cutting down".

Since ancient times, soaking oneself in a cold, pure water or staying under a running water from a waterfall in a mountain, etc. have been practiced as one way to clear oneself. Actually, it was considered as the first process in order to return to one's true self, a soul.

It was in the middl of cold December, I saw an actual scine of Misogi in a formal Shinto way in Kyoto done by an American man. .. by Quin. I will introduce about this person soon!


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