Thursday, November 03, 2011


Today is Bunka no hi (Culture Day), a national holiday here. Thought I should share something "cultural".

The word that is trending in Japan these days is "danshari". It is made up of 3 different chinese characters.

"Dan" also read as "kotowaru" means "refusal", "decline", "refuse to".

"sha" also read as "suteru" means to "throw away".

"ri" also read as "hanareru" means to "separate from".

In other words, danshari means to get rid of things that you keep for those "may need just in case" times or clothes that "you'll wear later when...".

One of the people who have talked about this in Japan says that "things should have a "tokimeki" feeling"...."tokimeki" means that it gives you a kind of "exciting" (happy) feeling.

"If you still have tags on an item you bought, chances are they don't give that "tokimeki" feeling. Because if you really were excited about it, you would take the tags off and be raring to wear it or use it."

And while keeping items packed away in boxes does preserve them, if they mean something to you, you try to use them daily, instead of saving them for a "special occasion"."

Throughout the 10 years we've been in Japan, I've been going through my clothes, as well as other things and getting rid of some of them.

Satoshi on the other hand, has never done this. Well, I'm happy to say that I've FINALLY gotten him to go through his things and get rid of stuff.

Even in Hawaii, we had many gifts we received for our wedding. I had left them behind when we moved to Japan because we didn't know how big a space we would be living in.

On top of that, "we were waiting to use them "when" we bought a house", well, 10 years later, we still don't have a house of our own and it doesn't look like we will, so instead of keeping these items tucked away, I recently gave away a lot of dishes and tableware items to various non-profit organizations...someone should be using them.

It takes some practice to "let go" of things, but once you start, it gets easier.

Oh and the main thing they said to do, is "be sure to "thank" the items you are giving up, as they've worked hard being a part of your life".

I know Satoshi has more things to go through, it will just take a little more time for him to de-clutter.


Christine's Pantry said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing.

Rowena said...

Danshari sounds like a word that would fit into my vocabulary, as I'm always looking for things to get rid off. The thanking part sounds like such a cool thing to do to...a positive way to let stuff go!

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

LOVE this idea! We have a lot of "stuff" in th basement that I'd love to donate...just need the owners (kids and hubby) to OK it!

K and S said...

Glad you enjoyed it Christine!

Thanks Rowena, I'm always looking for things to get rid of too :)

Hope you can get "approval" Lizzy :)

Take care everyone.

jalna said...

This post made me think of my puka puka chair that I haven't trashed yet.

K and S said...

I'm thinking about Wendell's sock drawer Jalna :)

Take care.

Japan Australia said...

Happy Bunka no Hi! Hope everyone did something cultural today :)

Japan Australia

K and S said...

Thanks J-A, hope you did something cultural too :)

Take care.

Deb in Hawaii said...

I could use a lot more "danshari" in my life. I have to get rid of some stuff. ;-)

K and S said...

You should try a little danshari at a time Deb :)

Take care.