3 Reasons Why I Became an Extreme Minimalist

Hi there! I’m Aki, an extreme minimalist and a school teacher living in a small village in Japan. Today, I want to share with you the three reasons why I decided to embrace this minimalistic lifestyle. The first reason is my love for tea ceremonies. The simplicity and purposefulness of the tea ceremony inspired me to live a clutter-free and intentional life. The second reason stems from a difficult time in my life when I became homeless due to a new owner taking over the guest house I was managing. This experience taught me the importance of not being attached to possessions and the freedom that comes with living minimally. Finally, my third reason is a bamboo bike trip I took through Canada, the United States, and South America. Traveling light and only having what I truly needed opened my eyes to the benefits of minimalism. After returning to Japan, I wholeheartedly embraced this lifestyle and continue to strive for a lighter, more beautiful, and healthier life every day. Thank you for watching and I look forward to sharing more informative videos with you in the future!

3 Reasons Why I Became an Extreme Minimalist

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Reason 1: Tea Ceremony

Introduction to Tea Ceremony

The tea ceremony is a traditional Japanese practice that emphasizes simplicity and mindfulness. I was introduced to the tea ceremony five years ago, and it completely changed my perspective on minimalism. The tea room itself is a small, tranquil space with minimal furnishings, such as hanging scrolls and decorative flowers. This simplicity creates a peaceful environment that promotes inner reflection and appreciation for the present moment.

Minimal Setup and Utensils

One of the aspects of the tea ceremony that initially caught my attention was the minimal setup and utensils required. Unlike many other elaborate rituals, the tea ceremony only requires a few essential items, each with a specific purpose. These utensils, such as the tea bowl, bamboo whisk, and tea scoop, are carefully chosen for their aesthetic and functional qualities.

Beauty of Simple Actions

During the tea ceremony, each movement is deliberate and precise, showcasing the beauty of simple actions. From gracefully pouring hot water into the tea bowl to whisking the matcha green tea powder into a frothy consistency, every movement is intentional and holds deep meaning. This attention to detail and focus on simplicity resonated with me, inspiring me to incorporate these values into my daily life.

Transition to Minimal Living

The tea ceremony made me realize the beauty of minimal living and how it can enhance our overall well-being. Prior to discovering this practice, my life was cluttered with unnecessary possessions. I bought things impulsively, cluttering my living space and my mind. However, after experiencing the simplicity and tranquility of the tea ceremony, I began to desire a more minimalistic lifestyle. I wanted to live intentionally, surrounded by only the essentials and appreciate the beauty in simplicity.

Reason 2: Homelessness Experience

Running a Guest House in Tokyo

Five years ago, I embarked on a new venture by running a small guest house in Tokyo. It was a Japanese-style inn that I personally remodeled over three months. It was a dream come true as I welcomed guests from around the world, sharing with them my passion for Japanese culture through tea ceremony classes and takoyaki parties. The experience brought me great joy and I was even awarded the title of Super Host.

Challenges with New Owner

However, this dreamlike life was abruptly shattered when a new owner took over the property. This new owner, a real estate agent, displayed behavior reminiscent of the yakuza and questioned my ability to run a business on a leased property. He made various attempts to evict me, including issuing notices from his lawyer, demanding high rent fees, and accusing me of contract violations. Despite seeking legal help, I eventually reached a point where I had no choice but to leave the guest house.

Forced to Sell Possessions

Leaving the guest house meant facing a harsh reality. I needed funds for restoration, so I had to sell off most of my possessions and equipment. It was a difficult process, as many of these items held sentimental value. However, I was determined to rebuild and restore the guest house to its original state. With the help of a friend, we worked tirelessly to bring the guest house back to life, breaking down the walls I had built both literally and figuratively.

Transition to Homelessness

After leaving the guest house, I found myself homeless. Fortunately, a friend generously offered me a place to stay temporarily, which allowed me to get back on my feet. This experience forced me to confront the transient nature of our lives and the impermanence of our possessions. I realized that true freedom comes from not being attached to material possessions and instead focusing on the things that truly matter, such as relationships and personal growth.

3 Reasons Why I Became an Extreme Minimalist

Reason 3: Bamboo Bike Trip

Traveling with Limited Bag Capacity

Two years ago, I embarked on a bamboo bike trip that took me through Canada, the United States, and South America. Traveling by bicycle meant being restricted by the limited capacity of my bag. I had to carefully consider what I truly needed and leave behind anything that was unnecessary. This forced me to reevaluate my possessions and prioritize what was essential for my journey.

Necessity to Dispose of Unnecessary Items

During my bike trip, I often found myself needing to dispose of unnecessary items along the way. In particular, the journey from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon presented challenges due to the extreme heat and dry conditions. Carrying heavy luggage could lead to dehydration and exhaustion, so I had to make difficult decisions to lighten my load. I discarded extra clothes, shoes, bulky towels, and even toiletries. Each day, I became lighter as I let go of possessions that hindered my progress.

Developing Extreme Minimalism

By the time I reached the Grand Canyon, I had fully embraced extreme minimalism. I carried only what was absolutely essential for survival and a few sentimental items that brought me joy. This experience taught me the value of simplicity and the joy of traveling light. It further reinforced my commitment to living a minimalistic lifestyle and constantly evaluating what truly adds value to my life.

3 Reasons Why I Became an Extreme Minimalist


Embracing Minimalism as a Lifestyle

Through the tea ceremony, my experience with homelessness, and my bamboo bike trip, I have embraced minimalism as a way of life. Minimalism has allowed me to prioritize experiences and relationships over material possessions. It has taught me to appreciate the beauty in simplicity and to let go of unnecessary clutter, both physical and mental.

Continuing the Extreme Minimalist Journey

My extreme minimalist journey is a continuous process of self-reflection and growth. Each day, I strive to make my life lighter, more beautiful, and healthier. Minimalism has taught me to be intentional in my actions, to focus on the things that truly matter, and to let go of attachment to material possessions.

Impact of Minimalism on Life

Adopting a minimalistic lifestyle has had a profound impact on my life. It has allowed me to live with greater clarity, focusing on what truly brings me joy and fulfillment. By simplifying my surroundings and my mindset, I have created space for personal growth, creativity, and a deeper appreciation for the present moment. Minimalism has become a guiding principle in my life, leading me to embrace simplicity and find contentment in the pursuit of less rather than more.

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