Marie Kondo — The Japanese Tidying Master (#234)

“You could say that tidying orders the mind while cleaning purifies it.” — Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo (@MarieKondo, also known as “KonMari”) is a Japanese organizing consultant, author, and entrepreneur.

She developed a revolutionary method of organizing known as the KonMari Method, which consists of gathering together everything you own, one category at a time, and then keeping only those things that “spark joy” — as well as choosing a dedicated place to store them. Going far beyond a typical tidying how-to, her method is a way of life and a state of mind.

Marie captured the findings in her mega-best-selling books, including The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and its follow-up, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up. Her books have sold more than seven million copies and have been published in more than forty countries.

Kondo’s methods have become so famous that her last name has become a verb, ‘Kondo-ing,’ and people who share her specific values are referred to as ‘Konverts.’ She has been named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people.

Marie is also the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of KonMari Media Inc. (“KMI”), a US-based startup with a mission to “Organize the World” by combining the power of technology and a network of Konverts and partner organizations. KMI also recently launched a KonMari Consultant Training Program and certification process.

We dig into Shintoism, Marie’s upbringing, specific details of her method, and much more.

#234: Marie Kondo -- The Japanese Tidying Master

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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Selected Links from the Episode

  • Connect with Marie Kondo:

KonMari Media Inc. | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Show Notes

  • Marie shares her background story: where and how she grew up. [08:02]
  • Marie has always had a fascination with organizing — even arranging books in the classroom during recess when her classmates went outside to play. Where did this fascination originate? [10:01]
  • We discuss Marie’s time as an attendant maiden at a Shinto shrine. [11:53]
  • How did Marie switch from “a discarding machine” to saving only things that give joy? [15:02]
  • When did tidying turn from hobby to livelihood? [19:47]
  • What is so important about “thanking” objects that are being discarded, and when did this start for Marie? [20:44]
  • What part of the KonMari Method do American fans tend to neglect? [24:03]
  • What are the most difficult possessions Marie has given up. [25:31]
  • Has anything in Marie’s thinking or process changed since becoming a mother? [26:12]
  • Organizing is not just for making your house clean or your room tidy; the end goal is to clarify your values. [29:50]
  • How would Marie recommend dealing with a family member who is a hoarder or clutter magnet? [30:20]
  • Are there any routines or practices Marie would use to instill kids with the habit of tidiness? [35:14]
  • How is the KonMari Method different from Minimalism? How does it tie in with Stoicism? [37:45]
  • How do we get rid of things we inherit from loved ones who have passed away? [39:31]
  • The order of categories Marie recommends when decluttering. [40:39]
  • How observing gratitude helps reduce guilt when sorting — and discarding — sentimental items. [41:16]
  • What are the most commonly misunderstood parts of the KonMari Method? [43:47]
  • What does Marie’s morning routine look like? [45:36]
  • What does Marie typically eat for breakfast? [49:26]
  • How Marie wraps up her day. [50:48]
  • What books have Marie gifted most? [52:47]
  • What would Marie’s billboard say? [53:57]
  • To prove Marie’s not as perfect as you might think she is, here’s a memorable failure that still haunts her. [54:28]
  • A purchase of less than $100 that has brought Marie a lot of joy? [59:52]
  • What comes to mind when Marie hears the word “successful?” [1:02:10]
  • A fitting epitaph? [1:03:14]
  • An ask of the audience. [1:05:04]
  • What are the most common novice mistakes that bring chaos back into people’s lives? [1:06:47]

People Mentioned

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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98 Replies to “Marie Kondo — The Japanese Tidying Master (#234)”

      1. But I Could listen Marie speak all day , I had no problem with the 3 words from the translator 😍😍😍

  1. Tim,

    Great interview with M.Kondo. Truly what I needed to hear today.

    Now a friendly suggestion from a professional interpreter (Vietnamese language, Univ of New Mexico Hospitals): When working with an interpreter, ignore the fact that your interlocutor doesn’t speak English. Pretend that he or she is a native English speaker, and speak as you would in an English-only conversation–i.e., instead of saying “Ask her where she was born,” ask the interviewee directly, “Where were you born?” Don’t address the interpreter at all unless there is a specific question that the interpreter needs to answer in the interpreter’s voice (e.g., cultural question, clarifying a specific part of the interpretation if you partly understood the foreign-language answer and think the interpreter may have made a mistake, asking the interpreter to repeat something).

    In your interview, your questions are addressed to M.Kondo in third person as if the interpreter is the interviewee and is reporting M.Kondo’s answers to you. Then the interpreter gives M.Kondo’s answer in first person voice. This makes your interview questions, though excellent in content, sound strange owing to this changing back and forth from first-/second- to third-person voice.

    Also, I’d suggest that, in the case of non-English speakers, your interviewee’s answers in a foreign language should be faded out with the interpreter’s complete English interpretation of the answer taking over the audio after a few seconds. This saves the English-speaking listeners the time listening to the entire answer in a language we don’t understand. This fading technique is commonly used in NPR news reports, for example. It gives the listener the authenticity of the interviewee’s voice without having to listen to the whole foreign-language answer before getting to the interpretation.

    These are just suggestions for any foreign-language interviews you may do in the future. Generally speaking, I loved this interview and will listen to it more than once.

      1. Great feedback Troy. Your comments will certainly help with the listeners engagement and make listening more interesting and less painful.

    1. what about an Ai girlfriend?

  2. I stopped after 5 minutes… just get to the point already. Also I don’t see the point of half the podcast being in a language your listeners don’t understand.

  3. Tim – thank you for experimenting! Love it when new formats appear. This one is interesting. Marie’s story is very different and it’s a treat to hear it in Japanese. One suggestion, if you do more foreign language stuff (please do!) – it makes it more comfortable for the listener if you address Marie, instead of the interpreter. “Why did you stop?” instead of “Why did she stop”.

    Makes it far more intimate and more engaging for the listener. I think. Just a suggestion! Thanks 🙂 Mark.

  4. Hi Tim, love your podcast, but this one was tough to listen to. The consecutive interpretation added a lot of lag and I bounced out after a couple of minutes. Editing the interview would have worked well, or just having simultaneous interpretation instead. Keep on doing great work with the podcast.

    1. Really have to say I felt the same way. I can see where you were trying to innovate here and give the community something completely different from the norm. That’s all good, but most of us aren’t part of Marie’s fan-following and so streamlining the content would have made it easier (ie., editing out most or all of the Japanese language stuff).

      A lot of the comments touched on issues like asking the interpreter to ask a question, instead of asking it directly — and many others. Just felt too disjointed and whatever message or advice she had to offer quickly was lost in the language barrier.

  5. Tim,

    It was wonderful listening to your interview with Marie Kondo. The questions you asked were provokative, interesting and unique. Thank you for your gift to the world, and the way you interview. Its quite inspiring.

  6. I got stuck in LA for a couple of days in January last year. Bought the 2 books at Venice Beach, came home to Sydney Australia and did the full Marie Kondon job and then tidied myself right into sellng the apartment and starting a new life. Marie Kondo ROCKS!

  7. When I read Marie Kondo’s first book, I thought the part about thanking your (soon to be discarded) belongings was kind of silly, maybe something that would resonate far better with the Shinto tradition of personification of objects/places. But in the interview I now see that the real importance of saying thank you is to help you, the person doing the discarding, to release your attachment and guilt over doing the discarding.

    From a listener’s perspective, I suggest for a translated interview, that you address your questions directly to the interviewee, rather than the translator, especially since the translator replied as if she was Marie.

  8. Love KonMari! Great interview.

    For future interpreted episodes you can go ahead and talk directly to your guest (i.e. “What do *you* think about…” instead of “What does she think about…”).

    Using the 3rd person puts distance between you and the person you are talking to.

    I’m a part-time interpreter (Japanese-English) and I encounter this a lot! If clients ask for advice before an interpreted conversation, I always tell them to look at the person they are communicating with, not at me. I’m a facilitator of the conversation, but I’m not actually part of it (occasionally I’ll be requested to explain some cultural differences or I’ll find it necessary to add a bit to what someone says to avoid a misunderstanding but I do these sparingly).

    If I’m doing my job well, people slowly forget that I’m there and can focus on communicating with the other person.

    Just an interpreter PSA! Loved the episode… I speak Japanese so it was interesting for me to hear Marie in her own words.

  9. As a Japanese listener (i guess a minority here..), super interesting to hear the conversation! I think that the way of answering questions in English – in a broad sense, presenting “eastern” idea in non-western context is a big challenge. For me it’s interesting to notice the gap of your intended kind of answers and her answers.

    I think your supplemental information on Japanese culture is helpful for non-japanese listener.

  10. So perhaps in this case, just deleting japanese might not work. One idea is to include another person who is bilingual and knows what Marie san is doing into the conversation to eraborate more what she is doing in western contexts.

  11. Hey,

    What I liked – great choice of guest and subject matter. I have been toying with the idea of giving away / throwing away many of my possessions, however have al always felt “blocked”. I feel unblocked now. Thanks!

    What could be improved – I agree with the comments made about the translation. It made the episode quite “clunky”, having to listen to Marie talk for quite lengthy periods in Japanese, and then hearing the short translation in English. Would it be possible for you to fade out the voice of Marie after a few seconds, and then just hear the translator?

    Thanks as always for the inspiration!

  12. Wow!!! Just amazing. Thank you. I read the first book, and have attempted to apply the principles to my wardrobe, but I am finding it leaking into many areas of my life. The *principles* of KonMari apply to many, many areas of life – our disease causes us to attach to many things that not only don’t bring us spark joy – they are actually bringing us down and holding us back. Tony Robbins. This is pure signal. Thank you!!!

  13. Was really looking forward to this one! I think as you all got more into the groove, the interview got much better. I can speak a bit of Japanese too, so it was fun to hear Marie’s own words when answering the questions so thanks for leaving them in.

  14. I love her! Read her book and applied all of her principles. Also have adopted a minimalist lifestyle so staying tidy and most importantly: centered has been an amazing benefit.

  15. Tim, I really enjoyed this podcast and the opportunity to listen to Marie speak in person. I found you addressing the interpreter a little bit condescending ( even though I am sure it was not intended). It might be worth trying voice overs in future podcasts done in similar format – the Japanese version only works for real enthusiasts and Japanese speakers. Otherwise, it makes the podcast sound really long, with the translations being very brief! Thank you for this interview.

  16. ありがとございます!


  17. I loved this! I have read both of Marie’s books and also loved organizing, even as a kid. It’s hard for me because I have a messy husband and 7 kids (!). But my habits have rubbed off on them… my husband especially admits that my way of doing things is better, saves him time and money etc… I listened to this while cleaning and decluttering my little girls’ room. 😉

  18. Thank you Marie and Tim!

    Great one! For a japanophile especially!

    I was momentarily transported to the country I fell in love with so many years ago!!!


    At first i couldn’t enjoy it, because of different format, translation – it definitely had a different vibe and energy.

    Plus a lot of things, that make up Marie’s personality, and jokes, speech/language/cultural nuances were not translated (not sure it’s possible).

    Maybe with a different translator/ translation method?

    Great info and great episode nonetheless!

    I’m definitely a huge fan of the method – tidying up is one of my mind/life management strategies.

    When unclear, uncertain about something – tidy up!!!

    Got to work more on the practice of expressing gratitude to things, wabi-sabi and being more mindful about my possessions – our environment is an extended part of us.

    “What sparks joy” is a great filter to use to manage accumulation and when organizing – clothes, books, miscellaneous and sentimental objects. 😊

  19. Thought a wonderful interview Tim. Key ideas for me were: sparking joy (= where you should aim to allocate your energy); and what (the things that spark joy) says about your values. Can see why some may find the use of japenese off-putting; for me the polar opposite. Very soothing and meant that I could get on with other stuff / allowed me a little time to process what I’ve just heard! Many Thanks again:)

  20. For those who didn’t like the format, give it a shot when you aren’t at work if you work a desk job (coders, analysts, etc.) I enjoyed the format, but I’m also taking the day off, to declutter conveniently enough. I don’t think I would have been able to follow if my mind were too focused on another task.

    I think opening this podcast to non-English speakers could make things very interesting going forward.

  21. If they used her voice to stuff pillows, insomnia will be gone in a day – it’s so soft and soothing! Love your show, Tim!

  22. Could you please offer a transcript of your questions, her answers in English? This is terribly difficult and annoying to listen to. Good for you, you speak Japanese somewhat; but the majority of your audience doesn’t. Stopped after 5 minutes in the interview.

  23. I liked the podcast and Marie’s oice was indees soothing, but I had the feeling that not everything was translated (like when Marie talks for a minute and one sentence is said by translator). Maybe translation can be done in postproduction with original voice at the back? I got the feeling that many details were lost in translation which was more of an abbreviation of the thoughs.

    But it’s great that you experiment with foreigners and non english speakers!

  24. Really love every form of your podcasts, but this one was hard to keep the focus on. Kind of “Listen, don’t listen, Listen, Don’t Listen.”

  25. I usually really love most podcasts you put out because the information in them adds so much value to my habits and/or are thought-provoking. Perhaps this is lost in the translation here (although I have read Marie’s books as well and have the same comments regarding her written work), but I feel this is lacking substance in her suggestions. This is versus the work of The Minimalists. They at least get to the psychological core of why we collect stuff or put perceived value onto our positions. Not trying to put down her work of effort here, I’d just love to see an interview with the Minimalists contrasting this approach. I will say- her voice is very soothing and I really enjoying listening to the answers in Japanese.

  26. soooo, coincidentally, i was on day 2 of decluttering and cleaning my office as is listened to the podcast. i thought is was cool to hear her speak japanese and the english translation. it was an interesting departure form the regular podcast format. i think it is nice to thank or show gratitude to old items (though i had different words/sentiments for my old tax forms, but i digress.) the only thing i would promote (do) differently is to donate or recycle old items/ clothing/ books instead of throwing them away. i have 20lbs of shredded paper, etc headed for the recycle center and books go to the local library.

    (it’s funny, i now see the thanking as kind of like forgiveness…it’s not meant to help the one who is getting it but the one who is giving it)

    tim: as ever, you rock!

  27. Hey Tim,

    I didn’t expect you to interview Marie Kondo, her books are awesome. I didn’t realize how bad my previous living conditions were until I saw a Japanese household that had a large minimalist vibe. Now my house is clear, no trinkets or anything and I love it. Keep up the good work!

  28. Hi Tim, Love Love Love you… 🙂 You have been an great inspiration in my life… I was happy to see you interview Marie Kondo, i bought the audio book and have decluttered my life entirely!

  29. Hi Tim,

    Please please please post a version of this episode without the japanese. As much as I love the sound of her voice, it was a very difficult conversation to follow. Many times by the time the interpreter started speaking, I’d forgotten the question.

  30. Great episode but I felt like I was in podcast traffic and kept hitting all reds. Ouch. Sorry Tim, but that one hurt my head and gave me brain rage. Yes, she’s got a beautiful voice, soothing if you say so, but your experimental format was super tough. Pushed through and enjoyed the content anyway. Otherwise well done, thank you

  31. I wonder if you realize that this book is a perfect example of the Tim Ferriss question: “What if I did the opposite?”

    As a long-time books-on-organizing addict, I can assure you that she reverses – all – the traditional approaches, one by one, and to great success

    Fascinating to watch entrenched ‘rules’ turned upside down.

    (I got introduced to you years ago with your packing video (traveler). stayed because of the languages (Spanish major), and was totally hooked by the tango (pro dancer at the time). Love your work since then, and fan forever!

  32. Hey Tim – Big fan and I learn a lot from your podcasts. It seems as though you were not aware that it is most appropriate to address someone directly, rather than asking the translator about “her.” Love your stuff but this one was difficult to listen to. On the other hand, your episode with Senator Booker was outstanding. That’s my Senator! Thanks for all that you do.

  33. This was really nice.

    I would absolutely love to hear you do an episode with Hayao Miyazaki similar to this one.

  34. I love that you are using an interpreter, but it drove me nuts to keep hearing you talk to the interpreter instead of to your guest, Marie Kondo. Your interpreter probably should have given you the run-down on interpreter etiquette, which is basically this: talk to the person you’re talking to. Refer to them in the second person, not the third person. Notice how the interpreter answered in the first person, as if she were Marie Kondo, rather than answering ABOUT her in the third person. That’s all! Love the podcast 🙂

  35. I enjoyed the podcast have been a fan of hers for some time.

    I do agree the Japanese didn’t work well for those of us who are monolingual.

    However I can’t think of anybody who has even attempted this sort of lengthy interview with a non-english speaker. So from that perspective alone amazing. We live in a multiligual world and great ideas and inspiring speakers come from many languages.

    Keep up the innovative and inspiring work, it is much appreciated.

  36. Hi Tim

    Love your podcasts and recommend them often-I could not stay focused on the translation back and forth and so did not make it through. I’m sure I missed valuable content, but would rather that than frustration.

  37. Feels like one step in the right direction of more absurd stuff for 2017.

    Loved the japanese even tough I don´t understand a single word.

    Read one of Marie´s books a few years ago and since then I thougt of her as the crazy cleaning lady.

    Now think of her as the charming crazy cleaning lady.

    In this she reminds me of Wim Hof, as both seem to have to do their thing to be happy.

  38. I loved the interview especially the Japanese language. I have just finished listening to the audiobook “Grit” by Angela Duckworth. It seemed to me that Marie embodied the progression that Duckworth espouses. An interest, practice, passion, progression and finally a purpose to help others with that passion.

  39. Thanks for a great episode Tim. I loved hearing Marie’s actual responses, even though I don’t understand Japanese, it was so nice to hear the timbre of her voice and inflections. I thought it was an excellent decision to include her responses, without them it would have been like watching a foreign film with the audio off and simply reading the English subtitles.

    I loved the interview, and am curious to know if Marie uses the sense of joy to guide her in all aspects of life, i.e. relationships, work projects, etc. Maybe in your next interview with her?? 😉

  40. It is inspiring listening to Marie talk about things sparking joy… But the “throw it away” refrain gets me a bit anxious. I really wanted to know if she puts some time into considering where those things go. Is there a regift/reuse/donate part of the process? Of course that is where I get hung up when trying to pare down and wind up with piles everywhere and the hoarder in me takes over!

    1. I think it’s a translation thing. I think she means “discard”, as in “remove it from your life”, not so much “send it to the landfill”. I think her focus is on what to what to keep vs what to prune out of one’s life, and she leaves the method of disposal up to the person.

  41. Tim…wasn’t familiar with your work until I picked up Tools of Titans. Now I’m into the podcasts. This is such great info. I am 34. Can you imagine if you put together a college course based on this material? My life would be completely different (Not that it’s bad……it’s actually pretty awesome) if I had encountered this material in college. This should be required reading for second semester Freshmen and it would probably become the most popular class on every campus. How much fun would it be to teach it as well?

  42. [Sorry if this double posted, not sure if my comment submitted]

    This is the first episode of yours that I’ve listened to (Kondo’s name caught my eye) and your interview was great! Loved the questions. I’m also multi-lingual, conversational level in Japanese, and it was a surprise and a joy to hear Kondo answer in her own words. I have read her books but only in English, and often wondered about certain concepts (which you touched on) that seemed vague, and wondered if translation got in the way. While we Japanese speakers may be in the minority, please know it was awesome to listen to Kondo in Japanese for us 🙂

    For some constructive criticism…other than addressing her directly. I hope you could preserve more of your interviewee’s native language in the future if possible, but maybe what needs to happen is a bit of editing — instead of preserving the entire unbroken answer in a foreign language, maybe you can break it up. Once one sentence ends, cut to the interpreter’s translation, then back to your guest for more. Just so you don’t get a long blurb that loses your monolingual audience, but still preserves your interviewee’s own voice. A compromise of sorts. I also noticed, for example in the yoga question section, that something went untranslated there because you (and us Japanese speakers) already know what she said. But English-only speakers will not know what she said, so it would be good to be careful not to exclude them.

    I’ll be listening to more of your episodes, thanks for making a great episode 🙂

  43. Tim, what would persuade you to experiment with featuring an “average Joe” on your show between episodes with “world-class performers?” I’m an “average Joe” with dreams, potential, successes, and failures. My story now may be the early chapters of an eventual book about a world-class performer.

    On a different note…I’ve heard you mention it before, and I want to affirm it: I believe you can be even more effective if you shorten your questions, offer less commentary / narrative along with them, and don’t stack them. In my opinion, that will help the cream rise to the top more quickly and with less interference.

    I appreciate your insatiable curiosity and the way you package your discoveries for the world to consider!

  44. Hi, Tim.

    I thought this was a pleasant experiment with interviews in a foreign language. Marie’s voice was incredibly soothing, and I loved hearing the exchange in Japanese. Knowing your experiences in Japan through the Four Hour Workweek and the Four Hour Chef, it was interesting to hear your exchange in another language. I was keen to apply the learning process for languages that you outlined in the Four Hour chef, but now I would be interested in learning the language to understand the exchange between you and Marie

    This was a good episode, and I look forward to the next one!

  45. Hey Tim,

    I just wanted to say thank you for interviewing more women lately. I’m pretty sure it’s not a coincidence but a reaction to what a few female fans asked for/critisized before. So here it comes: thank you!

  46. Thank you for this. Got the second book at my library ( on a wait list for the first) and went to town on my tidying😍

  47. Was looking forward to this episode, but the japanese translation threw me off in 5 minutes. Will wait for a english only version.

  48. I wish the translator applied a little more effort to keep the translation closer to what Marie was saying. The Japanese did not bother me, since I’m at an intermediate level of fluency, and get the gist of what Marie was saying. Still, I wish the translator was more elaborate with her translations.

    1. have to say for an enlightened community I’m finding the comments hard to read. it’s bl**dg free & if you don’t like it why not switch off ? for all of you with negative comments , it’s all now been said by many , many people. pls now move on & complain about something else that’s been handed to you on a plate.

      I loved the episode & thank god for experimentation & for people (tim) trying something different / less safe than we’re all used to.

      On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss wrote:

      > Mike Ryan commented: “It was great Seth. Give the guy a break, it’s a free > fuckin episode. They can’t all be home runs.” >

  49. I love the experimentation, however I’m going to echo with others here. Love the content of every episode, but with this format it was very hard to stay focused.

    I think an alternative would be (maybe a lot of work) to effectively summarize and provide your own (Tim) interpretation your entire interview with her. I’m sure that you pick up on the subtleties of her comments, where the translator may not have. It sounds like the translator was trying to give the most direct translation of what was said, wherein normally your guests get to play around with the way they deliver a message.

    I’ll keep it at that. Keep testing! Good on ya!

  50. I love Marie Kondo and her book. I love Tim Ferris podcasts. I thought this one would be double amazing. It’s not. It was just too hard to listen with all of the Japanese. I guess it was worth a shot. 🙂

    Thank you for all the work you do Tim!

  51. I couldn’t stay with this podcast–listening to the guest prattle on in Japanese wasn’t an interesting or productive use of my time since I don’t understand the Japanese language.

  52. Hi Tim– I say this as an avid fan: I bet that there was a lot of drop-off through the hour+ interview with Marie Kondo… not because of the topic (as always, fascinating), but because the Japenses language stretches created “listener drift,” as Alex Blumberg would warn against. The distance between question and answer really screwed with the cadence. I just did an edit that I believe accommodates the “flavor” while keeping the interview engaging. Happy to send to you if you point me in the right direction. Would be a shame for Marie’s ideas not to get full uptake potential. Thanks!

    1. And now, having just gone through the comments, I see I’m not in the minority. Maybe post the version I edited alongside the original?

  53. Thank you Tim, what a helpful interview. ALSO, I’m near begging for a brief conversation with a friend in SF suffering from Lyme disease. You’re the resource master. Would you be willing to briefly offer hope and/or direction?

    George Ziegler

  54. Nice interview Tim. But it was really hard to gathered in my mind all of things. Is there any problem with the interpreter? Anyway, I am inspired by Marie. Thanks her.

  55. Like others have said.

    Love the podcast, needed to bail, couldn’t keep focused with the long streams of Japanese.

    The language sounds beautiful and her voice is soft, I found myself dozing off to what was essentially white noise.

    Please edit an English only version

  56. Tim – seems like opinions vary, but I loved this episode (I speak some basic-level Japanese). There was really nothing better than hearing her speak and some of the details – e.g. Tokimeku as “spark joy”. I like the concept of interviewing people whose native language isn’t english. Many Titans out there to learn from globally!

  57. Cool interview Tim. If there was one takeaway I got, it’s “What stuff brings you joy? If it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it!” Such a simple and profound statement. I actually enjoyed listening to her speak Japanese as well, it was cool and different. I agree with some of the others about referring to her in the third person was a bit odd at times but whatever, it didn’t detract from the interview. As always man, solid and interesting interview. Looking forward to interviewing you in the near future!

  58. As someone studying Japanese, I enjoyed the listening practice, so I’m glad you kept in the Japanese 🙂

  59. I loved hearing the answers in Japanese but I agree the questions should have been asked in the first person.

  60. I was stoked to see this episode, after Marie’s first book resonated. Her own journey from “unusual” childhood interest to choosing a solo path and becoming a New York Times best seller is so inspiring in itself.

    The podcast reminded:

    – say thank you to objects to pre-empt the guilt of throwing away when there is no longer joy!

    – the end goal of organizing something is not to tidy, but to clarify as to what your values are

    – miscellaneous items, then sentimental items

    – tidy to allow you to allocate energy to what what matters to you, to what is most important to you

    – trying say good morning to my house!

    And, Tim, I really liked the change in success question: “what does success mean to you” rather than “who do you think of”…

  61. Thanks so much for leaving the Japanese in. I appreciated listening to both the original and the original and the enthusiasm of Marie’s voice and the actual words that she uses and the occasional deviation and simplications. I’ll share it with my Japanese friendsand family.

  62. Finally got ’round to listening to this one and I have to say that I really enjoyed it! As someone who doesn’t speak Japanese, but who’s really interested in Japanese culture having worked there for a summer, I felt the Japanese-language sections were completely fine, and I’d love to hear more podcasts in foreign languages. I do understand that other listeners may feel differently about this, so perhaps future interviews in multiple languages could be released in two formats, one with all foreign-language segments and the other with just interpreter/post-production translation. It might be a lot to ask for the occasional episode, but I think that could still allow you to experiment with non English-speaking guests without feeling as if a big section of your audience would take issue with the language segments. Keep up the great work!

  63. Loved this episode, Tim.

    The bit on how the KonMari method is different than Minimalism was really important — the KonMari method is about finding the balance of what makes you happy, while Minimalism’s primary objective is reduction.

    Loved the tie-in with Stoicism as well.

    [Moderator: additional text and link removed.]

  64. So much lost in the not particularly skilled on the fly translation… Although Tim bragged about his familiarity with Japanese language and culture, he asked questions that Marie simply blew off, as they were too personal/invasive. She definitely used this interview as an infomercial for her book, without much desire to discuss her personal life and family, despite TF attempts to pry. E.g. the question about her work as a Shinto temple maiden – she just plain ignored him. Awkward!!!

  65. The questions you posed reveal your thoughtful living. I wish the answers had done them justice but it was still a good interview. Thanks.

  66. Thank you for keeping the Japanese audio in this episode. It was super cool and even for those that don’t understand Japanese I think the episode would be missing something without it (like Marie-san’s answer to what kind of yoga she does).

    And I’m happy because I learned a new word: 片づけ祭り!

  67. I know you speak Japanese, did you interview Konmari in Japanese? If so, is that recording available? I have a Japanese friend in Saitama who would love this! She would like this version as well, but think she would be very impressed with your language skills. LOL – I can say good morning because I’m from Ohio. 😂

  68. I appreciated hearing the full Japanese responses (though I do understand Japanese) and I thought the interpreter did an amazing job, especially with the long answers. I suppose making a 2nd version for the non-Japanese understanding folks wouldn’t be such a bad idea too, though. ときめいた!