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Japan's 'waste not, want not' philosophy has deep religious and cultural roots, from monsters and meditation to Marie Kondo's tidying up

By Kevin C. Taylor, Director of Religious Studies and Instructor of Philosophy, University of Memphis
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The word “waste” is often frightening. People fear not making the most of their time, whether at work or at leisure, and failing to live life to the fullest.

Warnings against waste run especially deep in Japanese culture. Many Americans are familiar with the famous decluttering technique of organization guru Marie Kondo, who wrote “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Travelers to Japan may hear the classic expression “mottainai,”…The Conversation


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