EVOLVE! cover article fall 2017

by Marie Kondo · Photo Credits: Ichigo Natsuno
Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo

-Why a manga format?

I decided to tell the fictional story of Chiaki, a young woman living in Tokyo, in a manga format because I thought it would encourage more people to practice the KonMari Method. I also thought that trying a different form of storytelling would challenge me as an author.

It all started when manga artist Yuko Uramoto read my book and tweeted her interest in publishing The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in manga form. In Japan, it is not uncommon for best-selling books to be turned into a graphic novel. Not only do children learn about subjects such as history or mathematics through manga, but even adults use manga to learn skills in marketing or sales.

Manga conveys the essence of ideas in an easily comprehensible way, using illustrations that elaborate on the storyline. My manga teaches readers the basic principles of tidying in addition to the philosophy behind the KonMari Method through Chiaki's story.

This book may help readers who have not read my book start their tidying process, as well as those who have tried the KonMari Method but have not yet finished tidying up.

-Beyond joy, is there a spiritual aspect to your work?

Absolutely. Recently, I cannot help but feel that even things possess a unique energy, in much the same way that humans and animals do.

Whenever we interact with things, we exchange energy. The more that we express gratitude for our possessions, the more that those physical objects will reciprocate our positive energy, and vice versa. I have become more convinced of this idea over the many years that I have worked with clients and observed their relationships with their belongings.

Marie Kondo sitting at desk
-For those who have yet to experience the “magic”, what would you say to encourage them to read the life-changing Manga of tidying up?

The KonMari Method is distinct from other organizational approaches, as it prompts individuals to think about each of their belongings and consider whether they “spark joy.” By asking themselves what brings them joy, individuals hone their ability to make decisions in all aspects of their lives.

If you are seeking change in your life or would like to experience more joy in your life, I suggest that you give my book or manga a chance. I am certain that you will experience the magic of tidying up and that your life will become more fulfilling and joyful.

-Do practitioners of “tidying up” sustain the joy over time, or is this something that must be exercised again and again?

Once you finish tidying up using the KonMari Method, you will continue to experience sparks of joy.

Once you confront every single one of your possessions and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?”, you will discover what you truly value.

Over time, your cleaning habits will change, as you will begin to feel uncomfortable even in a slightly messy room. And, while shopping, you will only reach for the things that truly bring you joy, saving yourself time and money.

Through tidying up, the KonMari Method transforms how you perceive and treat your physical space and belongings.

OF TIDYING UP: A Magical Story

by Kondo, Marie
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
$14.99, ISBN13:9780399580536

-In what way does the life-changing manga of tidying up communicate your message to readers that The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up does not, and does one communicate your message better than the other?

In the manga, the female protagonist, Chiaki, is a client of mine who is changing her life by using the KonMari Method. The reader follows her journey as she learns what it truly means to keep only the belongings that spark joy. My character guides Chiaki through the process of tidying up and addresses her questions and concerns, which are based on real-life experiences that I've had with clients over the years.

As a result of tidying up, Chiaki comes to terms with her past self and finally understands what truly sparks joy for her. Consequently, Chiaki not only experiences a change in her physical space, but also in the way that she spends her time, the way that she works, and the way that she approaches love.

Reading Chiaki's life-changing story will hopefully motivate the reader to tidy up and begin living their envisioned life as soon as possible.

- Do you see the life-changing manga of tidying up as an extension to your first book, or is it just an attempt to reach a younger audience?

It is likely that most of my manga readers have already read my book, and therefore have a pre-existing interest and understanding of the KonMari Method. For this reason, readers may view my manga as an extension of my book and a motivation to finish their tidying festival once and for all.

However, the manga can also be a way for new readers to learn about the KonMari Method or to get their children interested in tidying.

Marie Kondo sitting on sofa
Marie Kondo folding items

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