Pandemic spurs tidying-up frenzy in Japan

When Japan announced a state of emergency due to the novel coronavirus disease pandemic earlier this year, people were urged to declutter their homes to pass the time, with Tokyo’s governor even roping in household-organizing celebrity Marie Kondo in promotional videos.

Many have taken that message to heart, and the market for second-hand luxury goods is booming as a result.

Mitsuko Iwama, a 71-year-old housewife, is a case in point. Pre-pandemic, she would have been spending a lot of time at her local gym but after being stuck at home for months and cleaning her rooms and closets more often, she decided to part ways with several traditional kimonos that her parents bought her decades ago.

Iwama shared, “I thought it was a waste to leave the kimonos just hanging up, and if someone from a younger generation would wear them, that would make me happy.”

She was able to sell the 22 kimonos for some 2,000 pesos each.

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