I think that an alternative title to “Goodbye Things. The New Japanese Minimalism.” could be Confessions of a Minimalist, because Fumio Sasaki really shares a lot from his personal struggles that in the end led him to the path of a minimalist. But this is by no means a self help book, but an honest story of a realisation that things and constant craving for more often come from within and are caused by loneliness, self doubt, inferiority complex and the need to keep up with the proverbial Joneses. To have less is liberating. To have less opens the door to self discovery. To have less gives more time, space, freedom and a peace of mind.
The author is somebody whom I would call a radical minimalist. He downsized in every aspect of his “material being”, in the number of possessions and the actual living space. He said farewell to so much, but did so with little regret. Perhaps this lifestyle is not for everyone, definitely not for me, but as you read the book, there is no pressure from the writer to follow his more extreme example. The thought behind can be summarised in a following sentence: love people in your life, not objects, because objects should never be a centrepiece of your universe, only utilities in it.