Decluttering expert Marie Kondo and Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels pose for a photo at Angel Stadium in Anaheim before receiving the International Citizen Award from the Japan America Society of Southern California. Photo: KYODO
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Kondo, Ohtani honored for enhancing U.S.-Japan relations

24 Comments

Two Japanese sensations, decluttering expert Marie Kondo and Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani, accepted awards from the Japan America Society of Southern California for enhancing Japan-U.S. relations, during a fundraiser Thursday at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.

The Japan America Society hosted 550 attendees outside Ohtani's home stadium to raise money for educational programs for students from low-income families.

"Through my mission to organize the world, I am very happy to contribute to my home country of Japan -- to help people around the world understand what Japanese people are like and learn more about Japan," said Kondo, who has lived in the United States for three years.

Ohtani, last year's American League Baseball Rookie of the Year, said, "The second half of the Major League Baseball season begins tomorrow, and I hope to have better results than last year, so I appreciate everyone's support."

The International Citizens Award, bestowed every year on an individual or organization that enhances the relationship between the two countries, has previously been presented to international figures such as Australian novelist James Clavell and Grammy-winning recording artist Kitaro.

Kondo, whose eight-episode Netflix series inspired a new wave of so-called KonMari followers to share their decluttering efforts on social media after the show's Jan. 1 debut, has published internationally translated best-seller "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up."

In 2015, Time Magazine named Kondo among the world's top 100 influential figures.

The nonprofit organization, which hosted the fundraiser in honor of its 110th anniversary, is a membership organization that builds business and cultural relationships between Japanese and Americans.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
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Is he really tall or is she really short?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Both. He is really tall and she is really short.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

She is really short 4ft 7in but he's only 6ft 4in, just an inch taller than me.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

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Well they do show how quintessentially PERFECTIONISTIC Japanese are.

.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

What the hell is a ‘declutterer’ !?

and why would anyone pay money for their services ?

1 ( +9 / -8 )

And actually, she looks like she's wearing high heels.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Love this picture. And I like both of these people. Glad they've "made it".

5 ( +7 / -2 )

What the hell is a ‘declutterer’ !?

Someone who tells people to throw away stuff they don't need or don't use.

and why would anyone pay money for their services ?

Because if you wrap basic common sense in quasi-mystical cod spirituality there's always some numpty who will pay for it.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

She is really short 4ft 7in b

Make that a tidy 4’7”.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

@ tooheysnew: *What the h** is a ‘declutterer’ !?

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It's the opposite of a "hoarder".

.

It is minimalism applied to a person's living space.

:-)

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@tooheysnew: and why would anyone pay money for their services ?

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Perhaps you have been out of the mainland too long -

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However newer living spaces in places like US, England, Australia, Canada - condos, rental apartments in the larger urban cities in North America, Europe - are offering smaller square footage of living space.

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In place like New York, Sydney Australia, Vancouver Canada, people are paying over YEN 540,000,000 for as little as 600 sq feet.

Westerners are not good at knowing how to maximize small spaces.

That is why KONDO demonstrating the japanese intuitive and creative use of space is such a BIG hit to the westerner faced with this challenge.

:-)

.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Once again, a Japanese showing Americans how the real game is played.

While this guy seems to be the real deal, he is hardly the best and one and a half good years don't really prove anything so the jury is still out. Most Japanese players who have gone over to MLB were average to below average. Some, like Ichiro and Kuroda, have stood out but that is not the case for even half of them.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

KonMari's interview on Colbert was in Japanese translation but she instantly connected with the audience proving international success doesn't require fluency, just heart

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Thanks for educating me on a declutterer.

it seems to me that the people who need people like her have more money than sense.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Sounds like a made-up award just for the So-Cal J-community to have a chance to meet them. Who were the previous winners?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Money for old rope. Millions for hitting a ball. That sums them up. Still, Congrats to you both

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You have to doff your cap to someone who can spin "Throw stuff out if you don't need it" into an $8 million paycheck.

I'd be interested to know what she buys with all that dosh, and where she keeps it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

and why would anyone pay money for their services ?

Because if you wrap basic common sense in quasi-mystical cod spirituality there's always some numpty who will pay for it.

Thanks, sport. I've been trying to find a way to express how I feel about the Kondo phenomenon and you've nailed it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sounds like a made-up award just for the So-Cal J-community to have a chance to meet them. Who were the previous winners?

The JASSC was founded in 1909 and presents awards to Japanese persons, celebrity or not, who contribute to US-Japan friendship. Previous winners include actors Toshiro Mifune, Ken Watanabe, Sonny Chiba, etc, baseball players Hideo Nomo, Ichito, Hideki Matsui, etc...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I saw Ohtani play against the Dodgers, June 10th. He was used as a lead-off pinch hitter, walked, and eventually came all the way around to score a run. Ryu Hyun-jin pitched six excellent innings for the Dodgers, but the relievers blew it. Angels ended up winning, 5-3. Most exciting game I have seen in a long time.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

She should come home and stay - her services are much needed in japan. Just about every japanese persons home Ive seen has been clutterred to the roof beams.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Knee high to a grass hopper.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What the hell is a ‘declutterer’ !?

and why would anyone pay money for their services ?

Have you really never heard of Marie Kondo?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nope ! Why does that surprise you ?

i don’t watch Japanese TV, I don’t read the entertainment gossip, I’m not American & it ain’t a Nobel prize she’s won.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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