What “sparks joy” with overseas audiences may not do the same for Japanese audiences.

Queen of clean Marie Kondo became an international icon by helping the world declutter their lives in her Netflix series Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.

Kondo, or KonMari as she’s more affectionately known, is famous for her minimalist approach to living, and ditching things that do not spark joy.

As well as the popular series on Netflix, KonMari is also regularly posting content to her YouTube channel. The videos range from instructions on how to neatly fold clothes to a tutorial on how to relax using a tuning fork.

As expected from the mistress of minimalism, all of the videos on her channel feature very muted tones, with gentle, soothing music in the background. Some users even comment: “It’s almost like you’re watching a meditation session!”

KonMari recently started a second YouTube channel back in April, this time aimed at a Japanese audience. Twitter user Aomuro pointed out the startling difference between KonMari’s Japanese YouTube channel and her channel aimed at her international audience.

“The colour used in KonMari’s Japanese and non-Japanese channel is completely different. That kind of strategic thinking is amazing.”

▼ Take a look for yourself. Here’s KonMari’s international channel…

▼ …and here is the Japanese channel.

As you can see, the difference is quite startling. The calm, subdued tones of KonMari’s international channel are replaced with bright, colourful thumbnails that are covered in text.

But the differences don’t end there. The content shown in the videos still largely revolve around tidying up and sparking joy (or tokimeki in Japanese), but the presentation is completely different.

Everything has changed, from the more upbeat background music, to the large text appearing throughout the video. Even the little sound effects give the video a very different feel to the minimalistic Marie Kondo many international fans are used to.

Japanese Twitter was amused at the stark difference between the two channels, and some offered their thoughts on why it was so.

“International viewers don’t all necessarily speak English, so that’s why the thumbnails don’t have any writing on them.”
“If you look out over a Japanese cityscape, so many neon signs from pachinko parlours, billboards are all vivid and bright. I can see why this style would appeal to Japanese people.”
“Even her make-up is different in the two channels!”
“I think a lot of Japanese people would prefer the more simple thumbnails. Looking at Japanese thumbnails all the time can wear you out.”
“You can understand the content of the video a lot quicker by looking at the Japanese thumbnails.”
“Wow, she’s even decluttering her thumbnails, huh.”

Which thumbnails spark joy for you? Are you a fan of the muted tones, or do you prefer the vibrant colours? And are you a fan of the KonMari method, or are you more of a wasteland-inhabiting slob like our Japanese-language reporter Seiji Nakazawa?

Source: Twitter@aomuro2nd via Jin
Top image: YouTube/Marie Kondo
Insert images: YouTube/Marie Kondo, YouTube/【公式】こんまりちゃんねる,

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