Sparking Joy Across the Pacific: How KonMari Became a Global Success

Thursday, January 27, 2022
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Via Zoom Webinar



  • Marie Kondo,
  • Takumi Kawahara,
  • Kiyoteru Tsutsui

This event will offer simultaneous translation between Japanese and English. 

This is a virtual event. Please click here to register and generate a link to the talk. 
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January 27, 4-5:30 p.m. California time/ January 28, 9-10:30 a.m. Japan time

This event is part of the 2022 Japan Program Winter webinar series, The Future of Social Tech: U.S.-Japan Partnership in Advancing Technology and Innovation with Social Impact

A tidying expert who started her consulting business as a 19-year-old college student, Marie Kondo leveraged her success in the Japanese market into global fame with her husband Takumi Kawahara as a key producer. What were the business strategies behind their success and how did they break the cultural barrier in the U.S. that shattered the dreams of many Japanese content makers to produce a New York Times bestseller, a hit Netflix show, and a recognition as Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World? This session explores their media strategy that used platforms like Netflix and YouTube effectively and lessons that other content makers can learn from their success in bringing content from Japan to the U.S.


Photo of Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo is a tidying expert, bestselling author, star of Netflix’s hit show, “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” and founder of KonMari Media, Inc. Enchanted with organizing since her childhood, Marie began her tidying consultant business as a 19-year-old university student in Tokyo. Today, Marie is a renowned tidyingexpert helping people around the world to transform their cluttered homes into spaces of serenity and inspiration.

In her #1 New York Times bestselling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” Marie took tidying to a whole new level, teaching that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again.

Marie has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The London Times, Vogue, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, The Ellen Show as well as on more than fifty major Japanese television and radio programs. She has also been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.


Photo of Takumi Kawahara
Born and raised in Hiroshima, Japan, Takumi Kawahara began his career as a corporate HR consultant and strategist for Achievement Co., Ltd. in Tokyo, serving more than 5,000 employees across multiple companies.

After befriending tidying expert, Marie Kondo, in his college years and becoming her trusted advisor, the two were married in 2013. Together, they established KonMari Media, Inc. in 2015, and Takumi assumed the role of CEO, leading the global expansion of the business – including books, media channels and the certified KonMari Consultant program, which is active in over 30 countries.

Takumi is an executive producer of Netflix’s hit show, “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” and overseeing product development for the KonMari brand. Takumi currently resides in Los Angeles with his partner, Marie, and their two young daughters.



Photo of Kiyo Tsutsui
Kiyoteru Tsutsui is the Henri H. and Tomoye Takahashi Professor, Professor of Sociology, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and Deputy Director of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, where he is also Director of the Japan Program. He is the author of Rights Make Might: Global Human Rights and Minority Social Movements in Japan (Oxford University Press, 2018), co-editor of Corporate Responsibility in a Globalizing World (Oxford University Press, 2016) and co-editor of The Courteous Power: Japan and Southeast Asia in the Indo-Pacific Era (University of Michigan Press, 2021).