There’s also a really practical reason for it: Earthquakes.
Japan has more earthquakes than nearly any other country in the world. There are fault lines running straight through the middle of the country. Sometimes the earthquakes can be disastrous. And on a nearly daily basis, minor tremors shake buildings in various parts of the country.
Earthquakes can be dangerous on their own, but another real danger is falling objects. An analysis of earthquake injuries from 2005 warned that many of them “were the result of falling, being hit by fallen objects, and stepping on broken glass.”
“Thirty to 50 per cent of earthquake injuries occur through falling objects,” Naoki Numahata, a writer living in Japan, told Reuters.
If you have fewer posessions, you have fewer things to injure you when an earthquake happens. It’s as simple as that. If you live in a place with a lot of earthquakes, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have decorative glass vases lying around or things hanging on the wall to fall, break, and injure you in an emergency situation.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.