The phenomenal success of Japanese home organizational guru Marie Kondo has turned “decluttering” into a global buzzword. However, Japan’s love affair with organizing and storage solutions was well-established before Kondo found international fame with her first book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and her recent Netflix series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” A plethora of Japanese books, websites, magazine articles and TV show segments cover the subject, and if the DIY approach doesn’t appeal, you can always enlist the services of a nationally accredited professional organizer.

Amid this general trend, one particular type of decluttering and organizing has grabbed media attention in the past few years — 終活 (shūkatsu), or “end-of-life planning.” A play on words, the term is pronounced in the same way as the expression for job-hunting activities, 就活 (shūkatsu), but with a different character used for the first part of the kanji compound.

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