• Kyodo


Time magazine selected writer Haruki Murakami and tidying-up consultant Marie Kondo among the 100 most influential people in the world released Thursday.

“He is a writer of great imagination and human sympathy,” Yoko Ono writes in a profile for Murakami, who was selected in the list of “icons.” “In recent years, as the government in Japan has become more conservative, Murakami-san has become a valuable voice for peace.”

Kondo, who was included in the list of “artists,” has been advising people having trouble cleaning their rooms, and the English version of her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” has gained popularity in the United States. The book is expected to be translated into other languages and published in about 30 countries.

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis says she respects Kondo’s idea of giving away possessions that don’t “spark joy” — what Kondo calls tokimeki in Japanese — in one’s heart and pause to acknowledge one’s memories and let them spark joy for someone else.

“To show you how serious my respect for Ms. Kondo is: if I ever get a tattoo, it will say, Spark Joy!” Curtis writes.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was in the list of “leaders” last year, was not chosen this time. This year’s list included Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

French economist Thomas Piketty and Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan, who received the Nobel Peace Prize last year, were also in the list.

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