Muji's background music

Muji sells high quality generic products at inexpensive prices; think Ikea with better taste and a Japanese flavor of minimalism. This is its background music. Bruce Sterling: "More starkly minimal than the muzak from lesser outlets of capitalism."


  1. I can’t help wondering where this is sourced from. I know it was blogged by Chairman Bruce, but there’s nothing on the SoundCloud page/account suggesting it’s genuine.
    That said, I could totally believe it IS. And MUJI is indeed the coolest, at least in Japan.

    1. Indeed it is sorta believable, but then it’s also a bit too Muzak-y, and not necessarily ‘more starkly minimal’ than others (though it’s good quality, relatively). If you watch the videos on Muji’s website you’ll hear some fantastic ambient-ish music that is a lot higher quality than this.

      But all the times I’ve been in Muji stores – mostly in NYC but also in Bangkok – I honestly can’t recall if there even was any background music playing. Some of this is corny enough that I think I might notice, but then maybe the whole point is that you’re not supposed to notice it (which goes along with their aesthetic in general). 

      OK – I skimmed through disc 3 (tracks 14-23) and those I can definitely believe.

      Oh, and Muji may have ‘inexpensive prices’ but that doesn’t mean that you will be able to resist spending way too much money when you go there :)

  2. I love Muji stuff. My problem is that at 6’2″ even their XL stuff is not big enough for me.

    Now, how do I download this stuff ?? :D 

    1. Agreed! Our Muji in Torino is just silly .. they leave the original Japanese price tags on, so it is very easy to see that the € price is nearly double compared to the Yen price.

      1. Yeah, most of their products seem ridiculously overpriced in New York as well, given their Cromwellian greige flavor — I’m not that sure the products *are* in better taste that Ikea. But the music’s nice!

    2. Like many stores in Japan, Mujirushi (“Muji”) gives you a choice of cheap Chinese-made or expensive Japanese. They have really cheap, crappy, barely usable stuff and products of excellent quality.

      I do like their color range though: roughly from light brown to dark brown. But in a good way, looks really cool.

      Sadly my Muji slippers didn’t quite make the jump back to Europe, they were the best slippers I ever had!

  3. What are the chances of Boing Boing incorporating non-blocking javascript techniques so that page loads don’t freeze?

  4. I am addicted to their pens, love the .38 gel ones. They ended the line of notebooks I liked though…

  5. Having worked as a part-timer in Singapore’s Muji, I can say that they don’t play the music we’re listening to here. More like generic French, Celtic, Italian muzak. Which is a shame, I like these better. Or was I so hammered by 10 hour shifts full of happy Celtic flutes that I couldn’t stand it anymore and this is a nice change of scenery?

  6. I dunno, I’m a long-time Muji shopper here in Tokyo, and I didn’t recognize any of the samples I listened to. The Yurakucho store a while ago had a big display, with listening stations, of a bunch of Muji BGM CDs, and somewhat like Fiz Wahid says above, they were specifically identified as Celtic, French, etc., but it wouldn’t call it Muzak.

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