I guess it is hard to find a person who is interested in Japanese culture and does not hear about ikigai. Spanish author and guide Hector GarciaPuigcerver, who is obviously in love with Japanese culture, wanted to examine this concept in his book Ikigai – The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life.
My expectation from this book was actually to learn the concept of ikigai in more detail. However, I think the book has been simplified to be accessible to everyone. The book explains what can be done in daily life instead of examining the concept in-depth and gives examples from Japan. It touches on the lives of older people in Okinawa, specific sports, the importance of a supportive society, certain foods and eating as little as possible. As much as I enjoyed reading these parts, I still don’t know much about ikigai. And I’m left with this question: Is it only a reason to jump out of bed each morning? Is that it?
After a while, I decided to quit searching for the concept of ikigai and accept the author’s words as they are. After that, I read the book more comfortably. But on the other hand, I was reading The Luminaries, and this book seemed so fluent next to it, which may be one of the reasons why I enjoyed it.
To summarize; although this book wants to explain ikigai, it cannot. Instead, it touches on how to live longer, but the information it gives on the subject is totally superficial. If you are looking for a super easy read and don’t want to delve deep into the issue, you’ll like this. It is effortless to read, and some parts of it are interesting enough. I may read his other books about Japan whenever I’m reading a challenging book. It helped me with my reading slump. Enjoy!
We all have an ikigai.
It’s the Japanese word for a reason to live or a reason to jump out of bed in the morning.
It s the place where your needs, desires, ambitions, and satisfaction meets. A place of balance. Small wonder that finding your ikigai is closely linked to living longer.
Finding your ikigai is easier than you might think. This book will help you work out what your own ikigai really is, and equip you to change your life. You have a purpose in this world: your skills, your interests, your desires and your history have made you the perfect candidate for something. All you have to do is find it.
Do that, and you can make every single day of your life joyful and meaningful.
I was born in Europe in 1981 and moved to Japan in 2004. I write books about Japan and I love learning new things all the time. And I enjoy reading and photography as hobby, and generally like activities that involve the creation of new things more than just consuming.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: