Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life (英語) ハードカバー – 2017/9/7
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***NOW A BESTSELLER: ‘I read it and it’s bewitched me ever since. I’m spellbound’ – Chris Evans***
We all have an ikigai. Even if we don’t know it yet.
Ikigai translates as ‘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 meet: a point of perfect balance, and perfect fulfilment.
On the Japanese island of Okinawa, people live longer than anywhere else in the world. There, finding your ikigai is considered the key to longevity – and to happiness. The Okinawans know that all lives are valuable; for them, your ikigai is the lens that will help bring your value into focus.
Both inspiring and comforting, this book will help you uncover your own ikigai, and equip you to change your life. Leave stress and urgency behind, and throw yourself into finding your purpose, nurturing your friendships, and pursuing your passions.
Make every day of your life joyful and meaningful with Ikigai.
'Ikigai gently unlocks simple secrets we can all use to live long, meaningful, happy lives. Science-based studies weave beautifully into honest, straight-talking conversation you won’t be able to put down. Warm, patient, and kind, this book pulls you gently along your own journey rather than pushing you from behind.' Neil Pasricha, bestselling author of The Happiness Equation
"I love [this] book… I read it and it’s bewitched me ever since. I’m spellbound" (Chris Evans, Radio 2)
"The New "Hygge"" (The People's Friend)
"If you feel you've lost your mojo, Ikigai could be the bedside reading you need to kickstart a more mindful 2018" (Vegetarian Living)
"Ikigai urges individuals to simplify their lives by pursuing what sparks joy for them" (Marie 'KonMari' Kondo)
"A refreshingly simple recipe for happiness... According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai. It means your purpose – the reason you get up in the morning. The thing that fires you up and keeps you busy. Your raison d'être." (Stylist)
It is a good book. My overall rating of the book has little to do with the quality of the writing or the underlying concept. The former is quite good and the latter is valid. My rating is strictly personal and relates more to who might be considering adding it to their reading list. Not a “don’t,” for sure. More like, “understand it for what it is.”
For those who are ardent fans of all things philosophical and psychological, as I am, this is a good book that plows relatively little new ground. Finding purpose in life, keeping busy, eating well, and finding connection to the world around you is important. It’s ground, however, that has been covered by many authors over the years.
If you haven’t sampled of these past triumphs you will enjoy this book very much. It is a great and easily read introduction to the topics of longevity and the benefits of living in the moment. And it chronicles many of the philosophies and prior contributions to the topic, from Buddhism to Stoicism, with a stop at the Serenity Prayer. Eastern, and particularly Japanese, contributions are given extra attention. Wabi-sabi and ichi-go ischi-e, for example, are explained in some detail, but remain an overview. Relatively newer concepts like antifragility are also explained. It even covers the Six Healing Sounds introduced by Sun Simiao in the sixth century. (This one was new to me.)
A lot of the book turns on Ogimi, in the Okinawa Prefecture in Japan, which holds the distinction of being the oldest village on the planet. (In that many of the residents have lived very long lives.) It’s a delightful visit. Having lived in China for nine years and having visited Japan many times over the course of more than three decades, I have a deep fondness for places like Ogimi. I’m not sure, however, that they aren’t byproducts of the totality of Japanese culture. Could they take seed in places like California or Virginia, for example?
Part of my ikigai is to be a nice person and not think disparagingly of anyone. And I am not here. This book was an interesting read for me, and may be a revelational read for you. I make no judgment on that. I just give you my experience as a reader.
This book would, in my opinion, make an excellent gift for anyone in your life that might need a little boost or is otherwise hard to buy for. There is absolutely nothing here that could meet with controversy or resistance. It is decidedly upbeat throughout.
And that is saying a lot of good things about any book.
I couldn’t get past the first few chapters. It’s nice that the author has such a positive view of Japan, but I would prefer if they hadn’t spent 30 pages espousing how amazing Japan is compared to everywhere else. And it is amazing, I’ve lived there and have visited many times since I moved away. This is simply too much.