Japanese culture is one of the cultures that have a ubiquitous presence throughout the world, especially in the era of modernisation. They have successfully propagated their culture and customs globally through anime, manga, and other mediums. Despite this, some aspects of Japanese culture have remained mysterious to many people worldwide, like their astounding positive attitude towards life, which acts as a huge catalyst to them having a long and fulfilling life.
The book "Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life" explores this aspect of Japanese culture and makes the techniques accessible to people worldwide. Authors Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles explored the Japanese island of Okinawa and incorporated a lot of real-life wisdom and perspectives from the locals into the book, which can help anyone to see life from a new lens and evaluate the choices that one is making in life.
Ikigai, the Japanese term, has no close English term. Still, it can roughly be translated to - 'reason for being', and as per the Japanese cultural traditions, it's the happiness in remaining busy always. The concept of Ikigai deeply impacts the lives of the people of Japan, and the philosophical perspective of Ikigai is not only idealistic but also pragmatic and in line with the realities of the modern world.
Ikigai does not tell anyone to abandon their passion for something that will help them pay the bills. Instead, it helps them to create a bridge between the two, as a result of which one would never find it difficult to choose between them.
The book also helps a person be in terms with one's internal demons, mitigate stress, and lead a healthy lifestyle, all in accordance with the philosophical traditions of the Okinawans.
The concept of Ikigai is not rigid, and everyone can have their own Ikigai. Still, there are a few directives that one needs to follow, which have been discussed exclusively in the book, and unlike other philosophical perspectives, the broadness of Ikigai makes it stand out.
Ikigai is a must-read book for people of all ages, as it would help us reevaluate our life decisions and align them with our true selves, thus maximising our inner potential while maintaining a balance in our lives.