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Book Review: Ikigai (The Japanese Secret To A Long And Happy Life)


According to Wikipedia, “ikigai is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being”. The word refers to having a direction or purpose in life, that which makes one’s life worthwhile, and towards which an individual takes spontaneous and willing actions giving them satisfaction and a sense of meaning to life.

This book spoke of how the people of Okinawa continued to be one of the longest living populations on the planet. The elderly there were healthy and very active. Also, they continued to work at their favourite job and didn’t retire.

There were many chapters in this book that listed out suggestions about diet, nutrients and habits that could contribute to a longer life. Naturally, tips on how to increase a sense of happiness were mentioned in the chapters.


I like the word “ikigai”. One example that was mention was about the creator of Ghibli Studios, the infamous animation studio in Japanese. He continued to draw in the studio even after his retirement because that was his ikigai.

In this fast paced and high demanding society, this book reminded me that it was important to find something your ikigai. To find an activity to keep you going, and makes you lose your sense of time, helps to increase happiness too.

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