Author: Héctor García, Francesc Mirallesi
Publisher: Random House UK
Title: Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life
The people of Japan believe that everyone has an ikigai – a reason to jump out of bed each morning. And according to the residents of the Japanese island of Okinawa – the world’s longest-living people – finding it is the key to a longer and more fulfilled life.
So to find your reason to jump out of bed every morning read this book and get inspired by it. Inspiring and comforting, this book will give you the life-changing tools to uncover your personal ikigai. It will show you how to leave urgency behind, find your purpose, nurture friendships and throw yourself into your passions.
It is an eye-opening and peace-giving book that all should read as it gives a lot more reasons to be happy and feel better. The people of japan have many more reasons to be happy and live in peace irrespective of their problems and situations. They believe in good happening and good thought. And this book is all about that and peace-giving and also gives purpose to living life happily.
The good thing is that each individual’s ikigai is personal to them and specific to their lives, values, and beliefs. Ikigai is also a spectrum, according to the neuroscientist, ken mogi.
THIS BOOK FIRST came into being on a rainy night in Tokyo, when its authors sat down together for the first time in one of the city’s tiny bars.
We had read each other’s work but had never met, thanks to the thousands of miles that separate Barcelona from the capital of Japan. Then a mutual acquaintance put us in touch, launching a friendship that led to this project and seems destined to last a lifetime.
The next time we got together, a year later, we strolled through a park in downtown Tokyo and ended up talking about trends in Western psychology, specifically logotherapy, which helps people find their purpose in life.
We remarked that Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy had gone out of fashion among practicing therapists, who favored other schools of psychology, though people still search for meaning in what they do and how they live. We ask ourselves things like:
What is the meaning of my life?
Is the point just to live longer, or should I seek a higher purpose?
Why do some people know what they want and have a passion for life, while others languish in confusion?
At some point in our conversation, the mysterious word ikigai came up.
This Japanese concept, which translates roughly as “the happiness of always being busy,” is like logotherapy, but it goes a step beyond. It also seems to be one way of explaining the extraordinary longevity of the Japanese, especially on the island of Okinawa, where there are 24.55 people over the age of 100 for every 100,000 inhabitants—far more than the global average.
Those who study why the inhabitants of this island in the south of Japan live longer than people anywhere else in the world believe that one of the keys—in addition to a healthful diet, simple life in the outdoors, green tea, and the subtropical climate (its average temperature is like that of Hawaii)—is the ikigai that shapes their lives.
While researching this concept, we discovered that not a single book in the fields of psychology or personal development is dedicated to bringing this philosophy to the West.
Is ikigai the reason there are more centenarians in Okinawa than anywhere else? How does it inspire people to stay active until the very end? What is the secret to a long and happy life?
As we explored the matter further, we discovered that one place in particular, Ogimi, a rural town on the north end of the island with a population of three thousand, boasts the highest life expectancy in the world—a fact that has earned it the nickname the Village of Longevity.
Okinawa is where most of Japan’s shikuwasa—a limelike fruit that packs an extraordinary antioxidant punch—comes from. Could that be Ogimi’s secret to long life? Or is it the purity of the water used to brew its Moringa tea?
Héctor García (Author)
Héctor García is a citizen of Japan, where he has lived for over a decade, and of Spain, where he was born. He is the author of several books about Japanese culture, including two worldwide bestsellers, A Geek in Japan and Ikigai. A former software engineer, he worked at CERN in Switzerland before moving to Japan.
Francesc Miralles (Author)
Francesc Miralles is the award-winning and internationally bestselling author of books about how to live well, together with the novels Love in Small Letters and Wabi-Sabi.
Alongside Héctor García, he was welcomed to Okinawa in Japan, where the inhabitants live for longer than in any other place in the world. There they had the chance to interview more than a hundred villagers about their philosophy for a long and happy life.
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