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Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life
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Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

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3.51  ·  Rating details ·  10,976 ratings  ·  1,123 reviews
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.

Inspiring and comforting, this book will give you the life-changing tools to uncover your personal ikigai. It will
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Published September 7th 2017 by Cornerstone Digital (first published April 2016)
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Marcelo Galuppo This is not addressed by the authors, but I think you misunderstood their intention. They discuss how people from Okinawa achieve a very old age…moreThis is not addressed by the authors, but I think you misunderstood their intention. They discuss how people from Okinawa achieve a very old age (about 90 years old) through alimentation, exercise and, sure, Ikigai (something that connects one`s mission, profession, vocation and activity). I think it is irrelevant that most suicides take place in Japan (Okinawa isn`t quite Japan). The question is why the most old people are from Okinawa.(less)

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3.51  · 
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 ·  10,976 ratings  ·  1,123 reviews


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Chris Chester
Sep 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
I kind of feel bad panning this book, because I think helping people find their ikigai -- or their purpose in life -- is a worthwhile goal.

The problem is, I have to think that the author and his publisher know that this book doesn't come anywhere close to achieving that goal.

Instead, this book is a jumbled mess. It borrows heavily from the work of others, from Victor Frankl to the guys studying flow states, slaps on a thin veneer of received wisdom from Japanese octogenarians and attempts to pas
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Gabriela
Oct 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
I could live with the fact that every idea about the Western approach to finding a purpose in life is taken from Frankl, Taleb and a few others. With no personal contribution from the authors. But to claim that you interviewed 100 people from Okinawa and to present your readers with no more than 5 pages of random (and in no way revealing, profound or even interesting) quotes from these interviews...that is just disrespectful. To the reader and to the interviewees.
BookishDubai
This book has nothing to do with Ikigai. Honestly it should've been titled How to Live a Long Life like an Okinawan.


7jane
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book's title is a little misleading: while it does talk about ikigai, it also talks about what things are connected to it, and the main point is on having a long, happy, healthy(ish) life, as seen from the (mostly) Okinawan way of life. The authors traveled to Ogimi, which is in Okinawa, Japan, and spent time there interviewing and observing the oldest people, who all seemed to have this ikigai (the reason to get up in the morning), a joy of life and very active daily activities.

The chapters
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Nadia King
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I literally inhaled this book. Ikigai is a beautiful book about Japanese culture and discusses the secret to a long and happy life. If you're interested in Japanese culture and self-development this gorgeous book is for you. Just reading this had a calm and centering effect on me. "Happiness is always determined by your heart." 💙
Jasmin Martin
May 23, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I expected more but this book disappoints. It doesnt seem to follow a clear thread but rather jumps randomly around from one fact to another (which the authors thought relevant) such as stress and what it does to the body, and then short profiles on some of the longest lived persons on the planet. These don't have much to do with the Ogimi folk of Okinawa that the researchers were going to visit and interview. I though they were going to write about them and their entire time spent with them, bu ...more
Imogen
Ikigai is a Japanese concept that translates to 'reason for being'. Until picking this book up on a whim (the cover was pretty, and I am easily sold on pretty books), I had never really heard of this idea, so this book acted as my introduction.

The Good

- This book was simply written and concise (for the most part), with little emphasis on flowery or pretentious writing, thus making for a quick and easy read.
- The cover of this book is stunning. It's 100% why I picked the book up.
- As someone wh
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Helen
May 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. It's really just a recap of The Blue Zones of Happiness with emphasis on the Okinawa aspect. The quote I find most disconcerting, after reading the entire book, is "There is no perfect strategy to connecting with our ikigai"....but (what we learn from the Okinawans) is "don't worry too much about finding it." But then, in the next and final page, they say, "if you don't know what your ikigai is yet, as Viktor Frankl says, your mission is to discover it."
So which is it? And aside from exerci
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Rose
Quick review for a quick read. I definitely like the concept of "ikigai" and looked forward to learning more about the concept based on the description this book gave. However, upon finishing this - I felt that some of the advice was helpful, but very generalized and unfocused in this book. You get tidbits of insight on Japanese culture here, but it's more in the eyes of the authors experiencing the culture than it is direct voicing from the culture itself. That's a problem when you're trying to ...more
Patrick Sherriff
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan
I just got my Japanese pension book in the mail today, but won't be able to use it for a good 20 years yet, so staying alive for a long time suddenly just became a bit more real for me: to get all my pension payments back I'll need to be around for a good 30 more years at least. And the advice presented here seems irrefutable: eat more fruit and veg; drink less alcohol; do a bit of exercise everyday; don't sweat the small stuff; don't sweat the big stuff; hang out with your loved ones everyday; ...more
thebookishbulletin
The below review is as on https://thebookishbulletin.wordpress....

Having read a good number of self-help books in the past and not being too inspired by any of them, I was kind of reluctant to pick this one up. But there was something so soothing and inviting about the cover-the depiction of Japanese cherry blossoms because of which I decided that maybe it was worth a shot. Believe me, I was not disappointed.

Ikigai is a treasure trove of life’s secrets. It posits a series of precise and workable
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Ezgi Tülü
Jan 23, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF @ 35%
Shhhhh Ahhhhh
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This isn't a bad book but it's not as informative as I hoped it would be. I didn't feel that an adequate job was done of fleshing out the titular concept. It read more like a sci pop piece (in the style of Gladwell, not Pinker or Diamond) mixed with an amateur's ethnography of a blue zone. I appreciate the smatterings of references to more dense material but felt that it was haphazardly weaved together. I don't feel like I've gotten a primer on the concept, but I do feel that I've gotten a quick ...more
Chris
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means "a reason for being." It is similar to the French phrase Raison d'être. Everyone, according to Japanese culture, has an ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self. Such a search is important to the cultural belief that discovering one's ikigai brings satisfaction and meaning to life. Examples include work, hobbies and raising children.
The term ikigai compounds two Japanese words:
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Jenny Grant
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
The last book I read on this topic was really inspiring and I couldn’t put it down.

I was looking forward to reading this one and was woefully disappointed.

It’s insipid, tedious and misses the point entirely.
Thomas Clairmont
Ikigai 生き甲斐 is a Japanese term for "a reason for being." The word Ikigai usually refers to the source of value in one's life or the things that make one's life worthwhile.

First of all, I wish I had enjoyed this book more since it was one of my most anticipated read for this new year. I had this idea in my head that this little book would be a life changing one and that I will be able to learn a lot of useful things. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the case.

The book itself is entitled Ikigai: The Japane
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Louise Garnier
Jan 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
I'm so disappointed. I thought this would be an amazing book but actually it's a mess. I could see what the authors were trying to do but they could have done it in 40 pages or less. There were some contradictory thoughts, not to mention the amount of times the same ideia was repeated over and over. Most of the times the graphics were completely unnecessary, as the text is super simple and easy to understand. Also, the amount of information about techniques and breathing exercises seemed as if t ...more
Stella
Oct 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is a short book with a mismash of ideas starting about finding one's purpose and how keeping active, having a social life within a community and having light work is the secret to longevity. However there was nothing new or insightful here, and towards the second half of the book there was just a description of different exercise forms e.g. tai chi, yoga; a weird section on NNT's book and concept Antifragile, and some quotes from centegerians on their secret to success.

There are better boo
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Bjorn Lee
May 26, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Authors demonstrate a superficial understanding of the subject matter “ikigai” - it seems like they produced a nice Venn diagram and stopped there, resorting to name-dropping and sprinkling of the common consciousness tropes (eg flow state, meditation, stoicism) for the rest of the book. It was disjointed, incoherent and perhaps only useful if you want a quick skim of the topics of longevity & happiness from a Western perspective with shallow insights into Japanese culture.
Vince Van Grootel
Enjoyed reading the book. It gave me some good, smaller insights. The kind you need to re-read once in a while. Towards the end some topics were discribed in too much detail and therefore they were not that interesting.

I would recommed the book, it's a light and interesting read.
KC
This is a small. It powerful book filled with easy and obtainable goals. I've learned that I must achieve flow by giving up multi-tasking, slowing things down, living in the moment, and to breathe. Back to my sun salutations and meditations.
Felix Sun
Only a small portion is actually about ikigai.
Gergana
Not bad, I also recently read: "The Little Book of Ikigai: The Essential Japanese Way to Find Your Purpose in Life". However, to be completely frank, I found neither of these two books to be that useful nor interesting. Yep...

Without reading the official description of Ikigai, what I understood from both of these books is that you need to find a purpose in your life, you need to eat like a Japanese person, exercise, be grateful, be content with what you have and find happiness in every minor t
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Acordul Fin

Ikigai is seen as the convergence of four primary elements:

What you love (your passion)
What the world needs (your mission)
What you are good at (your vocation)
What you can get paid for (your profession)
This was a mess. Surface level, vague information that you can Google under 5 minutes and still learn more than this book has to offer.

How can this claim to be about Japanese culture when it barely delves into it? The way this was put together makes it look like the authors looked up "longevity in
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Daphne
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I liked the majority of this book but I was not enthused with the focus on Eastern exercise techniques (that chapter seemed too long). I found the stories about individuals and their own lives more interesting instead of the movement and breathing exercises. For me, I would like to know more about the longevity secrets of healthy nonagenarians and centenarians, not just the Japanese. Since I was listening to this I forgot the subtitle - The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, especially si ...more
Piotr Szymański
Some interesting remarks and a lot of fake science.
Marius Hoffbauer
I enjoyed this book, it borrows a lot from different theories, but gives them a nicely written summary. As you read it you may find things that speak to you, that you would like to pursue, while others may not be as much to your liking. For me the most interesting part of the book was the first half, where they go into ideas, like what a good diet is, what flow is and how to achieve it, etc. The later part of the book focuses more on people who have lived to be old, and it was still interesting, ...more
Karen
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Maybe it was because I have read The Blue Zone, but this felt stale; nothing new.
Z
Aug 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love books like these. You read it all cocky like pssh, this doesn't say anything new, but then you realise you're so dumb that you never followed this kind of good advice despite already "knowing" about it.

Thankfully, I know my ikigai. Now it's time to work and make September my bitch lol.
*Ritzrenee*
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A self help book that got me hook
Super relatable

It was really hard to put this book down. There were so many takeaways, be it teaching you how to destress or the kind of mindset you should uphold. All of the discussed details really inspired me and I shared them with my family.

I'm not trying to prolong my life but rather intrigued by how people manage to lead a life so long yet remain active physically and mentally. This book provides an insight to this element and definitely delivers it well.
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Autor de los libros sobre cultura japonesa: Ikigai y Un Geek en Japón.

I'm the author of the Japanese Culture books: Ikigai, the Japanese Secret for a Long and Happy Life and A Geek in Japan.
“There is a tension between what is good for someone and what they want to do. This is because people, especially older people, like to do things as they've always done them. The problem is that when the brain develops ingrained habits, it doesn't need to think anymore. Things get done very quickly and efficiently on automatic pilot, often in a very advantageous way. This creates a tendency to stick to routines, and the only way of breaking these is to confront the brain with new information.” 7 likes
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” 6 likes
More quotes…