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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

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  17,352 ratings  ·  1,734 reviews
Bring meaning and joy to all your days with this internationally best-selling guide to the Japanese concept of ikigai - the happiness of always being busy - as revealed by the daily habits of the world's longest-living people.

"Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years." (Japanese proverb)

According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai - a reason for
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Published August 21st 2017 by Gildan Media LLC (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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Chris Chester
Sep 28, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
This book has nothing to do with Ikigai. Honestly it should've been titled How to Live a Long Life like an Okinawan.

Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book has a lot of things going for it - it is concise, packages best known & appreciated theories on a long life & happiness and provides examples from Japan on a fulfilling life.

Ikigai is the Japanese concept of a purposeful life where what you love, are good at intersects with what the world really needs and is willing to pay for making it a winning combination which you as an individual enjoy pursuing. The authors start with Logotherapy pioneered by Victor Frankl, who after a
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
Nadia King
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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." ...more
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, ...more
May 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
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
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Mixed feelings while reading this book.
I believe the title and content is not matched. About 30% for the secret of Japanese people. The rest is all about other research findings. Nonetheless, this book makes me more understand and know about some concept even though it was not related to Japanese such as Logotherapy.

Should read Epilogue only then. Overhyped. Yes.
Ezgi Tülü
Jan 23, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF @ 35%
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:
Thomas Clairmont
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
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
Shhhhh Ahhhhh
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
Louise Garnier
Jan 10, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Oct 14, 2018 marked it as non-fiction  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
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
Oct 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jenny Grant
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.
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
Do one thing. Get your retired father/grand-father's mobile phone. Seek permission to check his WhatsApp messages. (He won't say 'No'. Just ask him.) Go to the group titled "Retired Employees Association" or "Second Innings" or "Life begins at 60" or "Sunset Club" or something like that. Check the forwarded messages (Ignore the ones with political propaganda or hatred for people from other religion, region or historical wrongs etc). What you get now is precisely the summary of this book .

Bjorn Lee
May 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
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.
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Piotr Szymański
Some interesting remarks and a lot of fake science.
Jan 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book is for those who wants to live very longer (100+ years) and healthier life. This books consolidates various techniques that needs to be followed. Mostly these techniques are adapted by Japanese centurions (who living/lived for more than 100 years).
Nanya Srivastava
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ikigai: the sweet spot where passion meets profession meets mission meets vocation.

This book isn't about how you can find your ikigai , even though it does offer a few tips on finding your "flow" and maintaining it. This book is primarily about longevity, and contributing factors. So, do not pick it up if you think it will help you discover meaning in life.

The district of Okinawa in Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world. Apart from diet and exercise (both of which have a chapter
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
Aydin Habibi
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The concept of Ikigai is very appealing to me and I thought the authors of the book are trying to offer a book on how to find your Ikigai.

The book started with the importance of having Ikigai and added emphasis on why it's important to look for yours if you haven't it yet. As the book title suggests, Ikigai is a Japanese concept for longevity and they have researched Okinawan (probably the longest-lived centenarians). This is where the book path gets clouded for me.

For the rest of the book,
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
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 ...more
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I'm the author of several Japanese culture books: Ikigai, the Japanese Secret for a Long and Happy Life, The Book of Ichigo Ichie and A Geek in Japan.

Autor de los libros sobre cultura japonesa: Ikigai, Ichigo Ichie, Shinrinyoku e Un Geek en Japón.
“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.” 14 likes
“essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” 12 likes
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