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Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life Hardcover – August 29, 2017
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“Want to live longer? Keep super busy. If hygge is the art of doing nothing, ikigai is the art of doing something—and doing it with supreme focus and joy. . . . Pack up those cozy blankets and candles you purchased in last year’s hygge-fueled Ikea spree. Fall’s biggest imported lifestyle trend is ikigai, and it might help you live to 100.” —New York Post
“Busy-ness is a concept I’m familiar with and fascinated by, especially living in New York City. . . . The Japanese concept of ikigai (the happiness of being busy) [is] attainable and even an important key to living longer.” —Mia Feitel, Elle.com
“A must-follow lifestyle hack, ikigai makes hygge look like a trip to Ikea. . . . Think feng shui with Venn diagrams—although this time there is no need to move the front door.” —The Guardian
“Forget hygge. It’s all about ikigai.” —The Times (London)
“Ikigai is what allows you to look forward to the future even if you’re miserable right now. . . . It might just help you live a more fulfilling life.” —BBC
“Originating from a country with one of the world’s oldest populations, ikigai is becoming popular outside of Japan as a way to live longer and better. . . . [It] is helping people live longer on Okinawa as it gives them purpose.” —World Economic Forum
“Ikigai. Ick-ee-guy. It’s a word you’ll be hearing quite often come autumn. . . . It’s Japanese, and it means something like ‘purpose in life,’ or ‘thing that you live for,’ or ‘thing that gets you out of bed in the morning.’ . . . An extended lifespan, according to the long-life expert Dan Buettner, is what awaits havers-of-ikigai.” —The Sunday Telegraph
“Ikigai gently unlocks simple secrets we can all use to live long, meaningful, happy lives. Science-based studies weave beautifully into honest, straight-talking conversation you won’t be able to put down. Warm, patient, and kind, this book pulls you gently along your own journey rather than pushing you from behind.” —Neil Pasricha, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Awesome and The Happiness Equation
“A refreshingly simple recipe for happiness.” —Stylist
“Persuasively shows that small changes can help readers find more joy and purpose in their lives [with] clear, succinct information . . . skillfully compiled . . . into an engaging, easily accessible format with lists, charts, and illustrations.” —Publishers Weekly
“The most eye-catching autumn lifestyle trend is the Japanese concept of ikigai, which translates as ‘reason to live.’ . . . An attractive and absorbing book.” —The Bookseller
About the Author
Héctor García is a citizen of Japan, where he has lived for over a decade, and of Spain, where he was born. A former software engineer, he worked at CERN in Switzerland before moving to Japan, where he developed voice recognition software and the technology needed for Silicon Valley startups to enter the Japanese market. He is the creator of the popular blog kirainet.com and the author of A Geek in Japan, a #1 bestseller in Japan.
Francesc Miralles is an award-winning author who has written a number of bestselling self-help and inspirational books. Born in Barcelona, he studied journalism, English literature, and German, and has worked as an editor, a translator, a ghost-writer, and a musician. His novel Love in Lowercase has been translated into twenty languages.
Top customer reviews
But it, read it, find your Ikigai and live a happy life :)
It is a good book. My overall rating of the book has little to do with the quality of the writing or the underlying concept. The former is quite good and the latter is valid. My rating is strictly personal and relates more to who might be considering adding it to their reading list. Not a “don’t,” for sure. More like, “understand it for what it is.”
For those who are ardent fans of all things philosophical and psychological, as I am, this is a good book that plows relatively little new ground. Finding purpose in life, keeping busy, eating well, and finding connection to the world around you is important. It’s ground, however, that has been covered by many authors over the years.
If you haven’t sampled of these past triumphs you will enjoy this book very much. It is a great and easily read introduction to the topics of longevity and the benefits of living in the moment. And it chronicles many of the philosophies and prior contributions to the topic, from Buddhism to Stoicism, with a stop at the Serenity Prayer. Eastern, and particularly Japanese, contributions are given extra attention. Wabi-sabi and ichi-go ischi-e, for example, are explained in some detail, but remain an overview. Relatively newer concepts like antifragility are also explained. It even covers the Six Healing Sounds introduced by Sun Simiao in the sixth century. (This one was new to me.)
A lot of the book turns on Ogimi, in the Okinawa Prefecture in Japan, which holds the distinction of being the oldest village on the planet. (In that many of the residents have lived very long lives.) It’s a delightful visit. Having lived in China for nine years and having visited Japan many times over the course of more than three decades, I have a deep fondness for places like Ogimi. I’m not sure, however, that they aren’t byproducts of the totality of Japanese culture. Could they take seed in places like California or Virginia, for example?
Part of my ikigai is to be a nice person and not think disparagingly of anyone. And I am not here. This book was an interesting read for me, and may be a revelational read for you. I make no judgment on that. I just give you my experience as a reader.
This book would, in my opinion, make an excellent gift for anyone in your life that might need a little boost or is otherwise hard to buy for. There is absolutely nothing here that could meet with controversy or resistance. It is decidedly upbeat throughout.
And that is saying a lot of good things about any book.
It helped me to realize that being busy is ok as long as you do it in a healthy and balance way.
Once I started reading it I was totally engaged until the end and since then this book is my favorite present for friends and family.