Welcome to ikigai, a Japanese mind-set that will change your life. Ken Mogi, a Japanese expert and best-selling writer, reveals all about this mysterious and fascinating miracle that is at the heart of Japan's record-breaking long life, astonishing appreciation of sensory beauty and inherent mindfulness.
It is extraordinary that Japanese men's longevity ranks fourth in the world while Japanese women's ranks second. But perhaps this comes as no surprise when you know that the Japanese understanding of ikigai is embedded in their daily life and in absolutely everything that they do: in their professional careers, in their relationships with family members, in the hobbies they cultivate so meticulously.
Ken Mogi identifies five key pillars to ikigai:
Pillar 1: Starting small
Pillar 2: Releasing yourself
Pillar 3: Harmony and sustainability
Pillar 4: The joy of little things
Pillar 5: Being in the here and now
The Japanese talk about ikigai as 'a reason to get up in the morning'. It is something that keeps one's enthusiasm for life going, whether you are a cleaner of the famous Shinkansen bullet train, the mother of a newborn child or a Michelin-starred sushi chef. The Five Pillars are at the heart of everything they do. But how do you find your own ikigai? How does ikigai contribute to happiness?
Neuroscientist and best-selling Japanese writer Ken Mogi provides an absorbing insight into this way of life, incorporating scientific research and firsthand experience and providing a colourful narrative of Japanese culture and history along the way.
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- Hiroki Sugi