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The Japanese secret to a long and happy life. Ikigai urges individuals to simplify their lives by pursuing what sparks joy for them ― Marie 'KonMari' Kondo
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Ikigai (生き甲斐, pronounced [ikigai]) is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being.”

The term applies to becoming a way or purpose in life that originates one’s life valuable. Towards which a person takes natural and responsible actions giving them joy and a sense of the essence of living.

Ikigai can relate to possessing a feeling of confidence in development, as well as staying motivated. Psychologist Michiko Kumano depicts Ikigai as eudaimonic happiness, as it “entails actions of devoting oneself to pursuits one enjoys and is associated with feelings of accomplishment and fulfillment.”

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The book does a clean job of describing the theory of Ikigai to modern-day psychology (with Frankl’s Logotherapy from Man’s Search for Meaning Among others) and a few logical implications in an easy method. It speaks about wherewith hope plays important role in a man’s life and the different ways in which it shows itself. It also throws some ways to ‘find your flow’ and ensure that what you do receives 100% of your attention and that you enjoy whatever you are creating.

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The book also discusses certain other Japanese concepts like Takumi (specialized workers) and moai (connections with community or friend-circle). The brief discussions hold the privilege of being to the point and simple but pose the risk of trivializing them into regular self-help information. The work also delves into Japanese views on living life and persevering outwardly getting caught up in artificially-created urgency. The authors wished for the readers to research more or meditate more on the content given the short practice of the same.

The chapters on diet and exercises have added details and thus may be more serviceable. Certain foods are dealt with in greater detail is the concept of ‘Hara Hachi bu’ wherein one eats only 80% of what would assuage his hunger. The chapter on exercises includes illustrations and steps. While they may suffice for some of the purposes mentioned in the book – the philosophy behind them, progressive increments, other essential details are missing or insufficient.

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The hardcover is pretty and soothing with its matte texture. The inner pages are smooth & heavy with a cream tinge, The font size is good. The spine, as well as pages, holds up well. Overall, the book is quiet, light, and sturdy. I bought it for INR 460 against an MRP of INR 499.

Srinidhi Ram

Srinidhi Ram


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