[Book Summary] Ikigai: The secret Japanese way to live a happy and long life

Ikigai in a nutshell

What does “The Little Book of Ikigai” says?

  • 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
  • Jiro Ono, an owner of one of the most popular Michelin 3-star sushi restaurants, enjoyed serving his perfection in sushi to happy customers. He is currently 91 years old, and once said that he might die while making the sushi he loved.
  • 102 years old Karate teacher on Okinawa island said that his Ikigai is to nurture this martial art.
  • 100 years old fisherman said that his Ikigai is to go out in the sea and caught fish 3 times a week, in order to feed his family.
  • Sembikiya, the premium Japanese fruit shop which sells the perfection of fruits (such as $200 perfect shape & quality melon) for more than 100 years.
  • Nagae Sokichi the 9th, a ceramic artist who has Ikigai in making the legendary bowl from the past that no one in the world could replicate. This mission has been passed on from his dad, Nagae Sokichi the 8th, who have tried hundreds of material in order to make this bowl.
  • Monks at Eiheiji temple have to release themselves from the busy, modern world to live in the quiet, old temple. They only eat vegetarian food and have to strictly follow the monk’s routine every day. They are the people who understood the world and successfully detached from it.
  • Hayao Miyazaki, a Japanese animator who co-founded Studio Ghibli, one of the most popular animation studio in the world, portrayed the importance of “being here and now” by making great animations for the children. He said that the life of children is going fast. For them, there is no past or future. They are to enjoy happiness at the moment.
  • Walt Disney, an animator who received 20 Oscar awards, got told that he was so popular that should run for a president. He replied, “ Why should I run for a president when I am already a king of Disneyland”. This is also a great example of “being here and now”.
  • Sumo is a popular sport in Japan where Ikigai can easily be seen on the wrestlers. For example, Satonofuji is the small sumo wrestler who is already 39 years old. He did not get into the top league, but he got popular from his greatness in performing the “Bow Twirling Ceremony”, the important ceremony after every Sumo top league. Satonofuji is a great example of how Ikigai is not about to be the winner of the competition, but it has to be something you love and people also need.




Data Consultant at Servian | Monash Data Science Alumni | Front-end Developer based in Melbourne, Australia | LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/lkdn-perth

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Perth Ngarmtrakulchol

Perth Ngarmtrakulchol

Data Consultant at Servian | Monash Data Science Alumni | Front-end Developer based in Melbourne, Australia | LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/lkdn-perth

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