Book Reviews: Ikigai—The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

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Home > Articles > Book Reviews: Ikigai—The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

 Book Reviews: Ikigai—The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

Today's Manager
September 1, 2018

Ikigai—The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life
By Héctor García and
Francesc Miralles
Penguin Books
Reviewer: Sadie-Jane Nunis

Want to Live Long Happily? Consider Reading This

IKIGAI is a book written about a Japanese way of life written by two non-Japanese and that itself made me want to pick up this book. Japan has always fascinated me as it is a country that has been in the top 20 countries with highest suicide rates yet at the same time, they are also the country with the oldest citizenry in the world. Two extremes, same country.

The Japanese, especially those residing on Okinawa, or in other words, the world’s longest living people, determine Ikigai as a way to their longevity and living a more fulfilled life too.

Many a time I have mentioned in my reviews that I am not a fan of these self-help type books. For this one, I am neither a fan nor a hater. It is to a certain extent just a book I read. On one hand, yes, there are life-changing tools so that you too can find your Ikigai. However, when you look at it more closely, it is what most people advise anyway, minimise stress, nurture relationships that mean something to you, follow your passions, find your purpose in life, and so on. I personally feel it has more to do with the culture of a place that helps nurture this as well but I did not write this book.

It is another feel-good book that gives inspiration to those who need it most and it does the job reasonably well consider it is not thick, fonts are a decent size, and most chapters end their last page at half a page so I do hope it inspires non-readers to pick it up. For those who pick up more than one book a year, I would recommend you go for those Japanese books that teach you about decluttering as those do a lot for your lack of space and for your peace of mind too.


Copyright © 2018 Singapore Institute of Management

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Today's Manager Issue 3, 2018

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