“I have had a love affair with Japan ever since I first visited the country at the age of five. Some 40 years later my relationship with Japan has never been more intimate. The older I get the more I seem to discover how unique, beautiful and wise the culture and people of Japan are.

It was in 1998 when I returned to Japan to teach English that I was introduced to the most amazing word when a co-worker asked me what my “ikigai” was. I hadn’t heard the word before and was astounded to discover that the Japanese language had a single word to encapsulate one’s reason for living.

Twenty years later, after stumbling upon the westernised “Ikigai Venn Diagram” it became my personal mission to correct the misunderstood perception of ikigai and share with the world what ikigai means to the Japanese. The information on this website and in my soon to be released book is what I hope is the most accurate and honest representation of the Japanese concept of ikigai”

The Story So Far...

Having lived in Japan for 10 years, I developed a deep respect for the Japanese people and an appreciation of Japanese culture. Seeing ikigai misused and appropriated as a commercial endeavour started me on a journey to ask 'What matters?'

As a father, husband, coach and Japanologist the truth matters to me. Respecting the people and culture of others matters to me. Taking a beginner's mindset matters to me. Most of all my famil and friends matter. Many of my family members and friends are Japanese.

This website and the business that it drives is my humble attempt to offer some insight to a unique yet universal concept in a respectful manner to give back to a country, people and culture that has certainly made my life worth living.

Don't Fall For The Venn

You don’t need a Venn diagram or framework to experience ikigai. Ikigai doesn't have to be a skill to develop, a goal to achieve, an amount to earn, or something the word needs from you. Ikigai is more emotional than rational. You just need to listen to your feelings, for they will tell you what makes your life worth living.


Ikigai Tribe is a small community of 'ikigai coaches'; university professors, teachers, psychologists, business coaches, empowerment coaches, and trainers who serve their personal community using the ikigai concept.

We don't take a fist pumping, chest beating, self help guru approach to helping others. Ikiagi is not about "sucking the juice out of life" to have anything and everything you want. Ikigai is a call to action to live life with outstretched arms appreciating the small joys that grace each of our days and accepting the challenges with a focus on the greater good rather than a self serving approach.

Instead of the ra-ra tactics of feeling good about making dramatic life decisions, setting near impossible goals and then announcing them to the world, as Ikigai coaches we approach life and our work with the Japanese spirit.

"It is the Japanese spirit to pursue something in a subdued but sustained manner, rather than, in flamboyant fashion, seek short-lived satisfaction of momentary needs." - Ken Mogi


Françis Cantraine


Francis Cantraine Master Coach


Dr Katharina Stenger Psychologist

Julie Bach


Environmental health coach.

Omaima Mohammad


Ikigai Coach