Ikigai Quotes

Quotes are a thought-provoking and effective way to offer insight and understanding of concepts that are complex and foreign to us. This collection of ikigai quotes are pulled from the published work of authors and researchers and are responses from everyday Japanese people. I think they will provide you with some valuable insight into how the Japanese relate to ikigai.


ikigai quotes


Ikigai Quotes – What Ikigai Means to Japanese

It seems that the word ikigai exists only in the Japanese language. The fact that this word exists should indicate that the goal to live, its meaning and value within the daily life of the Japanese soul has been problematized. (…) According to the dictionary, ikigai means “power necessary for one to live in this world, happiness to be alive, benefit, effectiveness.”

When we try to translate it into English, German, French etc, it seems that there is no other way to define it other than “worth living” or “value or meaning to live”. Thus, compared to philosophical theoretical concepts, the word ikigai shows us how much the Japaneselanguageisambiguous,but because of this it has an effect of reverberation and amplitude.

M​ieko Kamiya, author of the Ikigai ni Tsuite


The complexity of Ikigai actually reflects the complexity of life itself.

Ken Mogi, author of The Little Book of IKIGAI


Let us now come full circle. What makes life worth living for most Japanese and Americans? It is i​ kigai​, I have maintained, one’s deepest sense of social commitment, most often to one’s dream, family, work, or religious belief. My argument has been that selves in Japan and the United States seek through ​ikigai​ a sense of their social significance and, beyond that, hints if not assurances of their transcendent significance, linking their own meanings to the meaning of life.

Gordon Mathews, author of What Makes Life Worth Living


Ikigai is the action we take in pursuit of happiness.

– Yukari Mitsuhashi, author of IKIGAI: Giving Every Day Meaning and Joy


Ikigai can be defined as ‘a sense of being alive now, an individual’s consciousness as a motive to live.’

– Aikihiro Hasegawa, Associate Professor – Toyo Eiwa University


Young people often say “My life has no ikigai”. This is obvious. People who isolate themselves can’t have ikigai – meaning or purpose. Meaning and purpose is only found in interpersonal relationships.

Tatsuzō Ishikawa


“Find your own IKIGAI by asking yourself how you want to serve your community. If you are undecided, remember your dreams from when you were younger, maybe in your youth. “

Tsutomu Hotta


Our ikigai is different for all of us, but one thing we have in common is that we are all searching for meaning. When we spend our days feeling connected to what is meaningful to us, we live more fully; when we lose the connection, we feel despair.

– Hector Garcia, co-author of Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life


Once you discover your ikigai, pursuing it and nurturing it every day will bring meaning to your life.

– Francesc Miralles, co-author of Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

Ikigai Quotes From Okinawans

Ikigai is a word that changes any hardship into something positive.

– Okinawan resident


Seeing and being surrounded by my children and grandchildren is my ikigai.

– Okinawan resident


With ikigai striving and working hard for the future is never tiring.

Okinawa resident


In Okinawa being happy everyday is ikigai.

– Okinawan resident