A Shared Journey of Ikigai

Can ikigai be shared? Nick and his close friend, Masayuki Matsubara, reminisce about the time they embarked on a business venture together—an experience that gave them a shared sense of ikigai.

Experiences of shared ikigai

Nick: So we did quite a few things and achieved many things together, what I would call shared ikigai experiences. And so the first was starting this English conversation school together. That was a leap of faith for you to start a business with a total stranger, so why did you start that business with me?

Masayuki: I quickly recognize you as an honest and funky person who is serious about starting business with me. And I don't know why, but I just thought we could get along well.

Nick: We've never really reminisced on this, so it's fun to do this on this podcast. And, yeah, that was a challenging and exciting experience, and we were starting from nothing. So we had to find students, you had to create a website, we had to advertise, create a curriculum.

So it was kind of a high risk for me in a way, because I was leaving a pretty good job. I had a four-day week job with, I guess, a full time income and security in that job, but I just couldn't stand teaching there anymore. And so we both obviously thought this is worth doing.

It was a very meaningful experience, I think. We had lots of fun, we had challenges, and, of course, we had this social dimension to the school because we had all these people from Tajimi, your community, join.

So when I look back on these memories of the school, I now see it was this ibasho for some of our students, their place to be themselves. So, yeah, I think many students came to our school just because it was a carefree, comfortable place where they could meet other people and connect.

So what do you think? Do you think it was an ibasho?

Masayuki: Yeah, that's exactly ibasho for many people. They say they feel comfortable here and they can have relationships with others without family, coworkers, or school friends. This makes them feel safe.