Amazing Things About The Japanese Language

Nick Kemp talks about the beauty of the Japanese language, one of the reasons people are captivated in Japan; how Japanese people can encapsulate ideas within a single word.

The beauty of the Japanese language.

One of the amazing things about the language, the Japanese language, they have these words that encapsulate, as you said, all these ideas or a thing. We do understand the complexity of it, but we have to at least explain it in a few sentences in English. 

But Japanese has this ability to encapsulate these ideas and so ikigai is one of them, but we learned about yutori, having this mental space, where you're not overwhelmed, where you're not constantly stressed and worried, where you can consider others, and you have the space to reflect on your life. And we just don’t have a word that encapsulates that. 

Or ibasho, where that's another word, you think that you're at home, or where you can be yourself in a social context. And that's what I love about the Japanese language, you learn these words that represent a philosophy or a psychology, but it is slightly different.

So then you have this joy of discovering what it means in this Japanese perspective. And it's sort of this long rabbit hole, you learn one word, and then through learning that one, you find another word and another and it's never ending.

So it's an absolute joy to study just Japanese words. But then behind all that there's this casual approach that they have, because these words are so embedded in their culture, that they don't make it out to be these big things, which itself is sort of a fascinating angle.

We don't go around saying, “Hey, what’s your life purpose?” or, when do you feel that you can be yourself in a social context, but somehow they can encapsulate those ideas in everyday conversation.