The Japanese people have a term tokowaka (forever young), and to be forever young, they believe that people should keep learning. Ken Mogi explains that when people learn something new, they also discover something new about themselves, feeling forever young because of constant change. Hence, they can understand and know themselves better -- having harmony within themselves.
You become a new self through learning.
Nick: How important do you think it is that we have this curiosity and this desire to continually learn?
Ken: Yeah, so this nagomido, actually, I coined this. I think, because if I Googled this word, when I finished writing the book, there were no matches, except mine. So I think it is a new word.
But anyway, I think it's very important. Like judo, Judo is actually when you try to establish a dynamic nagomi with your opponent. In Judo, you have a thing in Judo, which literally means, if you're flexible, you can defeat a strong person. That is the whole idea of judo, Ju, literally meaning, being flexible, balanced, and in peace.
So there's this idea that even when you are facing your opponent, you really need to establish nagomi. And so the same applies to learning too, I mean, in Japan, we have this concept of forever young, tokowaka.
In order to stay forever young, you really need to keep learning all your life. That is also really great to ameliorate and prevent dementia, and Alzheimer's disease, which is really probably the most single important issue related to brain health today.
I think it is very important to keep on learning, finding nagomi within yourself, because, you know, this is something quite profound, I think, and something that I probably didn't articulate so much as I hoped, in my book.
Which is, when you learn something, for example, when you went to Japan, you do experience many, many things. But in that process, you try to establish a nagomi with your new self. You know what I mean?
I mean, you become a new self through learning. That's what happened when I went to the UK. I really love to learn the British sense of humour. I know Boris Johnson is having trouble in London.
Even in these cases, when you listen to people's conversations, there's a touch of humour in what the British people say. And of course, Australia is very much culturally related to Britain.So I'm sure there will be an Australian equivalent of British humour, Australian humour? I mean, when I went to the UK, I really found a new nagomi with my new self. In that sense, you become forever young, because you are constantly changing.