How Ikigai Links to Many Aspects of the Japanese Culture

In his book, Nick Kemp presents ikigai in various aspects of the Japanese culture; Ikigai-kan shows how ikigai is present in all areas of life -- be it the arts, a simple hobby -- the things that people do daily.


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Ikigai has a connection to all aspects of life.

Caitlin: I think that was one of the things I enjoyed about reading it as well, just seeing the breadth of ideas. And one of the reasons that I kept saying, oh, yeah, all this research you've done, it's like a dissertation. 

You were finding all of these things that were so disparate, from random, seemingly random corners of Japanese culture, and showing how all of those things were linked to ikigai in some fashion.

You could speak with someone who's doing calligraphy, and they would be just kind of spontaneously talking about, oh, you know, ikigai is a part of this process. 

And it really did make me think, is there something from my own cultural context where I can see this theme, and everything we do, and I couldn't really, and that was just fascinating to me how this is something that's so pervasive, and how you can pick any little bit of Japanese culture or history, whatever, and find, you can trace it back to ikigai.

And you can see where that connection is made. And I loved how you did that, and how you pulled all of these things together and showed that pattern that you can find everywhere.

Nick: Well, thank you. I think you helped me articulate that. But yeah, it is amazing. Isn't it? Just one little word. But it has these connections to all aspects of our lives, especially the meaningful aspects of our life, life-satisfaction, our relationships, our sense of purpose, flow, self-actualization. 

And I feel I've only scratched the surface, like I haven't gone to Japan and interviewed hundreds of people, which is something I hope to do. So I really feel I'm just getting started. So maybe there's a few more books to come.

IKIGAI-KAN: Feel a Life Worth Living

Ikigai is a greatly misunderstood concept outside of Japan. It’s not a word from Okinawa. It’s not the Japanese secret to longevity. It’s not an entrepreneurial Venn diagram framework.

This evidence-based book clears up the misconceptions of Japan's most misunderstood word and culturally appropriated concept and offers an authentic perspective of the concept in the context of Japanese culture.

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