The Importance of Nagomi (Harmony) in Japanese Culture

Ken Mogi recently released a new book, The Way of Nagomi: Live Harmoniously the Japanese Way; his book focuses on the importance of the concept of nagomi (harmony). For Ken, nagomi is similar to love, as it is one of the most important things to have in our life.

Nagomi is an important concept in Japanese culture and history.

Nick: Why did you choose nagomi as the subject of your latest book?

Ken: I know it's kind of a difficult word to understand at the beginning, but I do believe that nagomi is actually what, for example, love is to many people. I mean, when you think about life, there are many values like money, social status, work, and so on.

But many people would agree that love is one of the most important things from which all your pleasures and motivations would arise. Nagomi is something like that, I mean, nagomi is a really important concept. The important concept in Japanese history, culture, and so on. 

So all these wonderful ideas coming from Japan, for example, ikigai, Ichigo ichie, Kintsugi, Gaman, or Kodawari -- all these things. I mean, these things actually can be considered as coming from this simple, one idea, nagomi.

So nagomi is that important, it is in the first Constitution of Japan, and in the seventh article of the Constitution back in eight hundreds, I don't recall, I'm not really great with historical numbers. And it is the name of the train that the Emperor rides on. It's a specially designed, really wonderful train, and the name is Nagomi

So nagomi is actually many things -- it is harmony, balance, and so on. I think it's really important to understand this concept if you're interested in Japanese philosophy of life and culture.