Ikigai- The Japanese Secret to long and healthy life

Hello readers, I’m back with another book review and Today I’m going to be writing a short review about Ikigai – The Japanese secret to a long and happy life by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles. This book is super special to me because It’s completely different from any other self-help book I’ve read. I love the soothing blue color and the beautiful artwork of the Japanese cherry blossom.

The book Ikigai was co-authored by Hector Garcia and Francis Miral. These two met for the first time at a bar in Tokyo and that is where the book was conceptualized. They went on to travel to Okinawa and Ogimi in particular and interacted with a lot of centenarians and supercentenarians that is people who lived beyond the age of 100 and they’ve documented all of these interactions and researched quite a bit on various western schools of psychology – Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy and so on. And that’s how they came up with this book coming to the premise of the book.

Ikigai is a Japanese concept that refers to the purpose or the meaning of your life. It is beautifully represented with a Diagram in this book. What do you love? What you’re good at? What you can be paid for? And What the world needs? Where all of these factors go inside that is your Ikigai The Japanese island of Okinawa is home to a few of the longest-lived people on the planet and the town of ogimi in particular which is situated to the north of Okinawa is known as the village of Longevity. It boasts of the highest life expectancy in the world. So what is the secret behind this unusually high longevity?

This book dives deep into the lifestyle of the Japanese people living in this region and discusses various aspects of their lives. The initial few chapters of the book talk about the importance of finding your Ikigai or finding your purpose in life.

The Authors observed that amongst all the Japanese centenarians and supercentenarians they had one thing in common that is all of them led a very active lifestyle. Despite their advanced age all of them had a purpose that made them jump out of bed every morning that kept them going. Kept them motivated right from making ceramics to preparing sushi each person had their own individual Ikigai. The authors also go on to talk about Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy, Morita therapy, Nikon meditation. All of these forms are centered around finding the meaning or true purpose in life.

The book then goes on to talk about finding a flow in whatever you do whether you’re working you’re eating, reading, or listening to music. Whatever you’re doing you need to be completely absorbed in that particular activity at the moment and let go of all the distractions around you. In the last few chapters of the book, you’ll read stories and interactions with these Japanese people who have managed to live beyond 100 years of age. Do they talk about what kind of food they eat? How do they incorporate gentle movements into their baby routines? and in general What are the reasons that have managed to keep them alive for this long?

They’ve also beautifully illustrated various gentle movement techniques like Yoga Tai chi shiatsu radio taiso and so on. So that you can also practice them Looking at this book. They also stress the importance of having an antioxidant-rich diet consuming green teas white teas and so on. And finally, the book talks about the Concept of babi Sabi and resilience. I’m sure most of you are aware that in Japanese culture they don’t correlate beauty with perfection. They believe in celebrating the Inherent imperfections because they believe that’s what makes a thing or a person beautiful.

The book explains this concept very beautifully. Now coming to why I love the book so much, It’s because it’s just so simple, not trying too hard to be too philosophical or to be too preachy. It’s just simply stating facts telling you stories of people. So that you can draw inspiration from them and live your life accordingly. It’s not promoting toxic positivity as many other self-help books do. It’s just giving you a simple way of life so that you can live a happier and longer life.

Now what you’ve to do now is after finishing up the book. Let people know what’s your takeaway from the book? The book is 194 pages long and it is written in a very simple and flowing language. So much so that you can even finish it in a single day but I suggest don’t pace it out and absorb it in completely. So that’s about it from me on Ikigai the Japanese secret to a long and happy life. Let me know in the comments below if you read and loved the book And I’ll be back with more such books until then Happy reading.

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