Ikigai: Learn about this Japanese concept to improve your life

Ailen Berezin 2021-10-19

Have you ever heard of the word Ikigai? If you haven't then you have landed the right place. Ikigai stands for finding a purpose in life and it is a Japanese concept. In this article I am going to share with you some Ikigai books that will help you understand about the true meaning of the word and how you can improve your life. Are you ready?

Ikigai is an millennial Japanese philosophy that has improved the way Japanese people live. Many people believe it’s even the true reason for their happiness and longevity. The Western culture has taken this concept and adopt it as a way of discovering people's path in life. Many teachers use the existence of Ikigai to help, for example, their students find a career or life path.

So, basically Ikigai is the purpose that every person have to wake up every morning and find bliss and joy daily. It is not thought around bigger things, but it can be summarize as seeing a reason in what we do each day.

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The following is a short review of Ikigai Books. Below you can find a deeper and more complete review of each product.

Our Top Pick Ikigai Books

Best Hardcover: Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

Do you know what your purpose in life is? That is actually the definition of Ikigai. You find yours by deeply understanding this Japanese secret. Buy on Amazon

Best for Teens: Ikigai for Teens (EBK): Finding Your Reason for Being

From the same authors as "Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life". This is a bestselling book teen orientated. It is an original idea for a teenager gift. Buy on Amazon

Best for Awakening: Awakening Your Ikigai: How the Japanese Wake Up to Joy and Purpose Every Day

The Neuroscientist and writer, Ken Mogi states that there are five steps or pillars that will help you awake you inner Ikigai. Are you ready to discover it? Buy on Amazon

Best for diet: The Ikigai Diet: The Secret Japanese Diet to Health and Longevity

Takamiya has taken the Ikigai concept into a different level in this book. In "The secret Japanese Diet to health and Longevity" the author applies the Ikigai concept into daily diets that might take you to achieve a healthier life. Buy on Amazon

Best Guide: Ikigai: 3 in 1- Beginner's Guide

This would be a great choice for anyone who is new to the concept of Ikigai. If you are not sure where to start, here's a simple 3 in 1 guide that will help you find your way. Buy on Amazon

Best Journal: My Little Ikigai Journal

What could be best to discover your Ikigai than a guided personal Journal? This book is filled up with questions that will guide you to find your purpose in life. Buy on Amazon

The following is a deeper and more complete review of each product.

Best Hardcover: Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

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Sustainable Warriors Score5 5Buy on Amazon

What I Like

  • Easy to read
  • Clear concepts

What I Don't Like

  • Might be repetitive

Ikigai is a Japanese concept that stands for "Having a reason to get out of bed each morning". It basically refers to the practice of living a purposeful life. The book is based on a trip made by its authors to a Japanese city that is home to the biggest centenarian population in the world.

Both writers, Miralles and Purciver, went on a trip that consisted of interviewing local people from Okinawa in order to understand the true meaning of the word “ikigai”. The book represents a blending of cultures and it has become a true self-help book.

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The book provides the reader with a daily dosage of how to embrace and obtain a healthier and happier way of life. Both authors enlighten us with ten rules that we should follow if we want to pursue a happy life. The rules are: to Stay active and don’t retire; to take it slow; to not fill your stomach; to surround yourself with good friends; to get in shape for your next birthday, to smile as much as you can; to reconnect with nature; to be thankful, to live the moment and to follow your ikigai.

Best for Teens: Ikigai for Teens (EBK): Finding Your Reason for Being

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Sustainable Warriors Score4 5Buy on Amazon

What I Like

  • Simple
  • Well written

What I Don't Like

  • Might not be liked by adults

Here's a new version of the previous book from Miralles and Garcia. This time the book is aimed to atract younger public. It is well known that teenagers might have a hard time when it comes to making decisions. The authors would like to help them discover their path through this interesting book.

Most of the book deals with the concept of Ikigai but, in this case, it is applied to advise young people in many areas of their lives, including school, friendship, romantic relationships, and potential careers. The book also includes quotes from recognized classic writers or modern personalities such as Jules Verne and Tony Hawk. There is plenty of good advice, much of it familiar but no less reassuring to young people who may feel pressured to have everything figured out.

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This is a great book to help teenagers to make decisions career-path related. The words the writers use in this book are simple and could be easily understood. Of course it is focused on the Japanese concept for finding a purpose in life, however it provides with magnificent insights that contributes teenagers in their decision making processes. It could be used by teachers or it could be a nice gift for those teen loved ones.

Best for Awakening: Awakening Your Ikigai: How the Japanese Wake Up to Joy and Purpose Every Day

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Sustainable Warriors Score4 5Buy on Amazon

What I Like

  • Solid based
  • Well written

What I Don't Like

  • Complex words

The author defines Ikigai as an spectrum and not just one thing. He states that Ikigai is a complex concept, as complex as life itself. So he bases his book in the idea that if you want to master Ikigai, you will have to understand, first, how complex life is.

In this book, Mogi says that Ikigai is supported by only five simple pillars: Starting small, Releasing yourself, Harmony and sustainability, The joy of small things and Being in here and now. Ikigai is then, "about discovering, defining, and appreciating those of life’s pleasures that have meaning for you" says the writer. The point he wants to make throughout the entire book is that Ikigai resembles life in a way that every change that you might want to do will be gradual, just as life itself.

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Mogi is a Japanese scientist. He is a senior researcher at one of the biggest Computer Science Laboratories and a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. According to his own personal words, his mission in this world is to solve mind-brain problems. He shows us his insights about Japanese history, philosophy, and modern culture, plus stories from renowned Japanese people. Mogi skillfully shows us the way to awaken your ikigai in this fantastic book.

Best for diet: The Ikigai Diet: The Secret Japanese Diet to Health and Longevity

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Sustainable Warriors Score2 5Buy on Amazon

What I Like

  • Simple
  • Step by step guide

What I Don't Like

  • Not merely about Ikigai concept

Taking the Ikigai concept has gone to a different level here. The Author, Takamiya, takes the concept of having a purpose on life and applies it to food. How is this possible? Well, what he relies on is the fact that Japanese people are some of the healthiest people in the world. Japan is considered to be the country with the longest life expectancy and it is also famous for its macrobiotic diet.

The book is based on the concept that older generations are capable of following traditional diets or healthy ways of eating. These diets will give them the power to live for more years than the rest of the world. What the author claims is that there is a growing population of people who are conscious of their health in Japan. They eat traditional free organic food, macrobiotic food, fermented food, and many of them live in the countryside to lead sustainable ways of living.

Also, they grow rice and vegetables using organic farming, natural farming, and permaculture. These people are the ones who practice the Japanese natural way of living in the present circumstance and, therefore, are the healthiest people in Japan, according to the author. And this is the point where the author uses the Ikigai concept. However, the book does not mention Ikigai a lot.

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Although the book is not about what the Ikigai concept is and how to apply it to our everyday life, Takamiya introduces the concept of IKIGAI DIET as the diet of these long lived ikigai follower people in Japan. In this book you will learn what to eat, what not to eat, and how to eat, based on the secret of the traditional Japanese natural living.

Best Guide: Ikigai: 3 in 1- Beginner's Guide

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Sustainable Warriors Score3 5 Buy on Amazon

What I Like

  • Three in one
  • Step by step guide

What I Don't Like

  • Focused on how to be productive

Not one but Three books to help you find your Ikigai. As mentioned before, Ikigai stands for having a purpose or reason to wake up every morning. This is a guide book that will help you find your Ikigai. What the author states is that once you have found your Ikigai, your life will be full of joy in every small detail. It mixes your passions, talents and your mission in life in a three in one series. The main aim of this book is to help you break down the concept of Ikigai in order to fully understand it and apply it to your everyday life. This book will serve as your ultimate guide to applying the principles and theories of Ikigai to make life more meaningful and purposeful.

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One of the things that I don't really like about the concept the author tries to explain, is the fact that Japanese people do not entirely retire. They keep on working or finding jobs to do throughout their entire life. Then, my question here is When do they rest? Of course if we apply the definition of Ikigai, anyone could find joy in being busy and productive. So, this would be a very compliance concept in the capitalism world. Overall, it is a great choice of books to understand what Ikigai is and try tu fulfill it.

Best Journal: My Little Ikigai Journal

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Sustainable Warriors Score5 5Buy on Amazon

What I Like

  • Inspirational quotes
  • Journal like book
  • Easy to follow

What I Don't Like

  • Not suitable for readers only as it has exercises

More than one hundred pages full of questions, creative tasks and quotes that will inspire you in a guided book to find your Ikigai. This journal is a great book because it takes the reader into account. It will ask the reader about what they love, what they are good at, how they see the world and what difference they can add to this crazy world. You can take a couple of minutes every day to fill it up with your thought and start the journey to find your true purpose in life.

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Journaling is a great way of getting to know what your really want in life. Writing things down will always help you focus on what matter most. This is a great book to achieve the true knowledge of your Ikigai. The book has some great inspirational quotes from known and unknown people that will help you think things carefully. If you are not an active reader, and just want to relax, this might not be the book for you, as it comes with different questions and actions that you might need to follow. Give it a chance and discover your Ikigai.

There are no more excuses on why you do not have a purpose in life. Choose one of these amazing book and start your path on finding your true Ikigai.

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Ailen Berezin

Writer & Content creator - Globe trotter - Book worm

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