Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life - Book Review

Rahul Barman


Ikigai: Introduction

It is a book about the secrets of living a long and happy life. Long here describes living above a 100 years. This book dives deep into the lifestyle of the centenarians (people who have lived for 100 years) of Japan and specially Okinawa. Okinawa has the highest life expectancy of any state and or country. The life expectancy of women is 90 and it is 84 for men. This is way higher than any state in Japan or the world.

This book tells the secret of these centenarians and about their daily routines. How they have lived such long periods and still stay healthy enough to take regular walks through the city. It also talks about the purpose in life that every person should have to make himself happy and fell fulfilled.

Ikigai: About the Book

As stated earlier, this book gives insight of what practices does Japanese people do to have such high life expectancy. It gives detailed explanation about the practices, schedules, routines, hobbies and the food the centenarians eat to be happy and live life to the fullest and longest.

The first few chapters tells about finding Ikigai which is the purpose in one's life. The main reason for his/her birth. This according to the writer makes the body want to live more if we find our Ikigai and keep of working towards it. It also talks about working till the last breath. According to the research done by the author, the human body becomes more fatigued and less functionable if we sit around doing nothing. It emphasizes the importance of keeping on working till we can't anymore. It also gives several examples of some of the great people and how they never stopped doing what they loved till they can't anymore, and how they lived a long and very happy life.

The next few chapters brings forth interviews with some of the centenarians and super centenarians (more than 110 years of age). Their daily routines, hobbies and some life hacks. There are many interviews included in the book all from people who have lived for a very long time. It also includes some of the proverbs and sayings these people lived by and how it helped them throughout their journey.

The last chapters includes the diet, exercises: both physical and mental, and some wisdoms of do's and don'ts in life. This part tells us about how to be fit and stay calm and healthy which promotes better life expectancy. It also tells the readers to find Ikigai and some secrets to find them

Should you read it?

I was not a big fan of self help books and this was my first time reading a whole self-help book. But to my surprise the book was very engaging and interesting. The book kept my interest throughout and did not disappoint in any of the chapters. It was very good knowing how people could live up to 100 years and more and still being fit enough to drive a car or to take a walk around the neighborhood. The simple secrets about living long and happy made myself feel very calm and relaxed while reading.

This is one of those books which you can read for hours without noticing the time. It is a gem of a book and I would highly suggest to anyone who likes a good read.


Ikigai: Some Insights

Ikigai was a book that I got to know about by a YouTuber named PewDiePie. He suggested this book and it caught my eye. I was always fascinated by the lifestyle of Japanese people and always wanted to know more about them. I am glad that I took the time to read this book and it did not disappoint.

There were so many things that caught my eye while reading this book. Some of them are -

  • The chapters are very well organized and the size is also just perfect for it to be not very long.
  • The explanation of the terms, methods and the processes are very good and simple
  • The wordings used are not overly complex and is understandable without a dictionary by your side
  • The interviews given in the books are very good and explains lots of points.
  • The amount of research that went into the making of the book can be seen in the chapters. The details, the stats and graphs are all well researched
  • Every fact is backed by extensive research and survey

There are also some more reasons which may not sound natural. It may even sound weird but it made the whole reading experience even better.

  • The book cover is a hard cover with a little mesh like finish. This made me feel like I was reading an antique book
  • The pages was of the book were thicker than what I am normally used to which adds on to the antique feel of the book

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A machine learning enthusiast and a web developer. I love technology and all things related to it. Love writing about tech and sharing the information I gain. As the old saying goes sharing knowledge make the one even more knowledgeable. Currently working as a Trainee Software Engineer.


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