Ikigai and Other Japanese Words to Live By

Discover the art of mindfulness through words, phrases, haikus, and photographs that reflect the stillness and meditative nature of Japanese culture.

From the wistful poetry of mono-no-aware, a word that asks us to recognize the bittersweet transience of all things, to the quiet harmony of wa, which knits together all of society’s structures, Ikigai and Other Japanese Words to Live By is an introduction to the intricacies and value of Japanese phrases and concepts.

This book inspires you to incorporate these into your own lifestyle and adopt a more mindful attitude towards stress, seeking meaning beyond materialism. In addition to over 40 Japanese words, Ikigai features musings on places of beauty, community, and time and nature in Japanese thought. Imperfect beauty and reflection are encouraged by way of compelling haikus and Michael Kenna’s black-and-white photography.
Organized thematically into seven sections including Harmony, Beauty, Nature, Mindfulness, Gratitude, Time, and Respect, this book inspires calm mindfulness in a harried world.

About the Author

Mari Fujimoto is the Director of Japanese Studies at Queens College, City University of New York where she teaches and lectures in all aspects of Japanese language, linguistics and popular culture. She believes that learning a language is the first step towards understanding the values and beliefs of a culture. Born in Tokyo, she first visited America when she was eight years old and later studied at Queens College for her bachelor's degree and at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York for her PhD in Linguistics. She now lives in New York with her husband, fun-loving twins and two dogs. 

This website contains affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, you don’t pay a penny more, but we receive a small commission.