Skip to content


Do you have a vegetable garden? If not, and if you want to live a long and happy life, you might consider having one.

You’ve just learned one of the “secrets” of the longest-living people. Sorry for the spoiler. It wasn’t that much of a spoiler, though, wasn’t it? We already knew that.

I have been curious about this book for a while given its aggressive promotion and I have become familiar with the Ikigai diagram even before reading the book.

In this read, I expected to find some guidance about how to find your “Ikigai”, which basically is the reason you get up in the morning. 

Unfortunately, there is very little information about the questions you should ask yourself to find your Ikigai and zero explanation of the diagram, and this was disappointing.

It turns out it’s more of a cultural book, which is, of course, still interesting because I love to learn about other and different countries, especially Japan, which has always been at the top of my travel list. 

I like the Japanese style: simplicity and attention to detail, so I enjoyed reading about some examples of people who follow their Ikigai. One of these is Jiro Ono, considered the greatest sushi chef in the world, whose life is presented in this documentary, that is mentioned in the book and that I ended up watching with pleasure: 

Back to the reading, one thing that made me stop and think was pointing out that Japanese architecture doesn’t try to be imposing and perfect, like our European stone buildings and cathedrals, but instead it’s made out of wood as a reminder of the impermanence of the things

Also, interestingly, the book mentions, amongst others, two reads that were already in my “to-read” stack:

In conclusion, Ikigai is a very light read, it feels like a refresher of the basics of wellbeing (including eating good food, doing yoga, keeping your mind active, doing meditation, cultivating good habits, nurturing relationships, etc). Sometimes it’s repetitive but I must say I enjoyed the very organised recap tables. 

In the end, you will know why it’s important to pursue your Ikigai, your true self, which modern times are threatening with the fast-paced and stressful distractions, but if you want to find it, look somewhere else

From Goodreads:

Bring meaning and joy to all your days with this internationally bestselling guide to the Japanese concept of ikigai (pronounced ee-key-guy)—the happiness of always being busy—as revealed by the daily habits of the world’s longest-living people.