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Ikigai: Book Review

ikigai review

Ikigai Review

Rating: 4/5
Author: Hector Garcia, Francesc Miralles
Genre: Nonfiction,  Self help
Pages: 184

It was not difficult to bump into Ikigai. At one point, this was the first book I would look at in every book store I visited. The word “Ikigai” became much discussed and appeared in a lot of articles. The book name jumped out at me from any list of must-read books that I came across. The final trigger point, when I finally decided to buy the book, was when my Japanese language teacher was teaching us hiragana (one of the three Japanese scripts) and wrote “Ikigai” in Hiragana for us to read it.

Three Reasons why I wanted to read Ikigai

Firstly, I am intrigued by the goldmine of wisdom and knowledge that different cultures around the world have to offer. There’s always something to learn from people different than us. 

Secondly, being a health conscious person, I am always on the lookout for getting enlightened about best practices to follow for a healthy and balanced life. 

Lastly, the book talks about the Japanese concept of Ikigai. Who doesn’t obsess about knowing what their Ikigai is, that one skill that we can earn from, which we also enjoy doing and at the same time that adds value to the world. This book seemed promising to help me discover my calling.


Wouldn’t Ikigai book review be incomplete without talking about what this Japanese word means? Ikigai means a reason for being, a sense of purpose, a realization of what one expects and hopes for or the soul purpose. The book more than meets the expectations by showing the way to uncovering one’s Ikigai! It discusses some very fascinating concepts like achieving a state of flow, wabi-sabi or the impermanence of the world around us, and living in the moment. The anecdotes shared throughout the book are inspiring and add credence to the principles discussed. The best part about Ikigai is that every concept is accompanied by how, why and what.

All the multi-taskers out there, take pride in juggling between activities? Well, that might not be the best practice, after all. And the book presents a plausible rationale behind it.

The overall vibes of the book are very easy and nice. Without sounding preachy or dominating, the authors present 10 tenets to be implemented in life to discover your Ikigai. These principles constitute most of the aspects of life, and lead the way for overall well being: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual.

Having said that, I feel the authors’ firsthand experiences of the Japanese culture and interviews with the Okinawa natives in the book feels incomplete. Though there is no lack of narrations of encounter with the Japanese culture and people, just that they appear somewhat superficial and in lesser detail.


I was hoping that after reading the book, I will know precisely what my Ikigai is, but that didn’t happen. I am still pretty clueless. However, by following the lessons learned in the book, I have a greater conviction that very soon I will discern what my calling is. I got a lot of motivation to bring about certain changes in my life and focus on the essentials like spending time doing activities that lead to mental and physical well being, keeping it simple, giving my best in everything I do, staying away from squandering time, doing more of what I love and eating well. And most importantly, I got a push to start small, but start right away!

The book has also alleviated my apprehensions about not knowing my calling. You know, that feeling when you do certain things (daily chores, jobs) day in and day out, without having much liking for them. Ikigai has helped me on that level too. I’ll take the small steps towards finding my ikigai but at the same time derive joy from things that I do even if I don’t have much liking for them.  Well, easy said. But knowing what to do is the first step. And this time I intend to follow it up with requisite actions.

Did you like the Ikigai book review? If you did, please like, share and subscribe. Are you planning to read Ikigai, if you haven’t read it yet? Do let me know how you found the book and share your own Ikigai review, once you are done reading.

Happy Reading. Chao!

Do you like reading non fiction? Here is a list of some of the best non fictions of all times.


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