Unlike the common Western interpretation that focuses solely on career, ikigai to the Japanese can encompass many aspects of life such as hobbies and relationships, in addition to work.
Mitsuhashi explains that ikigai is not only about finding purpose in life, but also about finding happiness in the present moment and continuing to move towards a happier future. The author emphasizes the importance of finding what we love and appreciate in even the smallest details, and encourages us to approach life with curiosity and a thirst for new experiences.
The book explores how by identifying our purpose and passion, or ikigai, we are more likely to lead a fulfilling life, whether it be something grand or humble. Instead of offering a set template, Mitsuhashi guides us to examine all aspects of our lives and appreciate the beauty in the everyday moments that often go overlooked.
Overall, Mitsuhashi brings a unique and insightful perspective to the traditional Japanese principle of ikigai, and the reader is sure to return to the text many times for inspiration and guidance. The author’s deep love and understanding of ikigai makes her interpretation an essential addition to the Western understanding of this meaningful and joyful concept.