Win a Copy of Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

Ogimi Village, Okinawa

2014 offered the life-changing magic of tidying… 2016 surrounded us with the warmth of hygge… In 2017, discover the Japanese concept of ikigai…

Imagine a world where you wake up in the morning and you’re excited. It’s not a special day - it’s not your birthday, or Christmas, and you didn’t win the lottery - yet you’re buzzing with excitement and enthusiasm. You wake up and you can’t wait to get out of bed and seize the day (yes, we can’t necessarily imagine it either)...

But if you’re the sort of person who can easily imagine waking up every day with that “Christmas morning” sense of excitement, then you probably already at least partially understand or have discovered the magic of the Japanese concept of ikigai. And if not, then luckily a brand new book is on hand to give you some much-needed pointers.

“Ikigai”, or “reason for living”, is a staple concept underpinning Japanese life. The authors of this new guide spent several months interviewing the record-breakingly long-lived residents of Japan’s southern islands of Okinawa to learn their secrets for a long and happy life.  

Japan’s Best-Kept Secret: Okinawa, the Home of Ikigai

Nakijin Castle, Okinawa
One group of people who are definitely already familiar with the benefits of ikigai are the residents of Okinawa. The people of Japan believe that everyone needs an ikigai - a passion, a drive, a raison d’etre, the thing that imparts meaning to your life; a reason to jump out of bed every morning. According to the people of Okinawa, who are the world’s longest-living people, finding our individual ikigai is the key to a longer and happier life.

Authors Hector Garcia - an author and blogger who has lived in Japan for over a decade -  and Francesc Miralles - an award-winning author who has penned a number of bestsellers about how to live well - visited the islands of Okinawa, where they spent several months living alongside and interviewing more than a hundred villagers about their philosophy for living a long and happy life in preparation for writing the book. Check out the photos below to see the cheerful faces of some of the sprightly residents of Ogimi Village who the authors interviewed in preparation for the book.

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret for a Long and Happy Life explains how to find your personal ikigai and shares some of the top tips and secrets from the impressively long-live residents of Okinawa: how they leave urgency behind; keep doing what they love for as long as possible; nurture friendships; live in the moment; join in their communities and dedicated themselves wholeheartedly to their passions and interest.

Win a Copy of the Book 

Ogimi Village, Okinawa

Discover the Japanese secret to living a long and happy life with this internationally bestselling guide, published by Penguin Random House. Already a bestseller in Spain, Holland and Bulgaria, the English translation of Ikigai, which has just been published in September, will bring meaning and joy to all your days by giving you the life-changing tools to uncover your own personal sense of ikigai. 

Those aspiring to follow in the well-trodden footsteps of the Okinawans can pick up a copy of the book from £12.99 from most major book retailers, including Amazon, Foyles, Waterstones and WH Smith; see Penguin’s website for more information on where to get a copy: 

Alternatively, we have a copy of Ikigai: The Japanese Secret for a Long and Happy Life to give away to one lucky SeeJapan reader. To enter, email with your name and address and tell us your favourite thing about Okinawa. We will randomly select the winner on the 7th December, and post the book the following week. Good luck!

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Photo credit: All images in this article are by Hector Garcia.

Okinawan food, Ogimi Village

Ogimi Village, Okinawa

Ogimi Village, Okinawa

Ogimi Village, Okinawa

Ogimi Village, Okinawa