Book Review: Ikigai, The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Francesc Miralles and Hector Garcia Puigcerver

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“ We find our Ikigai by concentrating on what is important, rather than what’s urgent. By constantly keeping an eye on what feels good, we are able to discover what our passion is.” - Mundo Urano


Author: Francesc Miralles and Hector Garcia Puigcerver

Genre: Self-Help Book

Language: English

About the author:

Francesc Miralles Contijoch( born 27 august 1968) is a Spanish writer, essayist, translator, and musician. After finishing his degree, he was hired as an editor by a publishing house that specialized in self-help books. There he was in charge of different collections and wrote all kinds of works under a pseudonym. 

His thirteen months working for the publishing house were so full of incidents that they might, in some ways, be considered equivalent to the military service he hadn’t done; in his first novel written in Spanish, Barcelona Blues, he recounts this experience.

Hector Garcia is a citizen of Japan, where he has lived for over a decade, and of Spain, where he was born. He is the author of several books about Japanese culture, including two worldwide bestsellers, A Geek in Japan and Ikigai. A former software engineer, he worked at CERN in Switzerland before moving to Japan


The Japanese term “Ikigai” or the “art of living” refers to the practice of living a purposeful life concerning a person’s sense of the self. The book Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, written by Francesc Miralles and Hector Garcia Puigcerver, discusses this idea from the author's visit to a town in Japan called Okinawa, home to the largest population of centenarians in the world.

What is “ Ikigai”?

The term “ Ikigai” is explained in various ways. You can describe it briefly as the reason why you get out of bed in the morning. It is the reason for your existence. The French might say “ raison d’etre”. The book also links to certain Western therapies ( such as logotherapy) and may also be a question, such as: “ why don’t you commit suicide?” 

That’s a harsh question, but it forces you to think about what’s important in life. And right there lies the secret to a long and happy life. In the answer to this question, you will find your Ikigai. This is one of the reasons why the inhabitants of Okinawa island are getting so extremely old. 

On this Japanese island, there are more centenarians than anywhere else in the world. Not only are they old, but they are still active and happy, up until a very high age. In this book, the term Ikigai is translated as the bliss of always being busy. Ikigai is a combination of your passion, your mission, and your profession.

Blue Zones

Once you understand the meaning of the word Ikigai, the book tries to explain the deep art of staying young while growing old. It gives the references of 5 Blue Zones in the world where residents of these places live longer than average and secrets of their long life.

Little Stress is good for you

In the next chapter, the book explains how stress, a lot of sitting adds up to your age and makes reduces your life duration. Interestingly it also mentions very prominently that little stress is good for you since it keeps you going. I firmly believe- Being Conscious of Your Daily Routine Can Lead to A Better Life!

Discover the meaning of your life

In the subsequent chapter, it helps you, deep-dive, into discovering the meaning of your life. It is quite evident that the authors stress more on discovering the meaning of life rather than creating one for you!

Finding flow in everything that you do

This part is my most favorite where the author helps you find the meaning of your life, you need to completely immerse into the experience without being distracted by the surroundings and you attain the flow.

Practicing the techniques

The last section talks about the collection of various techniques which help you keep your mind and body intact. It talks about –

- Meditation

- Yoga

- Surya Namaskara

- Tai Chi etc.


The book concludes after introducing another Japanese Technique called- Wabi-Sabi. This technique talks about finding beauty in imperfect, incomplete things. Here flawed is preferred over perfection. Japanese believe that only imperfect, incomplete, and ephemeral things are beautiful because they resemble nature.

My view:

My conclusion is that this book is a nice, entertaining book that reads very easily and quickly and can certainly motivate you to live healthier. I’ve learned some nice tips. However, if you want to read more about the topic of centenarians and if you’re interested in their lifestyle, I can recommend the book “Blue Zone”

I wouldn’t go so far by saying that this book will help you to find your Ikigai. This is something very personal and this can be something very big or something very small. This book is not really about that. 

However, it gives you an idea of how it feels once you’ve found it and explains why it’s so healthy. I can also recommend this book if you’re looking for great insights and inspiration to live healthier and more positively. I’m grateful that I’ve found it.

My rating for the book is 5/5
You can easily buy this book from Amazon: Ikigai

Written By – Prachi Mann
Edited By - Anamika Malik

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