Sunday 20 January 2019

Review ~ ikigai & other Japanese words to live by by Mari Fujimoto and David Buchler

Modern Books
24 January 2019

My thanks to the publisher and also to Alison Menzies PR for my copy of this book

This little book goes beyond the obvious - Ikigai and Wabi-Sabi - to provide concepts for all aspects of daily life. Perfect to dip in and out of, seven categories can be explored in any order and cover the benefits of courtesy, calm, gratitude and a reverence for the natural world. 

My thoughts...

There's something about this small but perfectly formed little book which really appeals to all the senses. Firstly, it's just the right size to hold comfortably and the beauty of its cover draws the eye, not just to consider the artistic effect of the negative space around the central image, but also to contemplate the classic beauty of the snow covered tree which helps to focus the attention on what's to come inside the book.

Harmony, Beauty, Nature, Mindfulness, Gratitude, Time, Respect

Divided into seven broad themes which can be explored in any order, each of the sections compliment each other in quite special ways. There is something profoundly beautiful to be found both in the words themselves and in the way in which they are presented, so that the idea of peace and tranquility is ever present.

After the boisterous activity of Christmas I found this book to be a real tonic. Each of the concepts struck a chord with me but I was especially drawn towards the Mindfulness section and the way in which each thought process is beautifully demonstrated in both words and pictures.

I found it best to read this book quite slowly, as it's not something to be rushed, it's rather more about the idea of considering what you are reading thus allowing the themes, as you read them, to perform their own sense of literary magic. I have a few books which I keep in my arsenal of books to treasure and without doubt, ikigai & other Japanese words to live by is one of those hidden treasures which everyone should have on their special book shelves.

Ikigai is warm and gentle, thought provoking and enlightening and a real oasis of calm in a sometimes deeply troubled world.

About the Authors

Enlightening definitions are provided by Mari Fujimoto, Director of Japanese Studies at Queens College, New York while Tokyo resident and Japanophile, David Buchler complements these with meditations on important themes in Japanese culture. The book also features traditional Haiku & imagery by internationally acclaimed landscape photographer, Michael Kenna. 

Twitter @modernbooks

Amazon UK

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