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  • The Little Book of Ikigai

  • The Essential Japanese Way to Finding Your Purpose in Life
  • By: Ken Mogi
  • Narrated by: Matt Addis
  • Length: 3 hrs and 42 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (508 ratings)

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The Little Book of Ikigai cover art

The Little Book of Ikigai

By: Ken Mogi
Narrated by: Matt Addis
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Summary

Welcome to ikigai, a Japanese mind-set that will change your life. Ken Mogi, a Japanese expert and best-selling writer, reveals all about this mysterious and fascinating miracle that is at the heart of Japan's record-breaking long life, astonishing appreciation of sensory beauty and inherent mindfulness.

It is extraordinary that Japanese men's longevity ranks fourth in the world while Japanese women's ranks second. But perhaps this comes as no surprise when you know that the Japanese understanding of ikigai is embedded in their daily life and in absolutely everything that they do: in their professional careers, in their relationships with family members, in the hobbies they cultivate so meticulously.

Ken Mogi identifies five key pillars to ikigai:

  • Pillar 1: Starting small
  • Pillar 2: Releasing yourself
  • Pillar 3: Harmony and sustainability
  • Pillar 4: The joy of little things
  • Pillar 5: Being in the here and now

The Japanese talk about ikigai as 'a reason to get up in the morning'. It is something that keeps one's enthusiasm for life going, whether you are a cleaner of the famous Shinkansen bullet train, the mother of a newborn child or a Michelin-starred sushi chef. The Five Pillars are at the heart of everything they do. But how do you find your own ikigai? How does ikigai contribute to happiness?

Neuroscientist and best-selling Japanese writer Ken Mogi provides an absorbing insight into this way of life, incorporating scientific research and firsthand experience and providing a colourful narrative of Japanese culture and history along the way.

©2017 Ken Mogi (P)2017 Quercus Editions Limited

What listeners say about The Little Book of Ikigai

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  • JL
  • 04-04-20

Do it

The first audible where the narrator didn’t get on my nerves - I wish he read all of the books on here! The content within this book is something which I feel we should all be taught. The world would be a much better place if we followed this way of life. I hope it inspires you as much as it has for me. Stay blessed :)

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25 people found this helpful

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Eye opening - would reccomend

Loved how the ideas of Ikigai are delivered in this book, I learnt so much about Japanese culture as a bonus. This book feels very personal and I have found it be be immensely helpful in my every day life and daily struggle with anxiety and depression.
On top of that, I love the narration! The reader delivers the perfect amount of emotion and has a soothing tone. Would definitely recommend.

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20 people found this helpful

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A Mindful Listen!

Few words, succinctly delivered with a voice that much enhanced my listening pleasure-

It’s going to take a couple of listens to glean more of the gems put forth in this delicious book of cultural heritage and sage words.

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18 people found this helpful

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First audiobooks

This is my very time reading (listening to?) an audiobook so let me write a small review on the app first. Audible is very simple and friendly to use. As an English learner, I found this very nice to train my listening skills. I’ll definitely continue using this app and see how it works. The book was well-made as well. One day he talked in the radio “My next goal is writing a book in English” and now, it comes true. This book is mainly written about Japanese culture presented by the neuroscientist Ken Mogi, so there are many unique perceptions for even Japanese people like me. There are so many things to learn, and now I’m really looking forward to his future work on English books.

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16 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Strange stuff

I haven't got through all this yet. It is very educative. However, there are some aspects I do not understand. The ingrained need to strive for the best, especially in reference to food, is a puzzle. I am aware of course, that this is seen through Western eyes. My criticism concerns the striving for the best there is with food. My own view is we should not live to eat but eat to live. This obsession with the best seems pernicious to me. Also, I may obtain the most expensive/best there is but I am an older person, and as we age our taste buds are not the same. In theory only those with a developed sense of smell and taste could appreciate this food?. And what of the poor who's lives exist on rice? So much waste in pursuit of the best seems wrong. I realise this is a metaphor for living but what is the true cost to the environment when so many have deserted agriculture. On reflection I think this interesting book opens up more questions than answers. In the end I remember a few facts about Japan such as the low birth rate, decline in marriage and the high suicide rates. Yes I know, an ordered society, fabulous IT systems which allow the old to be cared for for with robots etc etc. Not for me though. I did like the aspect of looking at small things, feeling the day, looking around, something I've always done this since a child. Silence is golden!

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11 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Interesting way to see life

1. The readers voice is very soothing
2. Fascinating facts
3. A way to look at life that I never thought about
4. Give it a go!!!!!

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11 people found this helpful

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A great book

This book was really good. IKIGAI is a great way to live by, and was a join to learn about,

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7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

didnt inspire

i didnt find anything really inspiring in this, but it was quite pleasant and thankfully short

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6 people found this helpful

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I now have Ikigai

Bless Ken Mogi for sharing this wisdom with the world. I now have Ikigai to look forward to each day.

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6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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waste of my time

it was a waste of time, but... my kids now say "ikigai is like listening to Chocolate".
i found the voice too rich, but lovely.
the text: it needed better and more self aware editing.
the text is made up of too many examples of how fabulous Japan that do little to illustrate the principles they are meant to illuminate.
too little on the principles which are then lost to this Japanese travelogue.
i will read more on Ikigai. and it was an interesting if a little forced introduction to some Japanese culture.

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3 people found this helpful