A path to happiness through the pages of ‘Ikigai’

  • “Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life,” by Hector Garcia

We all deserve to have happiness.

There are many books and people which espouse a method for finding happiness in your life, and they come in all forms and directions. Some are psychological, some are religious, and some take different approaches altogether. Suffice to say, finding what brings joy to our lives has many, many paths.​

“Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life,” by Hector Garcia (a resident and citizen of Japan), is a wonderful addition to the possibilities we can explore in finding deeper satisfaction out of life. In it, Garcia presents us with a cultural philosophy which has been present in Japan for generations: to be busy, and to be focused with enjoyment on what we are busy with.​

At first, this notion may sound somewhat unusual, as there is always that desire to “take it easy” or “get away from it all” as a way to enjoy life. Yet, the ikigai concept is a sound one, rooted in ancient Buddhist philosophy and practiced by many (and in many different ways).​

Garcia does a great job of introducing what ikigai is about, and how it can apply to anyone for whatever activities that keep them motivated to wake up each day. It is more than just about keeping busy. Rather, it is discovering a passion you have which you want to be busy with. Sometimes, that may not even be obvious, and the author provides simple, easy-to-follow suggestions to help.​

This has been a recent addition to our store, and we have been pleasantly surprised at how many people from all walks of life have gravitated towards ikigai. Regardless of your age, or where you are in your life, “Ikigai” is a wonderful, uplifting book that speaks to everyone in a genuine way.


Ed Justus is the owner of Talk Story Bookstore in Hanapepe. Yuriko and Ed Justus are Kalaheo residents. Talk Story Bookstore is open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and until 9 p.m. on Fridays.

  1. harry oyama December 14, 2019 8:37 am Reply

    Right, Ikigai the path to “happiness”, the Japanese sugar plantation workers and their descendants should did a number on native Hawaiians by putting themselves first in a host nation that accepted them and offered economic respite along with avoiding their country demise in WWII atomic blasts and whole scale slaughter in Okinawa when US Marines invaded it.

    Do you see any acknowledgement of this major humanity gesture from native Hawaiians, No. Instead one of their own descendant governor Ige is sending over agents to arrest peaceful Hawaiians on the BIg Island exercising their rights to their lands of which the State will be sued for War Crimes violations.

    These Japanese although only comprise of 17% of Hawaii’s population, yet are skewed in huge percentage that equates to 67% of all State agencies including City employees. It was and still is a racist bias system of Japanese first everyone back to the end of the line.

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