Francesc Miralles Ikigai

We share with you a post published in ‘Deccan Chronicle’ in which you can learn more about our speaker Francesc Miralles:

“Self improvement books on Japanese concepts are having a bit of a moment and chief among them is the bestseller Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life. Centering the book in Okinawa, Japan, authors Héctor García and Francesc Miralles focus on the ways of the residents of this island known for longevity, with more centenarians than anywhere in the world.


How do they live this long? The authors, who spent a few years examining the Okinawan lifestyle – including their diet and level of activity – argue one of the reasons is having a clearly defined ikigai, or “the happiness of always being busy”, of having a passionate life purpose. Originally written in Spanish, the book has been widely translated across the world, including into regional Indian languages. Before taking the stage at the Kerala Literature Festival in Calicut last weekend to discuss the book, Francesc Miralles sat down with me to talk about the ideas that drove Ikigai. Edited excerpts:


What got you and Héctor García interested in writing Ikigai?


I live in Barcelona, and Hector lives in Japan. I was going to Kyoto to find documentation for a novel I wrote. We met in Japan through a common friend and became friends. He is married to a woman from Okinawa, and her father told us that we should, being writers, go to a village in the north of Okinawa that has a Guinness World Record of Longevity and ask the residents why and how they manage to live so many years. So we started investigating the topic, reading medical reports of the residents, their nutrition, the climate, and then got the permission to interview the 100 eldest people in the village. After conducting the interviews, we wrote Ikigai. (…)”

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