The Japanese culture offers a wealth of wisdom when it comes to lessons in life. Consequently, we can glean invaluable insights from their deep-rooted traditions and values, and enhance our lives as a result.

Here are five designs for life we can all learn from the Japanese:

  1. Ikigai – Reason for Being: The Western notion of finding fulfilment revolves around doing what we love and what the world needs. Whereas the Japanese concept of ikigai centres on being present in the moment and experiencing bliss. In short, discovering our purpose and finding joy in the journey itself can lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
  1. Kaizen – Continuous Improvement: Japanese business philosophy Kaizen emphasises continuous improvement. This might mean different things to different people, such as valuing our clients and customers, minimising waste, focus on the journey rather than the destination, analysing data for better decision making, or empowering others to make improvements.
  1. Kenshin – Dedication: In Japan, kenshin represents unwavering dedication and focus. It means wholeheartedly committing oneself to both work and play. After all, striving for excellence and taking ownership of our actions are qualities that often contribute to personal growth and success.
  1. Sonkei – Respect: The concept of sonkei extends beyond mere courtesy. It encompasses respect for others, nature, objects, language, time, and oneself. Cultivating a habit of gratitude and mindfulness towards everything and everyone fosters a harmonious existence.
  1. Wabi-Sabi – Appreciating Simplicity: Wabi-sabi is the art of finding beauty in simplicity and imperfection. Embracing a minimalistic lifestyle, appreciating the present moment, and accepting imperfections can bring about a sense of tranquillity and contentment in our lives. We find beauty in the spaces between things, rather than seeking control.


At La Academia, we offer a captivating range of in-person and online Japanese language learning options. So, get in touch when you’re ready to share more life-affirming secrets from the land of the rising sun, for business or personal use.