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  • 執筆者の写真Makoto

The Japanese Philosophy of Ikigai: Work and Life🌸

Sakura season is gone as a matter of blink. It's the most beautiful time of the year in Japan and it's my favorite season (although I admit I love the brutally humid and hot Japanese summer😉). This short life of sakura reminds me of life: life is beautiful yet it's very short, and that's why we have to live every moment to the fullest.

Do you enjoy your life? Do you have "ikigai" which makes your life worth living? Often we take our life for granted and we don't think of "ikigai" due to our daily busy life. What's ikigai then?

Ikigai is the things which make your life worth living, and it is explained well in this article, "The Japanese Concept Of Finding Purpose In Life". It's something that you look forward to when you wake up and it gives colors to our life. For me, it's my family, beautiful music, pottery, porcelain, food, and travels. Well, it sounds like I have a lot😂 Yes, I do enjoy my life.

Having ikigai gives me a great switch between my profession and my private life. I gain so much energy and creativity from my ikigai, which I can utilize for my work. I love having these two aspects of my life: "Let's be serious and get things done" and "Let's soak myself all into something that touches my soul, which can be Beethoven, pottery or yummy food".

Doing pottery and porcelain decoration empties my mind, and it takes me to the mind status of "無 (nothing)". Normally I do it for relaxing but it helps a lot if something is bothering my mind. I put my favorite music (these days it seems like Chopin), I start decorating porcelain and I find my mind "無".

I start with a pure white porcelain, and I give life to it. This bowl is Minoyaki and it's produced in an area of Gifu prefecture.

Then I pick designs. Because I miss sakura so much, I decided to decorate with it.

First I clean a piece of porcelain I want to decorate, and I begin the decoration as listening to my favorite music. It's very important to remove water and air between the bowl and pieces of transfer sheet. The areas that contain water or air may burst during the firing process otherwise.

Now I have to put it in my kiln and fire it for eight hours or so. It's always fun to open the door of my kiln. I hope it will bring sakura to my life when it comes out🌸

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