When you learn about other languages and words, you discover how other cultures organize the world around them, their perceptions of life, and even their personal universe.
Japanese culture is known for having certain terms that encompass a series of ideas that tend to surprise, captivate, and draw in Westerners.
They invite you to deeply reflect on things and incorporate certain concepts that favor changes, personal growth, an understanding of new perspectives. Above all, they favor cultural and psychological enrichment.
In today’s article, we invite you to do this. We’re sure you’ll find these words to be as interesting as they are curious.
1. Ikigai, your reason for being
Everyone should have their own ikigai. This is a motive, purpose, illusion, or vital goal that gives you the strength and energy every morning to start your day.
As everyone knows, however, not all have discovered it yet. That’s’ why some people spend a long time feeling lost without a course or motivation that can bring them real and tangible happiness.
This is an interesting concept that you should definitely consider.
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2. Kintsukuroi, repairing our wounds with goldThe kintsukuroi philosophy has a lot to do with resilience. This is a delicate and precise art through which you can repair your wounds and emerge a stronger, more dignified, and more beautiful human being.
In Japanese culture, kintsukuroi refers to a technique that attempts to repair broken porcelain pieces.
Rather than discarding them, artists will join those pieces with a putty that contains gold dust.
The cracks are visible, because these veins show the strength of a unique object that tells its own story.
3. Aware, or the sorrow of transience
Life moves quickly and does not wait for anyone. It’s fleeting, intense, and unforgiving. Love sometimes ends and friendships may expire. What seemed safe before suddenly ends, forcing you to start from scratch.
Within all of these processes is “aware,” one of the most transcendent words of the Japanese language.
With it, sadness is transmitted to the fleeting nature of things. In turn, there is the need to continue moving forward and closing doors to open new ones.
4. Majime, the person who knows how to be responsible
In Japanese, “majime” literally means a serious person.
Rather than understanding it to be a spontaneous little jab at someone’s closed or sullen appearance, however, it is above all a reference to their reliable character.
5. Nankurunaisa, one of the most beautiful words
Nankurunaisa is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful words of ancient Japanese.
It refers to a classic idea within motivational psychology, personal growth, and even spirituality in which you are urged to trust in the future.
Everyone has been through times when in the midst of adversity, the only option you have is to trust.
You have to understand that the passage of time, together with your will to act and your spirit, will fix everything and bring new opportunities to your horizon.
6. Gaman, endure the difficulties with dignity
Gaman is another term that’s directly linked to the roots of Buddhism. It proposes a philosophy that will help you see your life in a different way.
This word actually contains several different ideas:
- The capacity for self-control.
- A need to be patient.
- The resistance to endure difficult and complex times.
- A need to be resilient and combine dignity and strength.
- The ability to overcome and to try to do something every day to feel better.
“Gaman” also integrates an equally important and valuable idea: not neglecting others.
You should not be a burden or a bother, but rather an understanding person who can understand those around you even in the midst of your own problems.
7. Wabi-sabi, the beauty of imperfectionsWabi-sabi is another equally interesting term that deals with aesthetics, art, and nature. You can also apply it to your personal situation and daily psychology, however.
It refers to the beauty that exists within the things that seem to be imperfect.
In turn, it conveys the idea that the truly beautiful things are simpler, more elemental and pure, no matter their small defects or imperfections.
It’s something you can apply to your daily life to correct that common obsession with idealized beauty, seeking perfection in your life or with your body, or even your relationships.
Accept that we are all flawed and beautifully imperfect.
Learn to apply these simple but interesting ideas from Japanese culture in your day-to-day life.