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haikaiTALKS: a saturday gathering! 8th december - IKIGAI

Updated: Dec 10, 2023

haikaiTALKS: Japanese aesthetics - ikigai - a saturday gathering_under the banyan tree

host: Kala Ramesh

8th December 2023

Japanese aesthetics: Ikigai (ee-kee-ga-ee) A Reason for Being



A reason for being. A direction or purpose in life.

I was greatly excited by the aesthetic concept of ikigai (ee-kee-ga-ee). When translated literally, iki means “life; alive” and kai can be translated as “reason; worthiness; fruitful; effective.”

** But literal translation doesn’t provide sufficient insight into the broader significance of the term, which may be rendered as the purpose or meaning of life, or what makes life worth living.

Keiko Izawa has added:


  • reason for living

  • one's life's purpose

  • what makes one's life worth living

  • motivation for living

  • live for ...

Concrete examples: lifetime jobs, hobbies, child rearing, pets, etc. <>

Linda Papanicolaou says: I have noticed that some people are posting non-person (nature) haiku. If I understand the concept, though, I think it might be better expressed through a person verse because it’s about human topics.


One exaomple of mine:

the breath

in the breath of a forest

i take home

LEAF: #2, November 2023

"It works for me. I certainly understand 'the breath of a forest'-- forests do breathe. The breath in the breath of forest is the one breath that is all breath--yours, mine, the breath of the forest, the breath of the Tao. If you can 'take that home' with you--make it your own, realize it--what a blessing." Jenny Ward Agyal <>

First post: You search and find a haiku that you think has Ikigai

You'll give your reason/s why you think it has this aesthetic nuance. Second post: This will be your first haiku with Ikigai.

Third post: This will be your second haiku with Ikigai.

Please give your feedback on others' commentary and poems too. _()_

Have fun! Keep writing and commenting!

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