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Author Topic: Meaningful Japanese Words about Life  (Read 437 times)

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Meaningful Japanese Words about Life
« on: September 21, 2016, 05:54:54 PM »
Japanese is quite interesting and when I learn Japanese, I found some pretty interesting words with really deep meaning behind it. So here I would like to share of the them, pretty meaningful and pretty interesting:

1 - Itadakimasu

This is a pretty well-known Japanese word, even for people who haven't learned Japanese before. In simple way, we can understand "Itadakimasu" as "Thanks for the meal" or "Let's eat". However, if we dig in deeper, we can say "Itadakimasu" is somewhat relate to Buddism. The action of clasping 2 hands together with slight head bow can be seen as an act of prayer. In Buddism, all lives are considered to be precious, when you do "Itadakimasu", you have to finish all your meal as a way to express gratitude since the "food" gave it life to you.

2 - Shinrin-Yoku

In English, "Shinrin-yoku" can be translated to "Forest-bathing" (pretty interesting translation). Simply put, this activity is about go into the forest, walk slowly and breathe, submerge ourselves into the nature. As it is proved, "Shinrin-yoku" is a excellent healing way, it can help alot in improving human's health. In term of spiritual idea, it is like becoming one with the nature, relax and put all worries behind for better present, and future.

3 - Ikigai

Are you struggling to find your dream? Are you struggling to find your purpose in life? If that is the case then this meaningful Japanese word will give you a big help. In Japanese Kanji, "Ikigai" means "reason for being", or we can say "reason for living". The more we think about it, the more meaningful things we can see around this word. If we divide this word, we will have "iki" which refers to "life" and "kai" which basically means "realizing what we expect or hope for". We can also translate "Ikagai" as "the thing that makes you wake up everyday", so let ask ourselves: "What give us motivation to get up early and say 'good morning'?".

4 - Yugen

Brace yourself because we are going deep into meaning of one part of Buddism in general and Japanese culture in particular - Yugen. "Yugen" are explained to be awareness of the Universe which triggers the emotion and feeling about the world. Sounds complicated isn' it? To make it easier to understand, first we will have to understand one concept from Buddism which is "nothingness". "Nothingness" does not mean "non-existance", but rather means "everything will constantly changing, some will evolve, some will dissolve, that is the way of the world". In Japanese concept of aesthetic, this means appreciating the constant changes of the world, instead of clinging into the clinging into the forever existance of things, such as the sunset scenery, or gazing at the boat which are gradually disappearing. If we apply this meaning into daily life, we will see that everything around us will constantly change, for this reason, we should focus on our present, instead of clinging into the glory or the sorrow of the past, as everything will disappear, and only present remains.

5 - Hikikomori

"Hikikomori" is actually not a popular Japanese word around the world until recent years. However, in truth, it refers to a real-life situation, or people who locks themselves in their own room, seperating themselves from society. This situation is seen as a extreme state of isolation, the bad part is that it happens more and more nowadays. This might not be the worst in other countries, but in Japan, seems the percentage of "hikikomori" increases so much that Japanese Ministry of Health has to give out a definition and 6 different criterias for "hikikomori". Interesting Japanese word, but quite terrifying at the same time indeed.


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Re: Meaningful Japanese Words about Life
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2016, 06:27:46 PM »
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