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In a 2001 research paper on ikigai, co-author Akihiro Hasegawa, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at Toyo Eiwa University, placed the word ikigai as part of everyday Japanese language. It is composed of two words: iki , which means life and gai, whichdescribes value or worth.
Hasegawa points out that in English, the word life means both lifetime and everyday life. So, ikigai translated as life's purpose sounds very grand. "But in Japan we have jinsei, which means lifetime and seikatsu, which means everyday life," he says. The concept of ikigai aligns more to seikatsu and, through his research, Hasegawa discovered that Japanese people believe that the sum of small joys in everyday life results in more fulfilling life as a whole.
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