Oubaitori Life

Oubaitori Life: Saitama

Oubaitori Life is a series that celebrates the richness of Japanese philosophy. It follows the lives of different characters and how they would apply Japanese concepts to their daily routines. One-Punch Man’s Saitama has many reasons for forming a specific routine that works for him. Determined to fight an opponent that matches his strength, Saitama suffers from severe depression.

But through adhering to certain principles, Saitama can find ways to manage his depression and improve his mental health. Continue reading “Oubaitori Life: Saitama”

The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Erin Niimi Longhurst

An author, blogger and cook, Erin has built up a reputation for her Japan-centric content. I had the pleasure of chatting to her about the inspiration behind her lifestyle book, Japonisme. Read on to learn about how Erin’s relationship with her grandfather helped her create the book and why Japanese philosophy can be good for mental health. Continue reading “The Kokoro Files: Erin Niimi Longhurst”

Book Reviews

Japonisme Review: An Inspiring Book That Is Dedicated Towards Promoting Positive Mental Health

Looking after your mental health is important, especially in a fast-paced world that is driven by digital experiences. While everyone has their own mental health coping techniques, it’s good to examine different cultures and gain an appreciation for their practices. Japan has a rich tradition of self-improvement concepts, such as ikigai, which is all about finding a purpose.

Erin Niimi Longhurst’s Japonisme provides insight into the rationale behind ikigai and other Japanese self-improvement techniques. By detailing her own experiences through the lens of her heritage, Longhurst has written a fascinating book that is inspiring from a mental health perspective. Continue reading “Japonisme Review: An Inspiring Book That Is Dedicated Towards Promoting Positive Mental Health”

Pop Culture and Japan

How To Incorporate Ikigai Into Your Positive Mental Health Routine

When it comes to looking after yourself, mental health is just as important as physical health. Talking about mental health disorders like anxiety and depression has become easier, but there are many people who still choose to suffer in silence. Finding a way to manage mental health can be tricky, but concepts like ikigai are useful for helping to develop coping strategies.  

A Japanese mentality, ikigai roughly translates to ‘a reason for being’ and is a concept based around a person following their passion and having a reason to get up in the morning. Continue reading “How To Incorporate Ikigai Into Your Positive Mental Health Routine”



Every morning I awaken

to pickle my heart in sake

bury my fingers in koji

plant the sakabayashi above my door

until the bones ache

with the satisfaction of a hard day’s work

Futusu-shu for you, sir

try our Junmai, madam

here’s to your health

a cure for melancholy

distilled happiness inside kikichoko

ginjo-aroma on the breeze

the fragrance of life has never been sweeter

all your worries carried away for another night

surrounded by laughter, love and friendship

is the finest ikigai of all