Cullen T. Hayashida
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald
Several years ago, a good friend of mine told me that he was now 65 years old, on Social Security and retired. He said he expected to live at least another 20 years or so, but did not know what to do with his life. It felt as though he would be riding his boat out to sea without a heading or a rudder. My friend was without an ikigai. Roughly translated as that which makes your life worth living, ikigai does not have the familiar ring of other Japanese words like gaman (patience), gambari (perseverance) or giri (obligation), which were so often stressed by our forebears. The Sansei generation, however, might find that this word will have greater significance as they begin retiring as baby boomers over the next 20 years.