Ikigai: how Japan produces masters of craft like Jiro Ono and Osamu Tomita

Casey Lau
1 min readFeb 17, 2019
Jiro Ono, Osamu Tomita, and Ichiro Sekiguchi of Cafe de l’Ambre.

I love the thought process and dedication of Jiro Ono when I saw “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” and I recently saw “Ramen Heads” and loved it for the same reason.

I’ve always wondered what made people in Japan put their full effort and life into their work. I finally discovered it was IKIGAI — meaning “that what gets you out of bed in the morning” or your “reason for life.”

I read a book on #ikigai and am surprised that the Japanese practice it, not only for career, but for longevity of life as well.

Mainland China is living their 996 culture.

The West like to show off their “hustleporn.”

Meanwhile, the Japanese are not giving AF, because they’ve figured this all out. People are making the best noodles, sushi and coffee while at the same time living a happy and prosperous life.

The diagram above is the distillation of Ikigai and you it’s something I am learning to strive for. I am enlightened and wanted to share more if you’re interested:



Casey Lau

thoughts on everything from startup ecosystems, conferences, anime, video games, comic books, digital entertainment to cats and ninjas.