8 Japanese philosophies that can change life

8 Japanese philosophies that can change life

a book in the shining

In life, we are all in the process of learning. Every new day comes with new challenges and, hence, new learnings. But sometimes we lack the wisdom to handle the situation, or sometimes the wisdom we have is not enough to handle the situation. In such conditions, it is wise enough to borrow or learn from the philosophies of others. Every culture contains something worth learning. As in every culture, people are exposed to different rituals, traditions, weather, atmosphere, and living styles. In total, all these elements contribute to creating a new way of looking at the world. Changing perceptions is the key to overcoming difficult situations or obstacles. Japanese philosophies can change your perspective and enrich your life.

1) Shu-ha-ri:

In life, when a person finds their purpose in life or mastery in any field, it becomes easier for them to live and create meaning out of it. Shu-ha-ri is a Japanese philosophy of learning in which shu, ha, and ri are three different stages of learning.

Shu refers to protecting or obeying traditional wisdom. In this stage, the person has to practice fundamental learning techniques, heuristics, and proverbs while following the guidance of a facilitator or mentor. A person must remain faithful to these teachings and learnings with no deviation. In this process, a person absorbs the discipline and forms that were created by our ancestors. Once a person completes this stage, he proceeds to the second stage of learning.

Ha refers to breaking or diverging from traditional learning. In this process, people detach themselves from the illusion of themselves to understand that they are beyond their traditional boundaries and find new approaches and exceptions by exploring new ideas and experiments. This is the stage of innovation. In this process, previous forms of learning get broken and discarded. After this process comes the third stage of learning.

Ri refers to leaving or being separate from all techniques, forms, and proverbs. It’s a stage of realization that all moves are natural, and there is no traditional technique or wisdom to which all movements are allowed. It’s a stage of transcending rules and limitations and achieving true mastery. This is a creative stage, and here the person acts in accordance with their mind and heart’s desires, not overlooking the law.

Also Read: 11 brutal life lessons that nobody will teach you

2) Mono-no-aware:

When people are in trouble, their problems appear more permanent to them. In the struggle to solve life challenges, what people miss is the opportunity to enjoy life’s small, beautiful moments. Mona na Aware refers to awareness of impermanence. This philosophy helps the person enjoy their life’s small and precious moments, which make life a beautiful experience. This philosophy can be practiced by incorporating mindfulness into daily life.

This term explains that everything in our lives, including our lives, is impermanent. Instead of planning for future problems and challenges, it’s better to enjoy what you have before it’s gone or too late for you to experience. This awareness of impermanence allows the person to get more engaged in their present life.

3) Gaman:

In life, when people experience unbreakable pain because of their subjective perception, sometimes it becomes very hard for them to remain calm in such situations. People fight, argue, and make frantic efforts to make this possible as per their expectations, but it does not work. Sometimes in life, not doing everything and simply following what is their responsibility is the only solution. Gaman is a term that refers to perseverance, or enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity.

This philosophy is rooted in the Buddhist philosophy of accepting the suffering of life as a natural part of life and using it as an opportunity to grow and achieve enlightenment. Practicing Gaman can help develop resilience and the ability to face adversity with strength. In simpler terms, it teaches us to not lose ourselves, no matter how bad things get.

Also Read: Why letting go is important in Life

4) Kintsugi:

In life, people are running after a perfect life where they will have good looks, a high financial backup, a happy family, good health, and whatnot. But they often forget that life is not meant for pleasure; it is meant to create meaning for yourself and add meaning to others lives. It takes a lot of courage to accept life’s imperfections and use them in your own way to make them useful or the beauty of your struggle. In news and social media everywhere, we read and watch about how any person has overcome their struggle or life and become what they wanted to be. It’s their struggle that adds meaning to their achievement. Many people achieve their dreams, but we talk more about people who overcome their challenges, and the process of achieving their dreams was not an easy task for them.

Kintsugi is a process for repairing broken pottery by mending the broken area by joining it with gold, silver, or platinum. This process indicates that breakage and repair are parts of object history; it’s not something that destroys the object. Similarly, individuals in life can appreciate the problems and challenges of their lives, and even when they feel they are completely broken, they have a choice to stand high again by making the best use of their available resources. By practicing this philosophy, people can find peace and contentment in the midst of adversity. This process enables the individual to find beauty in imperfection.

5) Kaizen:

In life, people commonly plan for their big day, big task, and big dream, but what they sometimes forget is that big life events are the sum total of small steps or improvements. The Japanese philosophy of Kaizen refers to continuous improvement. This philosophy is based on the belief that small changes or improvements can lead to significant improvements over time. By practicing Kaizen, a person can develop a growth mindset and make incremental improvements in all aspects of their life, such as work, personal development, and relationships.

Also Read: Father of Psychoanalysis: A Deep Dive into the Life of Sigmund Freud

6) Oubaitori:

In life, we all have experienced comparing our lives with others at least once. This feeling of comparison makes our lives seem so miserable, while others seem to enjoy them so much. But have you ever thought why your situation is different from others? It’s because every individual has their own challenges and learnings as they reach different destinations in their lives. To overcome this habit of comparison, Japanese philosophy has a term known as Oubaitori. Which explains that each flower has a different time to bloom. According to this philosophy, what people can understand is that each individual grows and blooms at their own pace. Every person’s journey is different, so instead of comparing yourself to others, it’s better to celebrate your individuality and uniqueness.

7) Uketamo:

In life, it’s often difficult to accept a person or situation when it is not as we have experienced. Low acceptance can reduce our tolerance for triggering situations, and people can feel they are experiencing mood swings and anger issues because of this. You know why this happens. The answer is because we humans keep indulging in the process of romanticizing our expectations instead of accepting reality.
Uketamo refers to accepting or receiving. This philosophy explains that the earlier a person starts accepting their life, good and bad, the earlier they will live a lighter life. This philosophy encourages humans to receive both the joy and sorrow of life without resistance, fostering a profound sense of equilibrium.

Also Read: Importance of Good Memories in Our Life

8) Shikitogai:

In life, virtues are very important. Shikitogai refers to the Japanese concept of four virtues of conduct. This philosophy says that for living a good life, four virtues are essential: wisdom, courage, benevolence, and sincerity. These life virtues are interdependent and interconnected and cannot exist without the others. By nurturing these virtues, a person can live a life full of compassion, excellence, and integrity. Virtues allow the fulfillment of individual potential.

  • https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/de-stress/7-japanese-concepts-that-can-potentially-change-your-life/photostory/104252995.cms?picid=104253017
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuhari
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mono_no_aware
  • https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/7-japanese-concepts-change-our-life-asif-hussain#:~:text=These%20concepts%20are%20deeply%20rooted,and%20Shu%2Dha%2Dri.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaman_(term)#:~:text=Gaman%20(%E6%88%91%E6%85%A2)%20is%20a%20Japanese,%22%2C%20or%20%22tolerance%22.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen
  • https://reerth.com/blogs/whats-new/oubaitori
  • https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/life-style/japanese-philosophy-uketamo-acceptance-life-9050191/
  • https://en.rattibha.com/thread/1625495910439616525
  • https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/de-stress/7-japanese-concepts-that-can-potentially-change-your-life/photostory/104252995.cms
  • https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/7-japanese-concepts-change-our-life-asif-hussain#:~:text=These%20concepts%20are%20deeply%20rooted,and%20Shu-ha-ri.

Leave feedback about this

  • Rating