Book Review

Japonisme Review

On one of my visits to Waterstones Piccadilly, I stumbled upon several Japanese themed books, with so many choices it was hard to see which one would be more interesting for me to read (and also which one I would actually be interesting in applying to myself).

I did try the Marie Kondo one and wasn’t wowed by it, so I have been wary to do this crazy trend thing (mostly because I already only keep useful or joyful things, try to keep things to minimal except books, tsundoku).

Thankfully while I was browsing online the options, I stumbled upon this little gem. (I say little because it is a relatively little book).


Japonisme by Erin Niimi Longhurst

A Japanese-inspired guide to living a happier, more fulfilled life.

Japonisme explores the Japanese art of finding contentment and includes practical tips and tricks to live a happier, healthier, more thoughtful life.
What is your ikigai (purpose)? How do you practice mindfulness in the unpredictability and chaos of everyday life?
From shinrinyoku (forest bathing), calligraphy, ikebana (fl ower arranging) to tea  ceremonies and their approach to food, the Japanese have found contentment through traditions, philosophies, and the practice of art. This book shows how we can all incorporate aspects of Japonisme into our daily lives.
Enhance your lifestyle and enrich your mind by looking at life through the lens of wabi-sabi (the transient nature of life), kintsugi (repairing broken ceramics with gold) or kaizen (habit-forming techniques), in an accessible, practical way.

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I preordered this little book hoping it’d give me a good panorama of Japanese ways and traditions, and I have to say I was not wrong. It does so beautifully, to the point that it includes tips, ideas and little prompts on how to do some of the things (for example, it has a few recipes).

It felt like a very good summary of all the possible philosophies and ways of life that are unique to the Japanese, and as such, it was a great read, it also helped me think which ones I would like to explore more and which ones I didn’t have much of an interest in. (Not that I don’t, just priorities, basically).

All in all a good read, it was relatively quick to read and easy to do so, and it has a lot of pictures which make it easier on the eyes and also to see the things that are being referred to.

Moon recommends

Checking this lovely book out. Otherwise, you can try Marie Kondo’s tidying method, or go search for other Japanese traditions.


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