Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Wondrous Words: Ichigo Ichie

 



It's probably too late for me to start learning Japanese, but it's at the top of my list if I end up in the Language School section of heaven. 

I'm fascinated with languages. I'm especially fascinated with words in languages that do not appear to have a good equivalent in English.

One of these words is ichigo ichie.

I ran across ichigo ichie last week in a book called, appropriately, The Book of Ichigo Ichie. I'm fascinated with ideas about happiness, and ichigo ichie is a word that is all about happiness. It is a Japanese word that means the art of making the most of every moment, and that's what this little book is all about.

The authors begin by reminding us that life is impermanent. My wonderful friend and comadre Diana passed away last week. She was my age. I know that life is impermanent.

The authors share the secrets they have found for making the most of every moment from the Japanese---paying attention...listening...looking...touching...tasting...smelling...returning to now...being mindful...slowing down.

Here I go. I'm making the most of every moment. Starting now.



Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered, or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative! It was first created by Kathy over at Bermuda Onion and is now hosted at Elza Reads.




17 comments:

  1. Hi there Debbie! How nice is that. I am going to show it to my husband tonight when he gets home. He travels(ed) to Japan once or twice a year for business and he is going to find Ichigo Ichie fascinating.

    Lovely meaning and I think we can all do with a word like that. I'm not one for tattoos at all, but if I were, I think I might have taken that in the Japanese symbol.

    Thanks for taking part in WWW!! I appreciate it so much!

    Elza Reads Wondrous Words Wednesday

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    1. I'm not a tattoo person (at all!) but I agree that this would be a good word to tattoo. Or to choose as word for the year. Perhaps I will choose it for a word of the week. Let's see where that takes me.

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  2. Having been to Japan I know how hard it is to learn that langage, I did pick up a few and was able to write my name(Bill} and have a chop with that on. It was fun there as people all wanted me to preactice their English with, missed out on gettin a job there so wold hav ehad to learn the language a bit If I had gone there.

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    1. I would love to go to Japan. Even if I couldn't say a thing.

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  3. sounds like the Japanese equivalent of "seize the day!" Great thought

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  4. Hi Deb,

    I am so sorry for your sad loss. The death of a good friend is akin to losing a member of the family and my thoughts are with you.

    I am not so much fascinated by languages, however I am more than a little bit 'nerdy' when it comes to words, so I just had to check out 'ichigo ichie' for myself and I discovered that word can also be treated as two separate words, each with their own meaning.

    However I really like the association with 'seize the day' and can imagine myself shouting 'ichigo ichie' at the top of my voice!

    A lovely word, thanks for sharing :)

    Yvonne Xx

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  5. A lot of students learn Chinese because more and more companies ask for people who know Chinese ! I think for the business world it will be an important language.

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  6. I've read that learning something new as we get older helps keep the brain exercised. I tried it by taking clarinet lessons one year. I will never get an invite from the Boston Pops but it was a great thing to do!
    And I am not implying yu are old! Just saying new learning experiences are a positive thing :-)

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  7. What a wonderful expression -- and way to live.

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  8. Being in the moment and more. Right? Lovely post.

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  9. It's a beautiful expression, one that I adhere to with all my heart :)

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  10. Making the most of every moment - ichigo ichie. I like it. Life is indeed impermanent as we are reminded every day. Condolences on the loss of your good friend.

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  11. I'm very sorry to hear about your friend. It is always a good reminder to make the most of the present moment but it is actually a very hard thing to do in practice.

    I love finding words in other languages that express concepts that don't quite exist in English. At least not as pithily. :D

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    1. I think there are lots of words in other languages that express concepts that don't quite exist in English.

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  12. I really love the idea of making the most of every moment and I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.

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  13. What a bittersweet post. Again, so sorry for the loss of your Comadre. I love languages and have tried various language classes throughout the year. I still dream of being able to be fluent in a third language.

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I love to hear what you think.