Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Wondrous Words: Kaika and Ikigai


While I was browsing the New Words list I keep in my journal, I discovered an odd thing: Out of the eleven new words I've added so far in 2021, seven of them are Japanese words.

I've already shared two wondrous words from Japanese with you this year.

I feel compelled to share two more.

Even when I was in first grade, it was apparent to everyone that my happy place was in a library, with a book.
My kaika had already begun to take root and bloom. I'm the child sitting in the chair.

kaika. 開化. (kuh eye ee kuh). A moment when something begins to bloom within us, setting aside other people's demands to make room for our passion, allowing the reason we feel we were put on earth to begin to blossom. 

Ready for my first day as Queen of the Library. I knew I'd found my ikigai.

ikigai. 生き甲斐. (itchy guy ee). Discovering something we become passionate about and which also comes easy to us and which gives us purpose for living. 

Wow. Imagine if every person could experience a moment of kaika and find his/her ikigai. What a different world we would have.

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.


  1. I love both of these and they are new to me! WOuldn't they be great names for a pet? Or an art studio?

  2. Hi Deb.

    What such lovely sounding words and such beautiful definitions. Serenity and clear thinking, now that's what I could do with by the bucket load right now, before lockdown syndrome gets to me any more!!

    I like the way you also commit your words and thoughts to paper. I have something of a love affair with notebooks and pens, although I doubt I shall ever get around to filling even a small percentage of those I have acquired over the years!

    I have also started 'tagging' my new to me words on my blog, so that I don't inadvertently try and post them twice. I do try to remember all the new words I have learnt, but every now and again brain freeze sets in!

    Thanks for sharing the lovely photograph too, an all-round enjoyable post :)

    Yvonne X

    1. Thank you, Yvonne. It was a happy feeling for me to find these words.

  3. I don't think I've heard either one before. Perfect choices!

  4. Aaah that's so awesome! And the picture sure are the cherry on top of your two wonderful words! I do believe that it's a great privilege to discover your passion and if you are able to live and breath it, you are a very blessed person. I love being a school librarian and I also love the work that I actually get "paid" for. But working with special needs students are more a calling than anything else.

    So yes, I do get to have a privilege life.... My passion is books and reading (I have the library and the blog) and that what gives meaning in my life, is my students. Now if only I could have enough time to get to everything. Today's been one of those days where I've been working straight through from 08:00 and it's now 20:30 and I'm ready to go pass out.

    So glad that you are participating in WWW! Thanks for all the effort and obvious passion you put into this!

    Hope you will have a good week further and take care of yourself!

  5. Two new words for me and I think I have had both of them in my life

  6. Thanks for sharing, I didn't know about kaika. The Japanese language seems to be so specific with so many concepts, totally fascinating

  7. I am watching the news of Texas and no power or water. Are you doing okay? Want to jump on a plane and head to the Pac NW for a dry warm visit?

    1. Thank you so much, Anne. It's so kind of you to check on us. My dad, sister, brother, two nieces, two nephews, one son, and many friends and their families have all been without power and water for days now. It's a mess. My husband and I have not lost power, oddly, so we are doing well. Thank you, Anne. Please send a plane soon.

    2. We are so worried about everyone in Texas right now. Glad you are home with power.

  8. Such wonderful words. Explaining so much in one word.

  9. Fantastic - kaika and ikigai - I can absolutely apply this - I found my love of books and then I found my passion for blogging.
    Lynn :D

  10. Deb, I meant to keep a log of new words for 2021 but, still haven't done this. I did jot down one new one this week - Italian "L'arminuta" = "the returned from a book I finished The Girl Returned which was translated from the Italian. Hope to have my review up in a few days.


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