Asian studies in Lithuania

The Secret of Centennial Japanese: How to Live Long and Happily

Original language: Spanish
Translated from: Spanish
Authors: Takahashi, Junko
Translated by: Bogušytė, Marija
ISBN: 978-9955-26-727-0
Published in: Vilnius
Published on: 2020
Publisher: Briedis

Junko Takahashi in her book tells the story of Japanese longevity mysteries and discoveries learned from centuries-old Japanese and interviews with them. The book is interesting in that it perfectly reveals the norms of Japanese behavior, a culture that is very different from Europeans. One of them is Japanese isolation in terms of their own feelings, which was one of the barriers at the time of writing this book.

This book is an easy read for those who want to learn more about interesting Japanese culture or try to change their bad habits and maybe even prolong their lives. The author’s insights into telling about elderly are very sincere, and at the same time, very accurate. The book contains advice, opinions of the elderly, thoughts of the author and certain conclusions, which the reader can reject himself if he does not agree with it, because it is only the opinion of one author. The most important thoughts selected in each chapter of the book are summarized in the tables at the end of it, and the most beautiful thoughts of the interviewees are highlighted.

The author separates the standard areas of human life that affect life expectancy into separate chapters. Many of them are very predictable: “diet”, “sport” or “disease”. However, there are more interesting sections, such as “death” and, moreover, “character traits.” These chapters captivate with their originality and reveal the true Japanese approach to life, especially in dealing with sensitive topics such as death.

The book has a lot of common facts about Japan and its people, a lot of statistics and history that explains the commentary of interviewees. It tells the story of Japan’s past and the changes in people’s situation and living conditions that led to the longevity of the Japanese people. Therefore, the reader will not only know the current situation of the Japanese people, but will also be able to compare it with the events of the past. The book is certainly noteworthy because it enriches the traditional human approach to life and introduces other insights that have been pondered and practiced by interviewees for centuries. What’s more, many respondents have a charming sense of humor that further enriches the book.

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU