At Blind Tyger, we take inspiration through the exploration of cultures and ideas different from our own. At the moment, our focus lies in the far East, with the concept of Ikigai. 

In Japanese, ikigai is written as 生き甲斐, combining 生きwhich means “life”, with 甲斐, which means “to be worthwhile.” 甲斐 can be broken down into the characters , which means “armour,” “number one,” and “to be the first” (to head into battle, taking initiative as a leader), andwhich means “beautiful or elegant.”

Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years.

–Japanese proverb

When translated iki means “life; alive” and kai (pronounced as gai) can be translated as “reason; worthiness; fruitful; effective.”  

It is important to note that kai there is a strong association with a challenge and it stems from passion, meaning it is valuable to one’s life and requires effort to pursue it. 

All of these translations could be considered accurate

  • reason to live
  • the purpose of life
  • reason for being
  • the meaning of life
  • reason to get up in the morning or jump out of bed
  • what makes life worth living
  • the thing that you live for
  • happiness of being
  • raison d’être

The Japanese say this is the art of staying young while growing old and the secret to a long and happy life. According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai-or as a French philosopher might call a raison d’être. Some people have found their ikigai, while others are still looking. It is hidden deep inside each of us, requiring a patient search. On Okinawa, the island with the most centenarians in the world, it is the reason to get up in the morning.

Okinawans live by a principle of ichariba chode, a local phrase that means “treat everyone like a brother, even if it’s the first time you have met.
This nurture of relationships, eating in moderation, rest and regular exercise are all part of their longevity, but the heart of their love of life and meeting each new day with the same vigour is Ikigai.

Part of our Ikigai at Blind Tyger is to produce the best combination of flavours with the fermented, infused spirit or distilled drinks that we can find presented in an environment which lets you enjoy them. We think this gives us all satisfaction and a sense of meaning to life.

To view our full exploration of Ikigai in our cocktail menu, click here.