Ikigai (生き甲斐) is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being.” It is similar to the French phrase Raison d’être. Everyone, according to Japanese culture, has an ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self. Such a search is important to the cultural belief that discovering one’s ikigai brings satisfaction and meaning to life.[1] Examples include work, hobbies and raising children.[2]

[1] Mathews, Gordon (1996). What Makes Life Worth Living?: How Japanese and Americans Make Sense of Their Worlds. University of California Press.
[2] Sone, Toshimasa; Nakaya, Naoki; Ohmori, Kaori; Shimazu, Taichi; Higashiguchi, Mizuka; Kakizaki, Masako; Kikuchi, Nobutaka; Kuriyama, Shinichi; Tsuji, Ichiro (2008). “Sense of Life Worth Living (Ikigai) and Mortality in Japan: Ohsaki Study” (PDF). Psychosomatic Medicine. 70 (6): 709–715. ISSN 0033-3174. doi:10.1097/PSY.0b013e31817e7e64. Retrieved 2016-03-12.