Living Well Around The Open Water

Living Well Around The Open Water

Living Well Around The Open Water

<Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

We have swum many times in Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture of Japan that is near Taiwan. The waters are beautiful and challenging with hundreds of islands, some uninhabited and each dotted with coral reefs.

The longer swims included a 29 km circumnavigation around Yonaguni Island in Okinawa with hundreds of hammerhead sharks in our visual perspective, and a 38 km crossing between Ishigaki Island, Iriomote Island and Tatetomi Island.

Before, during and after each swim, we met hundreds of Okinawa residents whose love of the ocean and passion for what they did in life always profoundly impressed us. They helped us with a smile; they helped us with their knowledge; they helped us with their fervor and eagerness. We always wondered why.

These videos suggest why: the Japanese concept of ikigai (生き甲斐).

When we talk with and meet open water swimmers around the world, we also sense the concept of ikigai is alive and well for those whose lives are oriented towards or centered around the open water community.

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