Seeking my own Ikigai

At the start of the year 2018, I shared and wrote on the changes that I wanted to make for this new year 2018 and setting my goals for year 2018, after reflecting on my year 2017. On the 10th January, the day it was marked as “Another year older (Again) in 2018”, I promised myself that I wanted to get a book on that particular day, a personal goal for myself. I wanted to buy a particular book on that day since it’s a milestone day for me. I went to Kinokuniya Bugis and it was out of stock, I was determined to buy it today and I went Kinokuniya Orchard and I managed to buy it!

A new book – The little book of Ikigai : The essential Japanese way to finding your purpose in life by Ken Mogi. This is going to be a significant moment, one of my goals for year 2018, finding my purpose, finding my direction, seeking a balance in the force.

On that day, 10th January, I started my personal journey of exploration, seeking my own Ikigai (????). Googling for the diagram representing Ikigai, I found a common diagram of four circles, intersecting together. Although it was useful, easy to use and explain, I was looking for something more therapeutic and closer to my heart. In the midst of my Google search, I discovered some gorgeous landscape photographs with the word “Ikigai”.

At that moment, I knew how I wanted to share on my journeys seeking my own Ikigai, through the landscape photographs (most likely using the monochrome landscape photographs) that I took in Hokkaido, Japan.

Flipping the little book of Ikigai, there was a note to the Reader (that’s me!)

The Five Pillars of Ikigai

Pillar 1: Starting small

Pillar 2: Releasing yourself

Pillar 3: Harmony and sustainabiliyy

Pillar 4: The joy of little things

Pillar 5: Being in the here and now

My personal journey of Ikigai exploration and discovery has started; I am finding my own Ikigai.

My Hokkaido Travel Photography Innermost Thoughts

An article that I planned to write before my Hokkaido travel photography trip, somehow, my busy workload and preparation for the Hokkaido travel photography trip stalled me writing up my article. It was kind of a good delay because I was having more thoughts, emotions and feelings after I came back from the beautiful and gorgeous travel photography trip in Hokkaido.

First and foremost, when I knew about this opportunity a few months back, I was very excited and honoured by the nomination and opportunity to visit Hokkaido for a travel photography adventure – Photographers Invitation Program, a familiarisation trip to the Central / Eastern Hokkaido. Before I continue further, I must thank the people/organisations from the bottom of my heart that has nominated me for this Photographers Invitation Program. At times, I do get a loss of words on how to thank people!

While there was excitement and euphoria building up, there was a bit of stress too. The nomination had to be vetted and approved by relevant authorities before we were officially into the Photographers Invitation Program for the familiarisation trip to the Central / Eastern Hokkaido. During this period, I was so busy with overseas work travel for 17 days in the month of October and I just prepared the necessary paperwork as much as I could.

I personally placed extra stress on myself when it comes to photography, the expectations that I expect from myself, the standards that I HAVE to deliver, that I WANT to deliver and I MUST deliver. I have a duty to answer not just to myself and my photography, it’s also to the organisations/people who trusted me, nominated me and selected me for the Photographers Invitation Program to Hokkaido.

Add in the elements of excitement, happiness and euphoria into this stress element, it became a potent mix to my advantage. Upon arriving in Hokkaido and when I started photographing away, it was one of the most beautiful travel photography adventures that I had. Hokkaido is so beautiful and gorgeous! Hokkaido is a great destination for photography, all 4 seasons. That’s always something to photograph!

In Hokkaido, we met Japanese professional photographers who brought us around, showing us locations that they visit. As a photographer myself, I truly appreciate this! The Japanese professional photographers are truly masters in their respective photography fields; their humility and willingness to share are priceless. The Sensei is the best examples of how I must learn and model upon, they are the Masters in photography. It was very humbling experience and a great honour to meet the Sensei and they are the ones that I must learn from on how to achieve and become a Sensei myself to my friends/followers/disciples under my small photography mentorship.

This great band of photographers, a total of 5 of us, that I went with, they were absolutely great folks, fun and spontaneous. Every one of us had own unique strengths, ideas, views and compositions that allowed us to bring the best out of Central / Eastern Hokkaido. We had lots of fun and many group photographs, also a number of me the photographer in action by fellow photographers. It’s not often that I get photographed in action (can be rare to catch me in action!). I will share my fellow photographers links and stories once they are up! There were lots of sharing and helping each other!

I am currently in the process of curating my travel photographs before uploading them and writing up my travel articles. Tentatively, they should be up in the next 2-3 weeks at the following sites for my Hokkaido Travel articles for my Hokkaido Travel Photographs

I think I need to start making travel photography plans to photograph all four seasons in Hokkaido!

Last but not least, once again, I must say a Big THANK YOU to the people/organisations who nominated me and the authorities that selected me for the Photographers Invitation Program to Central / Eastern Hokkaido. Oh yes, I must also not forget to thank the organization/friends who loaned me camera equipment for this trip!

For those who faithfully read till the last line here, THANK YOU too!

 Domo arigatogozaimashita