(Reproduced from Kinfolk magazine, volume 8.)
“This literally means ‘one life, one meeting/party/gathering/chance.’ It is a word from tea ceremony that reminds us to treasure each moment, because everything happens once in life. This gathering will never happen again in the same way.”
Also see wikipedia.
Life is about people. And people gather, its in our nature. each time we gather, we experience a complex and special moment that will never happen the same way again. Ichi go ichi e is about savouring such moments.
Our travel mantra (see the left hand column of our travel blog home page) says: “Savour the moment, respect the locals, what happens, happens.” Perhaps more than any of the other five Japanese words in this series, we have integrated this one into our lives. One of our most listened to songs when travelling is the Waifs amazing tune, Take It In. It has become an anthem for ichi go ichi e in our lives. If you’ve never listened to it, do yourself a favour, stick it on you music player and when you are savouring an ordinary but special moment in life, strap on the headphones and play it loud. And hopefully you can sing along too.