Ichi-Go Ichi-E – The Best of Anthony Bourdain Part 1

Remembering Tony – Part 1

If you follow my work, you know that I often write about legacy life topics in an attempt to inspire myself and others to consciously choose activities that will help us live our best lives possible. I first heard about the concept of Ichi-Go, Ichi-E while watching an Anthony Bourdain episode some months ago — and writing an article about that life lesson has been on my to-do list ever since.

It’s a shame that I waited until Tony’s passing to finally get around to writing it — clearly I have a lot to learn about the Ichi-Go, Ichi-E concept. My hope is that by bringing this life lesson to your attention, you’ll be able to apply it to your own life and reap the benefits it offers.

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series of posts called “Remembering Tony” that focus on sharing snippets that remind us to savor The Best of Bourdain.  

What is Ichi-Go, Ichi-E?

In episode 68 (season 8, show #7) his “Parts Unknown” show on CNN, Anthony Bourdain was again visiting his long-time friend Masa Takayama — the world renown ‘god’ of sushi. During the show, Masa and Tony were sharing a meal with friends and that’s when Masa started talking about concept of Ichi-Go, Ichi-I, teaching us that we must savor the special moments in life because they only happen once…

“Ichi-Go, Ichi-E: In This Moment, Never Again”

The all-knowing source that is Wikipedia naturally has more to say on this concept and it’s actually quite good so I’d like to share it with you. Among the notations about Ichi-Go, Ichi-E are the following:

  1. The important of “treasuring meetings with people.”
  2. Other definitions: “for this time only,” or “one chance in a lifetime.”
  3. Critical Point —” even when the same group of people can get together again, a particular gathering will never be replicated, and thus, each moment is always once-in-a-lifetime.” Masa talked about this very thing with Tony too.

This is sage advice. This is life-changing, life-improving advice!

Imagine how much your life would be improved if you applied the wisdom of Ichi-Go, Ichi-E to the special moments of your life — those special moments that occur every day — if you merely pay attention to them and be present for them.

IchiGo, IchiE … In Pictures

All too often we left the moments of our life pass us by without truly savoring them. Sure we might enjoy them and have a good time, but if we’re honest with ourselves, a lot of the time our minds are elsewhere and we’re not fully engaged. We take the good times for life for granted because while we are living them we foolishly believe that they will occur again and again.

Ichigo Ichie
A moment with a friend | Source – Pixabay CCO

Ichi-Go, Ichi-E teaches us to think differently. It teaches us to recognize life for what it is — a precious gift that is not guaranteed. Once we understand that mindset, we can begin to appreciate the good times even more.

Ichigo Ichie
Savor good times, special people | Source – Unsplash CCO

Whether it’s with family, friends, our favorite pet, or visiting a special place…

Ichi-Go Ichi-E
Man Dog Mountain Life | Source Unsplash CCO

…If you live by the motto of Ichi-Go, Ichi-E, you’ll learn how to suck the marrow out of life and enjoy all that it has to offer — just as Anthony Bourdain did during the time he was with us.

Anthony Bourdain
Ichi-Go Ichi-E, Tony

RIP, Tony. Thanks for sharing your life with us, my friend.

What to Read Next?

Anthony Bourdain Books – The Best of Bourdain Part 2

There is Beauty Everywhere… If You Only Look

There is no guarantee of Tomorrow. Don’t Wait to Enjoy Your Life

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