Japanese Culture and Your Purpose Brand - The Fourth Space

2. Japanese culture and Brand You

Omakase お任せ


This is a word I learned during my 15 years in Japan. A quick Google search shows that it has entered the English lexicon via sushi restaurants, especially in London. Literally translated it means, “I leave it to you” and is derived from the verb, to be responsible. We explore here one connections between Japanese culture and Brand You.

Ordering from the Menu of Life

Omakase is usually a term found at the bottom of the menu in good Japanese restaurants. My own experience of this in Japan is that it is not limited to Sushi restaurants. It is the ultimate acknowledgement of trust between customer and chef. In good restaurants, instead of ordering from the menu, you allow the chef to entertain you with a combination of their knowledge of your preferences; the best seasonal foods; and their own skill set.

Another Japanese word that has entered the English lexicon, Ikigai. Ikigai is similar to the more often used word, purpose, and it extends to a concept of one’s life mission. In keeping with the Japanese theme of this blog, to truly enter a space of Ikigai (生き甲斐, literally translated as ‘life’s value’), I would suggest that all levels of expectation both from yourself and from others be dropped.

Or, as Sanjay Shah would say, allow yourself to operate above the line. Above the line you will find positive emotions, such as joy and happiness, and below the line are more negative emotions, such as anger or jealousy. Allow your emotions to guide you into a space where you are in your full flow and living a life to its ultimate potential.

Japanese Culture and Brand You –  Ikigai


What has Omakase got to do with The Fourth Space? Well, if you are prepared to put your evening’s entertainment, joy and good health in the hands of your favourite chef, why not put your life’s mission in the hands of your own feelings? Have the courage to trust your emotions so that you can find your Fourth Space; your Ikigai; your sweet spot. Your feelings’ “Omakase” is on the menu of life!

Maybe, like in Japanese restaurants, it is at the bottom of the menu, but it is there all the same.
It takes courage to “Omakase” to your feelings and let other people’s opinions and expectations “jog on”, and it is one of life’s greatest gifts.


– Nick Horton, The Fourth Space founder


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