7 Rules for Happiness Japanese Style


During my amazing trip to Japan in November 2008, I had the incredible good fortune of staying with Fukiko Yuki Teramachi in her traditional Japanese home, which she operates as a guesthouse.

Fukiko is a fantastic hostess, who provided me with one of the richest travel experiences I’ve ever had.


I slept on a futon in a tatami-ed room. She cooked me delicious Japanese dishes using fresh produce from her organic garden, dressed me in one of her beautiful kimonos, arranged an interview with a meiko (a geisha in training), and took me on a walking tour of her village, among many other things.Every morning before breakfast we chanted together to her ancestors. She told me the story of her mother’s life.

Fukiko’s own life has not been easy (for one thing, she is a breast cancer survivor). So the simplicity with which she lives, and the peace that surround her are even more inspirational.

If you watch the video below, you will hear me make a little gasp after she demonstrates how to open the door to the main room in her home. I remember clearly the thought behind that sharp intake of breath.

It was this: if we all paid more attention to the exquisite beauty of simple tasks, and to doing simple things in beautiful ways, instead of being so concerned about having more of this and more of that, the world would be a much better place in which to live.

In the few days I was with Fukiko, I made many gaffs and mistakes. I also learned so many things about her, about Japan, about myself, and about life.

Among the lessons were the seven in the video. I hope you enjoy it.