Emiko Inagaki, a former reporter at Japan’s Asahi Shimbun daily newspaper, chose to live a jobless life in 2016 when she turned 50, leaving her stable job she had for over 30 years.
The Dong-A Ilbo had an e-mail interview with her, who has made headlines with her best-selling books “I Quit My Job” in 2017 and “Lonely Life” this year.
She summarized the changes in her jobless life as (1) regular life; (2) life within the boundaries of a bicycle; (3) simpler life without salaries; (4) less desire and more friends; (5) no weekends (because every day is a day off).
It was a shift in her perspective of life that prompted her to choose such a life. When she was younger, her goal was to get ahead of others. As she turned 50 and entered a latter half of her life, she needed a change of thoughts. “Without assets or money, I became relaxed over everything,” she said. “I have more friends and am freed from the agonies caused by desires running wild. What make you rich is not making money but reducing your desire.”
Her book “Lonely Life” contains vivid accounts about her life without electricity. She lives in the dark at night and purchases groceries every day for the day without a refrigerator. Asked whether such a life was uncomfortable, she replied, “Without electricity, I end up spending less time doing household chores and have become more relaxed.”
Inagaki writes every morning and afternoon. She is working on a book on “happy travels” in foreign countries without speaking their languages. “Waking up in the morning, cooking, talking to guests at a café, writing books… everything is an enjoyable thing and the thing that I want to do.”
Tae-Hun Hwang firstname.lastname@example.org