Nankurunaisa, one of the most beautiful words in the world

Nankurunaisa is a word that has become popular in recent years. Today we tell you what it means and why it is so philosophical.

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz on November 07, 2021.

Last update: November 07, 2021

In recent years we have seen how Japanese culture has broken down the archipelago’s borders. His discipline at work, his traditions, audiovisual productions, his Kabuki theater, manga, anime and his love of video games are known throughout the world today. Today we talk about nankurunaisa, surely one of the most beautiful Okinawan words in the world.

If you are a fan of Kabuki theater, manga, anime or video games marketed in the Japanese country, you have surely heard it more than once. It is a word that has been exported rapidly, in part because its meaning is so philosophical or momentous. Let’s see how we can translate it and what cultural tradition it exemplifies.

What does nankurunaisa mean?

When you want to think and trust in a promising future, especially after difficult times, the word nankurunaisa comes to many people’s minds.

The word nankurunaisa It is a mantra of the Okinawan language. It is a language that is spoken in Okinawa and other outlying islands such as Tonaki, Aguni, Kerama or Kumejima. First of all, you should know that it is a very old expression, one that according to the researchers has the following meaning:

“Never forget who you are and live for today and tomorrow, never forget to smile no matter how terrible your day has been and remember that the next day the sun will welcome you with a big smile, so do the same”



As you can see, its translation is very complex and spiritual, this is because it is a mantra that summarizes part of the philosophical translation of the island country. This is its full translation, although it was eventually shortened and is sometimes interpreted only as: “In the end, everything will work out.”

The mantra is often quoted alongside the formula makuto soke. When this is done makuto soke nankurunaisa translates as: “If you do the right thing, the true thing, everything will be fine”. It expresses the culture, personality and values ​​of Okinawan natives.



Is nankurunaisa a philosophy of life?

Whoever wishes can adopt the mantra nankurunaisa in your daily life when reflecting and meditating.

As with other words, such as with hakuna matata, nankurunaisa it has become a whole philosophy in the Japanese tradition. Many associate this mantra with a positive attitude, but the truth is that its value goes beyond optimism.

In reality, this short expression synthesizes many ideas and concepts at the same time, especially if we consider its complete translation. Let’s see what ideas are hidden behind it that allow many to consider it a whole philosophy of life:

  • Authenticity: nankurunaisa it is a mantra that motivates you to be authentic. It makes you remember who you are, what you stand for, where you come from, what you have achieved, what your values ​​are and why you live. All this should set the course of your life.
  • Confidence: Perhaps the most important aspect of the Japanese term is found in self-confidence. Based on your authenticity, you should have confidence in what you do or what you expect. It is confidence that allows you to achieve success and happiness.
  • Perseverance: Hand in hand with your authenticity and your confidence, you will be able to strengthen a persevering attitude. Every day you encounter obstacles, but it is perseverance that allows you to overcome them. Without perseverance there is no success and there is much failure.
  • Live the present and the future: Finally, nankurunaisa It teaches you that you should live with one foot in the present and the other in the future. You should always live in today, but remembering that tomorrow will come sooner or later. This is how you control your destiny and your life.

For all these ideas, we do not hesitate to classify this term as one of the most beautiful words in the world. It gives you the strength to find yourself, to have confidence and hope in your abilities, to persevere in bad times and never anchor yourself in a temporary space.

It is on par with other Japanese expressions such as shoganai (for something that cannot be avoided, that is not your fault), aware (to refer to a brief, ephemeral and beautiful moment in nature) or wabi-sabi (find beauty in imperfection). All of these have deep meanings that cannot be translated with a single word in most languages.

Finally, remember that nankurunaisa it’s a mantra. Although it was not born as such, with the passage of time people used it in this sense. A mantra is an expression with a great psychological or spiritual influence. If you wish, you can use it to meditate, to relax or simply assimilate its ideas as a philosophy of life.

It might interest you …