I am looking for a Japanese word that corresponds to life goal. It does not refer to getting a good salary job, marrying with dream S.O., buying exotic cars, or other materialistic/worldly targets. But there may be a philosophic and existence-questioning version of the goal, maybe purpose of living.

  • .... what? "philosophic and existence-questioning goal" ?? I can't imagine what you mean. a "goal in life" that has nothing to do with jobs, romance, or material.... .... that basically leaves education or personal experiences? it seems like a very esoteric and vague thing to try to define, much less ask about... Jan 7, 2019 at 15:14
  • You have added a 'jargon' tag. If this really is a piece of jargon in a certain field, could you share a link that has its definition?
    – naruto
    Jan 7, 2019 at 15:20
  • @naruto there is no "philosophy" or "term" tag. So it recites a special meaning in philosophical stance.
    – coner
    Jan 7, 2019 at 15:22
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    I'm still having trouble figuring out what you're referring to. So is this a technical/academic term with a formal definition in the field of philosophy, or is this your own wording? Does it differ from person to person, or is it an ultimate goal shared by all human beings? Does it have anything to do with "afterlife" or a specific religious belief?
    – naruto
    Jan 7, 2019 at 18:18
  • 1
    Just guessing, but do you happen to be looking for the word 生き甲斐 (ikigai)? It doesn't mean "life goal", but means "something to live for". It does not refer to materialistic targets, at least for most people.
    – DXV
    Jan 8, 2019 at 4:25

1 Answer 1


I think 自己実現(Self-actualization) is appropriate for the word you are looking for. It means 自己の内面的欲求を社会生活において実現すること. That is "to become exactly what one wants to be". https://kotobank.jp/word/%E8%87%AA%E5%B7%B1%E5%AE%9F%E7%8F%BE-73074

悟り is the word for buddhists.

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