I know that kaizen means improvement in Japanese, and although it's mainly used for work / business improvement, I understood its not restricted mainly for business.

From a basic Google translate, looks like Jiko means self. I don't know about Japanese, but the logic of other languages tells me that Jiko Kaizen would mean self improvement.

Is it true?



Yes, 自己改善 (じこかいぜん in hiragana, jiko kaizen in romaji) is a valid literal translation. But if you mean self-improvement suggested by books like this or this, the better-known word for this concept is 自己啓発 (じこけいはつ in hiragana, jiko keihatsu in romaji).

  • Is 改善 a valid choice to express progress in a skill? For instance, would 私は日本語が改善した be correct? And what about 上達, 進行, or simply 進む? – Right leg Jun 4 '19 at 18:41
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    @Rightleg 改善 is not wrong, but it may sound like your initial skill was bad. 上達 is much better. 進行/進む makes no sense. – naruto Jun 4 '19 at 18:43
  • @Naruto is 自己啓発 (じこけいはつ) the word that would be used to title, say, a section in a bookstore for those kinds of books? – squidlydeux Jun 6 '19 at 1:25
  • @squidlydeux It's a word people use to collectively refer to those kinds of books. Here's a corresponding Wikipedia article. As far as I know, the titles of those books don't usually have 自己啓発 (or similar) explicitly. – naruto Jun 6 '19 at 1:35

Maybe more about self-development, but maybe 成長(せいちょう)

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