HomeAnimeAnime QueriesWhat Iyashikei Means? Why Does It Matters?

What Iyashikei Means? Why Does It Matters?

Embrace Iyashikei: The Key to Positivity

In the fast-paced whirlwind of contemporary existence, there’s a common longing for a little escape, a haven where we can unload the burdens of daily life and lose ourselves in a realm of peace. 

Enter Iyashikei, a delightful genre within the anime and manga sphere that extends a soothing embrace of calmness and solace.

Iyashikei Meaning

In the vibrant world of Japanese entertainment, the term iyashikei (癒し系) embraces the essence of “healing” or “calming”. The Iyashikei genre is a uniquely Japanese category found predominantly in manga and anime. 

Iyashikei creations weave tales of everyday life within idyllic settings, characterized by unhurried narratives and a dearth of conflict or tension. These narratives pivot towards the allure of nature’s beauty, the bliss of mundane moments, and the significance of community bonds.

In essence, iyashikei provides a gentle escape into a world where peace and the simple joys of existence take center stage.

Origin of Iyashikei

Iyashikei, a genre cherished by anime enthusiasts, has its roots in the late 1970s but truly flourished as a distinct subgenre in 1995, thanks to two pivotal events in Japan.

The Great Hanshin Earthquake:

Image From Wikipedia

The Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995 devastated Kobe, resulting in widespread loss of life and property. This catastrophe became a turning point, creating an emotional backdrop that made tranquility a sought-after and marketable sentiment.

Iyashikei works, with their soothing narratives, became a means to collectively ease the anxiety stemming from the trauma of the earthquake.

The Tokyo Subway Sarin Attack:

800px Emergency personnel respond to the Tokyo subway sarin attack
Image From Wikipedia

The Tokyo Subway Sarin Attack shook Japan as the Aum Shinrikyo cult targeted the subway system with sarin gas. The resulting shock and fear amplified the need for narratives that provided comfort and solace. 

This marked a crucial moment for iyashikei, as it evolved into a form of storytelling that could help individuals cope with the anxieties and uncertainties of the time.

Therapeutic Escape: Iyashikei

These distressing events, coupled with economic challenges, set the stage for what scholar Paul Roquet termed the “iyashi trend” or healing boom. 

Faced with a desire for solace, audiences gravitated towards stories that emphasized immersive worldbuilding and visual settings over character-driven plots. In essence, iyashikei became a therapeutic escape, offering a gentle respite from the harsh realities of the world.

Difference Between Iyashikei and Slice of life 

Criteria   IyashikeiSlice of Life
DefinitionFocuses on healing, providing a calming experience.Encompasses a broader range of everyday life scenarios.
PurposeSpecifically crafted for relaxation and tranquility.May include various themes, not always focused on healing.
AtmosphereEmphasizes a relaxing atmosphere and nature’s beauty.Can vary widely, from light-hearted to emotionally intense.
ExamplesAria, Yokohama Kaidashi KikouBarakamon, K-On!, Usagi Drop”  

This table highlights the key differences between Iyashikei and Slice of Life genres, emphasizing their respective definitions, purposes, atmospheres, and examples.

Exploring Popular Iyashikei Anime And Manga

My Neighbor Totoro:

What Iyashikei Means? Why Does It Matters?

My Neighbor Totoro is a true masterpiece by Anime Studio: Studio Ghibli’s. This delightful tale, starring sisters Satsuki and Mei, beautifully captures the magic of childhood, rural allure, and the rejuvenating embrace of nature. Friendly forest spirits make every moment extraordinary, offering a soothing balm for the soul.

Laid-Back Camp (Yuru Camp): 

Laid Back Camp Yuru Camp

Follows Rin Shima, who enjoys solo winter camping until she meets the cheerful Nadeshiko. Together, they explore camping and create heartwarming memories.

Non Non Biyori: 

Non Non Biyori Anime

Set in a small town, it follows five students of different age groups in the same classroom. The daily lives of these kids are portrayed in a heartwarming and relaxing manner.


Aria Anime

Set on a terraformed Mars, it follows the lives of gondoliers in the city of Neo-Venezia. The serene atmosphere and beautiful scenery make it a perfect Iyashikei choice.


Barakamon Anime

Experience the charm of Barakamon, a delightful Iyashikei anime centered around Seishu Handa, a talented yet arrogant calligraphy prodigy. 

Sent to the Goto Islands after an incident with a critic, he encounters quirky locals who gradually transform his perspective and reignite his love for calligraphy. 

The Appeal of Iyashikei : Why Iyashikei Matters?

The charm of Iyashikei lies in its unique ability to act as a remedy for the stress and anxiety that pervades our modern lives. Let’s delve into its defining characteristics:

Emotional Comfort: 

Iyashikei serves as a gentle haven, offering an escape from the hectic pace of daily life. Its calming storylines and serene visuals provide emotional relief, creating a comforting experience for viewers.


Within the realm of Iyashikei, there exists a magical gateway to simpler worlds. It beckons us to leave behind our worries and immerse ourselves in peaceful settings, if only for a brief respite.

Read More : 12 Best Anime with Beautiful Animation

Appreciation for Simplicity: 

These works exalt the beauty found in ordinary moments—the gentle touch of sunlight, the whispering of leaves, or the fragrance of freshly brewed tea. By highlighting life’s small joys, Iyashikei encourages a mindful appreciation of the present.

Kindness and Harmony: 

Iyashikei often depicts genuine kindness, compassion, and harmonious relationships. Whether it’s the bonds between friends, family, or the connection with nature, these portrayals strike a chord, resonating with the audience.

In essence, Iyashikei acts as a soothing balm for the soul, inviting us to slow down, take a deep breath, and discover solace in the simplicity of everyday life. 🌸🌿

Iyashikei in Other Media

While iyashikei is predominantly associated with Japanese media, there are a few non-Japanese examples that share similar soothing and healing qualities. Let’s explore some of them:

British Literature: Works by Beatrix Potter:

Works by Beatrix Potter
Image From TheCollector

Discover the enchanting world of Beatrix Potter’s children’s books, notably “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” where comfort and nostalgia intertwine. 

Potter’s endearing illustrations and gentle narratives transport readers to idyllic English countryside settings, offering a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of contemporary life.

American Animation: “Winnie the Pooh”:

Winnie the Pooh

Embark on timeless adventures with Winnie the Pooh and his Hundred Acre Wood companions, where gentle humor, heartwarming friendships, and whimsical landscapes intertwine. 

Whether found in A.A. Milne’s original books or the Disney adaptations, “Winnie the Pooh” encapsulates the very essence of iyashikei, providing a serene and comforting experience.

* Note: It’s important to note that these examples may not perfectly align with the strict definition of Iyashikei, but their shared intent is unmistakable—to offer solace, relaxation, and emotional rejuvenation to their audiences.

Iyashikei-Inspired Music and Video games

Let’s explore the soothing world of Iyashikei-Inspired Music and Video games:

Iyashikei-Inspired Music:

Lo-fi Beats:

Song By Lily Pichu

The surge of lo-fi hip-hop and chillhop has ushered in a wave of laid-back beats. Platforms like YouTube and Spotify now offer round-the-clock lo-fi streams, perfect for studying, working, or just kicking back.

Visionaries like Nujabes, J Dilla, and Tomppabeats have made significant contributions to this genre, ensuring a steady flow of chill vibes.

Nature Sounds and Binaural Beats:

Sometimes, the most soothing melodies are the ones nature itself plays. From the rhythmic pitter-patter of rainfall to the calming embrace of ocean waves, the chirping of birds, and the gentle rustling of leaves, these sounds transport listeners to serene landscapes. 

On another note, the rising popularity of binaural beats—audio tracks designed to induce relaxation—adds a new layer to the world of calming effects.

Iyashikei-Inspired Video Games:

Stardew Valley:

Stardew Valley

This indie farming sim perfectly captures the chill vibes of Iyashikei. You’ll plant crops, raise animals, and forge connections in a serene rural world. 

The laid-back pace, cute pixel art, and a calming soundtrack make it a genuinely therapeutic experience.


Journey Game

Embark on an artistic adventure across a vast desert, guided by mysterious cloaked figures. 

This game is all about exploration, beauty, and emotional connections. With no words spoken, it creates a meditative journey through breathtaking visuals.

Animal Crossing Series:

Animal Crossing Series game

Step into the charming life simulation world where you live among anthropomorphic animals in an ideal village. 

Enjoy activities like fishing, bug catching, gardening, and home decoration. The real-time clock and seasonal changes enhance the immersion, providing a relaxing escape.


Flower Game

Control the wind and guide flower petals through lush landscapes in this unique game. It’s simple yet powerful, focusing on beauty, exploration, and emotional resonance.

The soundtrack by Vincent Diamante perfectly complements the experience, creating a mesmerizing journey.

*Note: whether through music or games, Iyashikei aims to soothe the soul, offering a gentle escape from the complexities of life. 🌸🎶

Read More : Unveiling 10 Best Gacha Anime Games You Can’t Miss

Iyashikei Practices:

Iyashikei practices focus on promoting well-being, relaxation, and inner peace. Let’s explore two popular practices:

Nature Walks (森林浴 – Shinrin-yoku):

rear view of woman hiker sitting on the ground out 2021 08 31 14 41 03 utc
Image from Pendulum Magazine

Embrace the soothing practice of Nature Walks (森林浴 – Shinrin-yoku), deeply rooted in the Iyashikei concept. This form of forest bathing involves immersing yourself in nature to foster tranquility and well-being. 

Phytoncides, compounds released by trees, are believed to have a rejuvenating effect, reducing stress, boosting immunity, and promoting relaxation. Shinrin-yoku encourages a mindful stroll through the forest, engaging all senses. 

Amidst towering trees, the rustling leaves, birdsong, pine scent, and gentle sunlight create a sensory symphony, inducing deep relaxation.

Meditation (瞑想 – Meisou):

meditation for sleep
Image From The Art Of Living

Step into the serene realm of Iyashikei, where the art of meditation (known as 瞑想 – Meisou) unfolds as a gentle practice, extending an invitation to tranquility and mindfulness. Picture it as a comforting elixir, skillfully dissipating the daily stresses and strains, allowing the mind to gracefully settle into a soothing state of serenity. Just like the gentle ripples on a calm pond.

Inhale, exhale—each breath becomes a liberating act, a release of the mind’s burdens, ushering in the present moment with a warm embrace. Iyashikei meditation is the nurturing journey that establishes a profound connection with the inner self, cultivating a harmonious sanctuary of well-being.

The Concept of “Wabi-Sabi” And Embracing Imperfections

Wabi-Sabi is a beautiful and profound Japanese concept that celebrates the inherent beauty of imperfection, impermanence, and simplicity. Let’s explore this philosophy:

Wabi Sabi
Image From Akkaara

Wabi-Sabi Defined:

Wabi captures the beauty inherent in the natural ebb and flow of life, from growth to decay, and in the fleeting moments that define our existence. It finds its charm in the unpretentious and unadorned aspects of our surroundings.

Sabi, on the other hand, embodies the beauty that unfolds with age, weathering, and the passage of time. It values the faded, worn, and weathered elements that add character to our journey.

Embracing Imperfections:

Wabi-Sabi beckons us to embrace the cracks, crevices, and flaws that weave into the fabric of our lives. These imperfections are not blemishes but rather an integral part of our shared human experience.

Picture a chipped teacup or a weathered wooden door. Instead of casting them aside, Wabi-Sabi encourages us to cherish these items for their unique character.

Kintsugi: The Art of Golden Repair


An exquisite manifestation of Wabi-Sabi is kintsugi, an ancient Japanese technique for repairing broken pottery. 

Rather than concealing the cracks, kintsugi elevates them by mending the pieces with lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. 

The outcome is a masterpiece that not only honors the original form but also celebrates the scars acquired during its journey.

Applying Wabi-Sabi:

In our daily lives, we can infuse Wabi-Sabi by:

Embracing imperfections: Whether in relationships, work, or personal growth, embracing our flaws fosters authenticity.

Finding beauty in simplicity: Appreciating the unadorned and uncomplicated aspects of life.

Acknowledging transience: Recognizing that everything changes and nothing lasts forever.


From Wabi-Sabi to Iyashikei Meaning, in this article we tried to cover all the aspects of Iyashikei. If there is anything you have to say, or anything to add in this article, comment down below we will try to reply.   

With this we conclude this blog post. If you like to read more about the terms used in the anime community then Click Here

Founder of ShonenDream.com, is a passionate anime enthusiast dedicated to curating the ultimate platform for anime, manga, manhwa, and manhua enthusiasts.
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