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This Japanese Tradition Will Make You Rethink Your Life

It is dou, and it may make you want to book the next flight to Japan with ANA. They're a Japanese airline dedicated to pushing the boundaries of aviation while always staying humble and sincere.

Dou (道): It's a way of life and a pursuit of perfection that is practiced in traditional Japanese performing arts, fine arts, and martial arts.

As part of their Is Japan Cool? project introducing the world to the best of Japan, ANA is introducing the tradition with inspiring interviews and demonstrations from nine masters of dou. You can check it out here.

But before you think about how this tradition might change your own life, you must know that one does not simply dou.

It is about focus, discipline, and staying connected to oneself.

Dou can also mean learning to find joy and beauty in everything you encounter.

Dou, as it applies to performing arts, teaches that meaning can be conveyed in subtle movements and expressions.

Everything must start and end with respect and courtesy for other people — even your opponent.

And while dou isn't a topic that comes up in everyday life in Japan...

...anybody who has visited Tokyo can attest to the sense of respect for other humans that permeates everything everywhere.

The practice of Japanese calligraphy is a way to experience mindfulness — another philosophy rooted in dou.

And Sado — the Japanese tea ceremony — is a beautiful embodiment of dou values.

A master of any fine art in Japan is dedicated to the pursuit of perfection in their practice.

Dou isn't something anybody can just learn in a day...but imagine if we all tried to live our lives in accordance with some of these principles?

Always sincere, always humble, and always polite. That is the dou way and the ANA promise.

View this video on YouTube

Learn more about dou here, and let ANA inspire you to visit Japan to experience the beauty of this tradition in person.