Naikan is a structured self-reflection technique that was developed by Japanese businessman and Buddhist monk Yoshimoto Ishin (1916 -1988). NAI means ‘inside’ and KAN means ‘looking’, therefore Naikan translates to “inside looking” or “introspection.

Naikan offers a clear and usable self-relation method to practicing gratitude that is grounded in Pure Land Buddhist tradition. It can serve as both a spiritual practice and pyschotherpedic practice.

It is very compatible with meditation and mindfulness practice and can have a dramatic effect on your relationships with others, creating more harmony and life satisfaction. 

Naikan journaling allows you to see yourself in the same way others do through the process of self questioning. People doing Naikan ask themselves three questions in relation to a family member or some other person during particular times in their lives.

The Three Naikan Questions

Naikan is practised by asking yourself three questions:

  • What have I received from ____?
  • What have I given to ____?
  • What troubles and difficulties have I caused ____?


The purpose of this journal is to encourage you to practice daily naikan. When going through the journal you have the opportunity to reflect on a significant other or on recent interactions and happenings in general.

Along with the three Naikan prompts are quotes from founder Yoshimoto Ishin and current day Naikan authors, experts and researchers to help you further understand the therapy.

Grab your copy of the The Naikan Journal on Amazon!

Scroll to Top