Ichiro Kishimi is a Japanese philosopher, licensed clinical psychologist, and an expert in the Adlerian psychology, something that has had a heavy influence on his works. It is on this principle that his bestseller book, The Courage to be Disliked, is based. Kishimi’s works explore topics such as achieving personal growth, overcoming limitations, and cultivating resilience, all through the lens of the Alderian theory. Kishimi’s focus on the individual’s capacity for self-improvement has made him a leading voice in contemporary psychology and self-help literature.

Fumitake Koga is a renowned Japanese author and public speaker. Koga was born in 1973 and studied philosophy at the Waseda University. Before achieving international recognition for his collaboration with Ichiro Kishimi on the bestselling book, The Courage to be Disliked, Koga worked as a writer and editor for various publications in Japan. Aside from writing, he also organizes lectures and workshops on self-discovery and philosophy.


The Courage to be Disliked is a contemporary philosophy guide that offers a fresh perspective on personal growth and development. The book presents a new interpretation of Alfred Adler’s ideas on individual psychology, supplementing them with ancient philosophical insights. Written as a dialog between a philosopher and a young man, the book is divided into five parts, each dealing with a different theme concerning personal growth.

In Part One, the philosopher challenges the deterministic facets of the human psyche and introduces the concept of separation, emphasizing individual choice and freedom. The importance of social interest is also discussed in this section.

As the dialog progresses in Part Two, the authors delve deeper into the principles of the Adlerian psychology. The idea that overcoming feelings of inferiority and building a positive self-image are key to personal growth is driven home. The philosopher and the young man talk about the importance of accepting one’s own limitations to achieve this.

Part Three emphasizes the significance of living in the moment and embracing discomfort as opportunities for self-growth. The two men discuss the power of acceptance, both of oneself and others, in cultivating compassion and empathy. Part Four encourages readers to break away from social conventions and embrace their unique individuality, leading an authentic life with courage and forgiveness. Letting go of past regrets, the authors contend, is key to shaping one’s own life.

Finally, Part Five examines the importance of discovering one’s own values and goals, pursuing them with conviction and purpose, and making a positive impact on the society. This section offers practical tools for personal growth and encourages readers to embrace their unique selves with courage, forgiveness, and authenticity.


The Courage to be Disliked challenges traditional Western ideas about individualism and instead stresses the significance of interpersonal relationships and community.

The book offers a unique, thought-provoking perspective on personal growth and development. The author eggs the readers on to question their assumptions about themselves and the world around them to take responsibility of their own lives.


The book has an overly didactic feel to it, thanks to its structured dialog format. Some users may find this too repetitive or challenging to engage with, especially readers who fancy a more traditional, expository writing style.


Our perceptions and interpretations of events, rather than the events themselves, are what create our emotional responses.

A person who has the courage to be disliked by others is free.

The only way to truly change the future is to change your interpretation of the past.

The key to happiness is not in acquiring more external things, but in developing a contented mind.

Our feelings are not facts, but rather interpretations of facts.

We are not determined by our experiences, but the meaning we give them.


Ameya Score:

The Courage to be Disliked merits a four-star rating for its straightforward approach and readily implementable practical tools. As such, this book is a valuable resource for scholars, students, and anyone else interested in philosophy, psychology, and personal growth.

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Madhu book review writer at Ameya

A reverential admirer of words, Madhu loves watching them weave their bewitching magic on cozy afternoons.