079: Lessons From an Entrepreneurial Dewa Sanzan Yamabushi w/ Tim Bunting

podcast Dec 02, 2020

Hey Japanpreneurs, this episode of Small Business Japan is a unique blend of entrepreneurship, traditional Japanese culture and history, rural tourism, and self-development and spirituality.  

Tim Bunting is a certified Yamabushi with more than a decade of experience in Yamagata living near the Dewa Sanzan. Originally from New Zealand, the self-professed nature lover spent many of his formative years in the great outdoors, and truly feels at home amongst the vast forests, sprawling rice fields, and mountains of Yamagata Prefecture. 

For Tim, the Dewa Sanzan holds a special importance as a place to get away from the real world, and back to a simpler time, that he believes is something that could benefit people all over the world. Tim’s interests include Japanese history and culture (he is the curator of dewasanzan.com), coffee, photography, music, and sports such as cricket and rugby. He is also an ASSISTANT PROFESSOR at Tohoku University of Community Service and Science and a FREELANCE TRANSLATOR AND INTERPRETER. 

Their website states: “For millennia, thousands upon thousands have flocked to the DewaSanzan in search of spiritual transformation, the chance to start again, the chance to be reborn. Now it's your turn.” 

They offer pilgrimages and training in English for visitors to the area.  

Uketamo (I accept) - is the underlying philosophy of the self-development that they are promoting. For a period of the mountain training, you are only aloud to respond with “Uketamo.” It’s not only accepting the orders from the head monk, but it’s your way of accepting what life throws at you.  

Although Tim practices Shugendo and Yamabushi rooted in Shinto, he does not consider it religious. You can perceive it in a religious way, but they focus on it being more of a way or life and a philosophy.   

Megurun (to circulate) is the company he works with. Through his website dewasanzan.com, as an affiliate he promotes staying at the local shukubo, or pilgrimage inns, as well as local cuisine. He is developing content creation for that project and hopes to grow that business.  

There are opportunities for entrepreneurs in the countryside.    

Wim Hoff method of breathing techniques, related to building the immune system and misogi waterfall training. 

Yamabushi training helps you accept things you can’t control.  

Act, not just think. Put your knowledge into action.  








 Kanjiru mama ni ikiru 

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