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Everything in your power: Modern Uketamo

I think there is a bit of a misconception of Uketamo, the philosophy of the Yamabushi. Uketamo is about acceptance to the core, but if you just accept everything that happens to you, and people know you are doing this, it can be very easy for them to use you. They can just throw stuff at you and say ‘accept this’.

Obviously this is not how the philosophy works. I understand it as you do everything in your power first, and only then is the situation there for the uketamo. This means that if someone is trying to use you, you don’t just accept it, you push back as you normally would. It might be better to say that uketamo is for the retrospective, the things in the past that you cannot change. And equally this is true for the future as well; things that might transpire that you have no power of controlling because they haven’t happened yet, i.e. they are not real and not worth worrying about. But if someone is trying to use uketamo against you, don’t let them. Do everything in your power to have the situation transpire as it normally would, without being used.

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi


Hi, I’m Tim Bunting AKA the Kiwi Yamabushi, a New Zealander who became a Yamabushi Ascetic in the Dewa Sanzan mountains of north Japan. I’m part of the Yamabushido team, and we host life-altering Yamabushi training on the Dewa Sanzan (website link). People come to us for the ultimate mindfulness experience, to reach the next level, or simply connect with nature and themselves.

I’m on a mission to summit all 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata Prefecture to spread the splendour of this fabulous location, and in dedication to all those who lost their lives out in nature, including my father.

On my daily blog I post thoughts of a practicing Yamabushi that I hope people can use to better themselves and live as fulfilling a life as possible.

Sign up to the weekly Mountains of Wisdom newsletter, follow me on social (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Clubhouse, all @kiwiyamabushi), or send me an email via the link below to stay in touch.



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All photos my own. Contact for more. 

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