How I got featured on the Japanese Prime Minister’s YouTube

It’s not every day you get featured on The Prime Minister of Japan’s YouTube channel.

Today I did.

Here’s proof:

I’m not doing this to show off (OK, maybe a little, but I also understand it’s just one video, not exactly world-changing stuff). Either way, I want to explain how this happened as I think there are important lessons in it.

A few years back I helped start a website, (by help I mean I basically made the whole thing). This website features what I think is the best place in Japan to experience the country’s spiritual side, and the perfect place to come and refresh and get ready for tomorrow.

Well, as part of that, I wrote an article as to why you simply must try Dewa Sanzan Shojin Ryori, the ascetic meals of the region. I spent a long time writing this article, as I had to research not only Shojin Ryori in general, but how it pertains to the Dewa Sanzan.

As with many things here in the Shonai region (a region the size of Tokyo with three Japan heritage sites, the only such place in Japan), this was no easy feat as the area has been highly specialised for centuries now (it was even the basis of The Last Samurai).

Then in October out of the blue an inquiry comes in asking for assistance in creating a video. I inquired deeper, and obviously this was the video.

At first I was asked my credentials, and I shared the Dewa Sanzan Shojin Ryori article along with a bit of my other work. At the time I also asked what I could do to ensure I was accepted, and was essentially told to do what I did (another good lesson)!

And from there, I was selected, and the production process started. A few of the shots are things I told them to get, that wouldn’t have been possible without local knowledge, another advantage of picking me, and another advantage of starting a YouTube channel. I now look out for these shots much more than I used to!

When I started, I had no idea where it would take us. And therein lies the biggest lesson.

If you get the urge to share your ideas in any way shape or form, try and get them out as soon as you possibly can. Don’t let them fester in your brain, let them fester on the page, or in the video, or on the mic, whatever the medium may be! Just don’t let them fester in your head!

Ideas work precisely because they are spread. And they spread because you spread them! Not simply because you have the idea.



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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan

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