As the token white guy around in many situations, I often notice things that no one else does. One of those things? Where I live in Shonai is extremely insular, that people from the town over are seen as different, most often in a good way though.
There is still infighting between Sakata and Tsuruoka, which actually are so close they touch each other, and these days really aren’t that different (sorry not sorry if I offend anyone by saying that). Infighting in the sense that people say things like ‘Tsuruoka has better restaurants’ or ‘Sakata has more going for it’. But they’re really very similar (amazingly, there is even infighting within Sakata).
In a way, because they’re so insular, the outsiders kind of cancel each other out and that can make it easier to become an insider (if you find that desirable of course).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.
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