Subscribe to the Mountains of Wisdom Mailer

* indicates required


Hakusan Island in Yura near Mt. Arakura


Japanese lessons

I’ve set up a page for learning Japanese at timbunting.com/japanese. My aim is to help people get to a conversational level of Japanese in the quickest time. I’m doing that by teaching a friend of mine once a week on Clubhouse, and keeping notes on this page.

There is a quick way to get conversational by memorizing key sentences and key vocabulary and simply replacing the words as necessary. I’m not entirely sure what those sentences are, but I have an idea, and the same goes for vocabulary.

I’m not sure what the list is like for Japanese, but in English the most common 1,000 vocabulary will give you about 72% coverage of all English spoken. The next 1,000 words give you an extra 6 or so percent. Which is to say, by memorizing a few key phrases, and the most common vocabulary, you could be conversational relatively easily. I’m assuming the same for Japanese.

The problem with Japanese for native speakers of European languages or people without experience with Asian languages, is the written system is quite difficult. But if you break it up into understandable parts, it can be easier than expected to pick up the characters.

You’ll want to start with hiragana and katakana for sure. These can take about 3 or so hours each with the Heisig method. Kanji takes much longer. It took me about three months to learn Kanji using the same Heisig method. If you want to become conversational though, I’m not sure it’s necessary to remember these. If you’re planning on becoming fluent though, give these books a try.

I’m going to use one blog post each week to dedicate to sharing my knowledge of Japanese from now on. This is just the beginning.

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.



Subscribe to my weekly yamabushi newsletter


painting of a boxer on wall
The ultimate Dojo
man wearing black cap with eyes closed under cloudy sky
Some feelings you can’t outlogic
frozen wave against sunlight
Creativity is your girlfriend


Get on with it
Mt. Chokai
Mountains of Wisdom Early Winter 2021 Update
Lotus flowers
Making the decision


Think nothing of it
Don’t let it get the better of you
When you feel the happiest, what are you doing?


Get In Touch

Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 


All photos my own. Contact for more. 

Share this:

Like this:

Like Loading...
Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: