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Losing your culture, or sharing it

I think Japanese people are afraid of losing their culture, that’s why they fear outsiders and outside influence so much. While I respect that they want to keep their culture, I don’t buy the argument that learning a foreign language or learning partially overseas will lead to a loss of culture.

In fact, I think the opposite. By having their population learn English or another foreign language, they will be able to better express their culture to overseas audiences. As it stands now, the average person learns English for at least 6 years, but only a handful are able to hold a conversation in English. The conversion rate is really bad, in other words. I think the problem lies with the teacher-centered learning and emphasis on passing grammar and vocabulary exams, and their policy to start much earlier.

What I would do, is to make English highly suggested, not compulsory, in the latter stages of either high school or even to start in university. By then students should have more of a desire to learn English, and this way it can be learned much quicker, and much more effectively.

That way the Japanese could better share their culture with the world, rather than having outsiders come and try to learn then take it back, but with their own spin on things (I’m also guilty of this).

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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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 


All photos my own. Contact for more. 

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