Putting your house in order

Yamabushi

One important lesson I learned while being a Sendatsu Joshu (Master’s assistant) during Yamabushi training is that putting your house in order is a prerequisite for helping people. Part of that in regards to being a Yamabushi is being able to get ready to move in a short amount of time.

For beginners, there’s a lot to remember during Yamabushi training before you leave for the mountains. You have to remember how to wear the Shiroshozoku (white garments) properly, including the order you need to put things on. Get that wrong, and you may have to start over, a process of undoing which is by no means fast.

You also need to remember what to bring. Mountains are perilous places and they take proper preparation. As an assistant, it’s your job to make sure everyone is prepared, most importantly yourself.

Putting your house in order first has two main advantages; you can lead by example as others are able to copy you, which is the best thing you can do for them, and you can act swiftly if someone does need a little help, without the worry of whether you’re ready or not.

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

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