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curious little boy playing with brick


The pure desire to play

遊び心 asobigokoro. The pure desire to play.

This morning I had the privilege of attending a talk where a representative of the Japan Deaf Football team, Takumi Matsumoto, and the first, at least in Japan, wheelchair-bound paraglider, Kenji Kato, were presenting. Both of the presenters were quite remarkable to say the least.

Often when I’m talking to Japanese people my foreignness becomes part of the conversation, and I felt that it might be a similar situation for the two, that people would focus on their disabilities. But the way they spoke was excellent. They both described their disabilities as just part of their personality, and I thought that was a wonderful way to put it.

Kenji spoke fondly of 遊び心 asobigokoro, the pure desire to play. Takumi himself is a football player, it’s in his blood to play.

Asobigokoro is such a strong concept, one that I also wish to share with the world. It’s about being our original selves, but without care for other people’s opinions.

Asobigokoro is something that often comes up in talks with Master Hoshino, often as a way of describing how we can return to our roots, or our time as children when we were free to play (I think he is actually reminding us that we are still free to play).

Today’s conversation was a reminder of asobigokoro, and it made me quite happy to hear it from the mouth of someone who surely has been through so much in his life.

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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Get In Touch

Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 


All photos my own. Contact for more. 

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