Subscribe to the Mountains of Wisdom Mailer

* indicates required



Wide and shallow, or narrow and deep

In Japan, often the first option is the only option. People are given so much responsibility, often they do the bare minimum, just enough to get the job done. This is such a deeply-entrenched part of the culture now that it’s hard to change things.

I feel that this explains a lot about the work culture here. As it is custom to stay behind until the boss has left (a stupid custom, but whatever), people need things to keep them busy. The best way to do that? Have lots of things to do. The problem with this, as you have probably guessed, is that jobs are only given a half-arsed effort. They are wide (many different jobs), and shallow (only half-arsed).

Now, we all know that half-arsing things is not good. Not only is it extremely unproductive, it doesn’t use the person to their full potential, nor does guarantee a good job gets done (or give the best chance of this happening).

So, what are we to do? The opposite! Narrow and deep! Narrow meaning you are selective on the jobs you choose to do in the first place, not doing things because they are there to be done, but because doing them benefits you in your mission. And deep. Do them well. Narrowing your field of work means you get to spend more time doing a proper job. And if you’re going to do a job, you’re going to do it proper, aren’t you?

So, what chose you? Wide and shallow? Narrow and deep? The choice is obvious.

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


man in green and brown jacket
Accept and Release
trees during day
The Nature in Our Nature
hitchhiking astronaut
The gravity of the situation


Projects are where it’s at
Always respect people


Learn by Doing, Learn by Living
Life and the Barkley Marathon
shallow focus of japanese calligraphy
Hit Publish and mean it


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: