A life of courage, joy and independence.
This mountain in central Japan was once home to monk-like samurai warriors who chose a harsh life of wilderness solitude over their privileged station in Japanese feudal society. Living alone in caves or rough huts the fighting monks would spend their days meditating and refining their skills at martial arts. Owing allegiance to no master the Yamabushi (literally “Mountain Warriors”) became famous for their mystery, prowess and hard-won independence.
The mountain in this video has long been regarded as holy in both the Buddhist and Shinto (native religion of Japan) faiths. Called Ryuso-san (Mt. Ryuso) the mountain stands like a sentinel over the historic city of Shizuoka on the east coast of Japan near Mt. Fuji. For centuries pilgrims have sought the summit by way of three main routes approaching from the east, west and south. The southern route runs from Sengen shrine (静岡浅間神社) near downtown Shizuoka along ridges toward and eventually up and onto the mountain. It is the longest and most arduous ascent and a route rarely travelled anymore. The mountain ridges you see in this video are where the southern trail reaches the very edge of the mountain (off camera at right) and begins moving up in earnest. Mists and clouds form on these ridges nearly every afternoon as warm, wet air from the sea is channeled up the canyon to cool and condense amidst old-growth deciduous forests covering the steep mountain flanks. Caves hidden in the woods were once home to Yamabushi warrior priests who lived in solitude, meditating and refining their skills at martial arts.
Welcome to the softypapa channel. My name is Kurt Bell and I am delighted that you have chosen to walk awhile with me. I’m available on Facebook and Google+ if you have questions or just want to chat and say hi. I can also be found at the JVLOG forum with other Japan-related content creators. All links are listed below. I look forward to meeting you on-line. Have a great day!
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“Japanese Falls” image included in this video is by the artist Lane Brown. See more of Mr. Brown’s work at the following URL:
Channel Theme Music “Song For Kurt” used with permission by Nowherians. Discover more about the artist and their music at the URL below. Be sure to check out their “Rome Pays Off” recordings.
Channel homepage image “Leaf” by photographer Moyan Brenn.
See more of Mr. Brenn’s photos on Flickr at the link below.