Kurt Bell

A life of courage, joy and independence.

softypapa’s last video 最後の日本のハイキング – Walking in Japan 日本でのウォーキング

Here’s my last Japan hiking video. I made this video on August 29th, 2013 after flying to the United States to introduce myself to a prospective employer. Though it would take another five months to turn that meeting into a job offer, the experience of pursuit did something which caused my mind and focus to switch from Japan to the new life I desired in California. I made this video a few weeks after my journey to the USA, during a solo hike in a very remote and uninhabited section of the Japan Southern Alps. I’d discovered a large and very active nest of Yellow Asian Giant Hornets (the most aggressive species of giant hornet) nesting in the eves of a dark and silent abandoned farm house, and had stopped to observe them from a safe distance. While seated in the tall grass, shirtless and sweating in the late summer humidity, with the familiar whir of cicada filling the air and watching the enormous yellow hornets patrolling and hunting slowly in the grass near my body, I realized I had changed. My mind was no longer fully in that setting. My thoughts were distracted by the new life I was endeavoring to create for myself and my family. On impulse I pulled out the camera and recorded this short video, not intending it to be my last, though in hindsight realizing it was as good a selection as any farewell video I might attempt to contrive at this late date.

I’d like to thank my friends and subscribers on YouTube for almost seven years of support and sharing. Though my days of exploring as softypapa are now over, I nevertheless plan to continue adventuring through life and taking on new challenges for as many years as I have remaining.


My name is Kurt Bell and I am delighted that you have taken some time to share a little of the experience of life with me. I’m available on social media at the links below and can be reached via email at dinnerbytheriver@gmail.com.

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The Path of WildnessThe Path of Wildness is easy to find
The course of a stream
Leaves blown in the wind
A beast’s track through the brush
And the direction of our first inclination

The Path of Wildness is an answer and response to a prescribed way of life which may leave some individuals with a sense that their living is little more than a series of pre-determined, step-like episodes between birth and death. The stages of living between these events: childhood, adolescence, adulthood, parenthood and senior are themselves natural and in accord with the needs of the species and most individuals. Many find their satisfaction in living this course and to these individuals I have little or nothing to say. Others though long for something more; something innate, genetic and seemingly calling. Adventure and change can give a degree of satisfaction and relief yet even these may seem too tame. To those who feel drawn to something beyond the entertainment and stimulation of senses I offer a walk along The Path of Wildness. Don’t bother penciling the event in your schedule, preparing a pack with goodies and supplies or even inviting a friend along, for this experience is along the course of your first inclination and you must surely always go alone.

Learn more about The Path of Wildness here:



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