In 2011, Mr. Takeharu Kato was working in Hakuhodo, but was in search of something more powerful, something with more meaning. He moved to Tsuruoka-city and launched Megurun Inc., a company aimed at promoting the wonder of the region, in particular, Yamabushi-oriented activities and philosophy. Megurun Inc. is dedicated to promoting the local area in a global context. And to promoting the use of renewable energy to enable a sustainable life.
Tim Bunting is a certified Yamabushi with almost a decade worth of experience in Yamagata living near the Dewa Sanzan. Originally from New Zealand, the self-professed nature lover spent many of his formative years in the great outdoors, and truly feels at home amongst the vast forests, sprawling rice fields, and mountains of Yamagata Prefecture. For Tim, the Dewa Sanzan holds a special importance as a place to get away from the real world, and back to a simpler time, that he believes is something that could benefit people from the world over. Tim’s interests include Japanese history and culture (he is the curator of dewasanzan.com), coffee, photography, music, and …
Born in Nagoya, Maiko Ito has had extensive experience abroad, studying at Newcastle University during her youth and living in Texas before moving to Tsuruoka in 2014. Career-wise, Maiko has worked at Fuji Electric Global, and ETIC, an NPO supporting youth through internships and social businesses. While in Tsuruoka, Maiko has helped with the establishment of a startup, and set up Work Life Shift, a consultancy aimed at Human Resources development and organisational reform. Her mission is to connect regional companies that have future-oriented work practices with the right people to create new value.
Born in Tokyo, Mr. Shinozaki had an isolated childhood, living as a hikikomori (shut-in), seeking meaning for his existence. After reading “Philosophy For Kids”, by Hitoshi Nagai, he acknowledged his uniqueness and his place in the universe. He went on to study philosophy in university, and later took a job in sales. He encountered zazen through his kyudo (Japanese archery) teacher, where he also met his future wife. His wife is of the family of the local Zen temple, Jizoin, and when his father-in-law fell ill, he started zazen training in earnest, to be able to fulfill the role of successor. He came to Zenpoji for his training in March …
Born locally, Mr. Ueno is the youngest son in the family of monks of a Zen temple in Kobato, Tsuruoka City. After graduating from university, he worked for a time in Tokyo, as a designer in an automotive parts company. In his workplace, he encountered some misunderstanding with a colleague, and was browsing for some advice in a bookstore, when he found some words of Zen wisdom in a self-help book. These words prompted a gradual recognition of his relationship to his home temple, and when his older brother became ill and unable to be the successor at the family temple, Mr. Ueno felt the time had come to return …
Mr. Abe was born into a temple family, but he did not want to become a monk. However, throughout his youth, he felt frustrated with his situation and his inability to progress academically, and at 18 he began to practice zazen for self-development. He went to Eiheiji Temple in Fukui Prefecture to train, spending two and a half years there. While training, he worried about his future, and his master continually reminded him to “live in the now.” When the time came to leave Eiheiji, he walked the 500km back to Yamagata, taking 21 days, and coming around to a major shift in mindset and a new understanding of the …
Yabase, Tsuruoka, Yamagata, Japan
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Megurun aims to support sustainable rural communities. To achieve these aims, we gained a travel agency license registered with the governor of Yamagata Prefecture: Region 282.