My Life Plan – Visiting Japan and Shinto

Late Night Thoughts

So last night my partner Charlie and I were brainstorming about what we’d ideally like to do. I know that a lot of money would be involved, and I really think that I’d like to try affiliate marketing again and make some passive income.

I guess part of fear is that I have next to no money to even start with – and I know this is not really a problem in terms of writing content and such, but it removes the safety cushion. So if my affiliate marketing fails badly then what do I do then? It’s a scary thought.

We proceeded to make a kind of ‘life plan’ based on our hopes and dreams, rather than logic associated with money. The hopes and dreams came first tonight, the money later.


神道 – かみのみち (Shinto – The Way of the Gods)

Ever since I was 14, I have been fascinated with Japan. I found out about the culture and folklore through manga and anime, and researched it extensively. I did my A level art project on Japanese culture, especially Shinto.

At the age of 20 I became involved in the Shinto faith, and bought my first pair of Inari-kami statues and set up a shrine in my bedroom. Since then, my shrine (kamidana – 神棚) has grown, as has my passion for the Shinto faith.

Practicing Shinto outside of Japan is a difficult – but not impossible affair. There are several Shinto shrines outside of Japan in the Netherlands, North America and Hawaii, and proposals to build others elsewhere. Although Shinto is over 2000 years old, probably much older – it seems that the World is shifting it’s thoughts to those of our Ancestors and nature gods (Kami – 紙) are once again being revered and respected.

kamidana

I’m a Shintoist – Get Me Out of Here!

Currently, I live in a small village in North Wales, United Kingdom. We have our fair share of lovely scenery and amazing folklore here, but I have felt for a long time that Shinto is my calling in this life. (And yes, I also believe in multiple lifetimes and reincarnation).

I know that to really further my studies in Japanese Shinto, folklore and language, it would be beneficial for me to move to Japan. Now, at this stage in my life I am certainly not considering living there permanently. I want to first go for around 4 weeks, visitFushimi Inari – the main Inari shrine in Japan, experience the culture and language first hand.

Of course, I also do not intend to just arrive in Japan blindly. I have set various language goals for myself in order to be able to chat with the locals – and importantly for me, receive a wakemitama (a divided spirit) of Inari-kami.

So we decided that first, we need to get out of Wales.


Moving to Manchester – Late 2014

We selected Manchester as our first goal because we have a lot of friends there already, we’re familiar with the city and there is also a lot of Japanese-related cultural events, stores and such. In fact, Manchester has a Japanese Society. It also has a Chinatown and many social events that incorporate East Asian culture.

As well as the above, Manchester offers a variety of courses in Japanese language and culture. I hope to eventually do that BA (Hons) in Japanese course offered by Manchester University. I know that there are substantial fees involved (and I have already been to University once) so I also intend on some vigorous self-study to improve my Japanese before then. If I can pass the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test at N2 or N1 before then, I will probably not do the course.

My partner Charlie is interested in learning to become an English teacher in Japan for the future, and so he is looking at courses in Manchester also.


日本への渡航 – Travelling to Japan – 2015 – 16 (?)

We selected Kyoto as our destination for a few reasons, but the main reason is the fact I intend on regularly visiting Fushimi Inari in Fushimi prefecture. We aim to go to Japan for at least 4 weeks to begin with, as a cultural experience as tourists. We plan to take at least £2000 with us, preferably £5000 for the month.

We’re aware that many places in Japan will not rent to foreigners, but hopefully we can find a hostel or hotel that will be within our budget. I also aim on communicating with Fushimi Inari via email and/or phone before we go so that our shrine visit will run smoothly.

Hopefully, I will be earning enough passive income by then that money should not be a problem. But saving doesn’t hurt anyone!


Eventual Goals

We are big dreamers! Here are some of our future goals that we’re still fleshing out:

  • Earn at least £2000/month in passive income, £5000/month would be even better!
  • Live in Japan for 12 months, around Fushimi area
  • Study Shinto in Japan
  • Volunteer at Fushimi Inari – I know this is a big, big shot but I believe I can do it!
  • Eventually set up a Shinto shrine and group in the United Kingdom

Big goals I know, but all of you inspire me on a daily basis – I know I can do this! And by writing them down, I know I have put my intent out into the Universe.

If you read all of this – then thank you! If you have visited or lived in Japan, your feedback is very much welcome! If you are Japanese yourself, 友達になりましょうね?^_^

I hope this wasn’t too boring! I would love to hear your life goals too!

Your friend,

Matt

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