◆ How the Ermot was born

【Vision burgeoning from the seed】

While I was working, suddenly, a certain vision came to me.

It was a scene of many kind of people enjoying the wa culture in the old minka house,
hidden in the mountain woods. They were blithely laughing together with their hearts and minds at ease. A really peaceful moment.

Wow! Where is it? I want to go there! I want to create such a place!
I even thought “I was born to create this place!”.
How should I name it, maybe “Wa Culture Theme Park?”

I started telling everybody I wanted to create a wa culture theme park. But in the end,
whoever I talked to deemed my vision as childish and made fun of me…

Seeing that I couldn’t convey the wonderfulness of my vision,
I asked myself “How should I express these many different elements of wa culture, so that others would accept and support my idea?” and started racking my brain in order to find the right answer.

Spirituality, healing, sixth sense… etc. I had devoted many years to put into words the “usefulness” of wa culture in everyday life.

Concurrently, for a few years, I had attended business management course. Because, there
wasn’t anyone willing to help, I had prepared myself to do everything by myself. While
attending this course, which was said to be “of the same level as the MBA classes“, despite
always being poor at maths, I suddenly came to understand it perfectly. From the people
“who excel at investing” I learned a lot of things, such as that money circulate in accordance
with the laws of the universe or that “managing” is a job which needs you to love other

During the process of planning I gradually decided upon a “theme park where one can improve
his or her emotional and spiritual capabilities” and this thought set me at rest. Although, the
keywords wasn’t really decided back then. Numerous time I’ve modified the home page with
titles like “Aru Koko Ōkoku (A Certain Here Kingdom?)”, “Super-Human Wonderland” and
“Etosatori (Eto-Satori?)”[nazwy własne, ciężko powiedzieć o co kaman :P], trying every name I
could think of.

Autumn 2013
The moment Tokyo was chosen to hold the Olympic Games, people’s attitude towards my idea
changed dramatically with opinions like “It’s wonderful!” or “ The sooner you do it, the

But then I realized, that even if I was able to let the people personally experience the wa
culture I still didn’t know how to turn it into a consistent programme and it baffled me to the
point I couldn’t advance any further. If it was about a simple “feel the wa culture” experience,
there were a tons of similar services in places like Asakusa. Competing with these businesses
didn’t make much sense. What I wanted to achieve wasn’t simply about the wa culture, it
needed something else. What was it? I barely noticed it’s general outline, but wasn’t able to
see it clearly. To make it more visible, I continued my search.

On the other hand, I somehow felt, that my dream was getting further and further away. I was
steadily improving my concept and my vision was becoming more and more concrete, but te
more I learned, the more terrified I was by the gap that stretched between this idea and
reality… But still I didn’t give up entirely and day by day I loitered aimlessly crying and
wondering if there was any way leading to my goal…

Feeling that I cannot proceed any further alone, I realized I needed others people’s help. To
somehow gain any public gaze, without thinking much I applied to the business lan contests. In
believed, it was the best way to get some funds and cooperative workers.

I tried my best here and there, but couldn’t get past the document screening, and even when I
finally did, there was not much result. As a finalist of a certain business grand prix I made a
presentation in front of a 500 people, and even got some supportive messages afterwards, but
generally nothing had changed.

Of course, there were also people actually willing to help me with my wish to open the theme park. They treated me very cordially and referenced to “Saiboku” or “Edo Wonderland” as the business models I could learn from. Naturally, they introduced them as the successful examples of what I should aim to achieve. Much later, I happened to accidently pass by the Saiboku itself and I was shocked. “So every time I talked about “theme park” this kind of image
appeared in the people’s minds” I though and entirely understood the reason why there wasn’t much progress in my project until now. I finally realized the fundamental mistake I had been doing all this time. From this moment onward never again have I used the words “theme park”.

Summer 2015
I was living in Shinjuku and had an occasion to spend a night in Yorii. An enormous sense of
happiness came to me there, like waking up in the morning after a good sleep. I visited many
places called “power spots” before, like Yamagatake or Kirishima, but Yorii was the first time I
felt so filled with good emotions. The experience impressed me so much, I moved there in
September. To the boarding house in Yorii’s Tatehara district.

It was an old, deteriorated building, which could host up to 60 people and I believed, that with
little repairs I could fulfill my dreams here. Unfortunately, just the following year owner told
me he is selling the facility and needed me to move out by the end of the year, so I had no
other choice but to agree.

Autumn 2016
My new location was a single-family house in Sueno district. It was a wonderful minka house
with characteristic triangular, orange roof and southern side bathed in sunlight.

At the end if the year I decided to eat out at the french restaurant located in another minka.
But upon entering inside it, I noticed that there were no decorations whatsoever and the
interior look pretty much the same those of any other houses. I was really surprised and then I
made up my mind “If that’s the case, maybe I can do it too?! That’s right, let’s open a cafe”.

After the New Year I started making hand-made decorations and furnitures, and on the 1 st of
August my café was opened.

Shortly after the opening, a young couple in their 20s helped me make a 30-minute live video
presentation on Facebook. It was a horrible presentation, but nonetheless more than 100
people watched it. Since it was a live broadcast many viewers asked questions, sent messages
and gave me an actual impression they “wanted to help somehow”. But, maybe because of the
distance, in reality no one appeared to help.

It was like despite showing actual will to help, people didn’t really know “how” could they
help. I started thinking that “future vision” and “things I should do” didn’t really connect with
each other and that’s why I couldn’t get any actions from them. I felt I needed to make some
tangible, down-to-earth plans to get tangible reactions. I had to divide my vision into more and
more smaller portions: from main idea to the business proposal, to the programme plan, and
finally to the step-by-step manual. It seemed that I still had a lot of work in the process of
conveying my vision to others and my goal was still far ahead…

Even after the opening I still worked on my concept and ways to express it. Finally, after half
of the year, at the end of October an advertising slogan was ready: “Live your life feeling the
invisible world”. When the people sew the leaflets with this catchphrase they would react
enthusiastically. “That’s a good one!” they would say. The goal of my business was finally
understood by others and, in turn, more and more people became interested in it. Laborious
process of turning my concept into reality had finally reached its end.

After that, I have gradually began to expanse the range of prints I offered by the business
cards and small vicinity maps. Leaflets that inform about activities Ermot do turned out to be
really helpful. Once again have I felt that conveying information in a simple and effective way
is the most important thing.

Thanks to those pamphlets, the degree of sympathy for my idea has become wider then ever
before. Moreover, I was able to register to the WWOOF service (an worldwide network that
matches organic farming businesses and volunteers willing to work at farms and facilities that
use their products) and now even people from outside Japan come to help me. From now on,
my main goal is to further create much more attractive place so that more volunteers will get
interested in taking part in my vision. As long as people working here stay enthusiastic, this
café will be charming and visitors will gather here. That’s the space I would love to create.