The Japan Foundation, New Delhi and the Network for Promotion of Aisan Film (NEPTAC) will screen a Japanese film, Zen on 30 April at Indian Council for Cultural Relations during the International Buddhist Festival ‘The Inner Path’ .
Film title: Zen
127 min / ZEN Production Committee
Director: TAKAHASHI Banmei
Script: TAKAHASHI Banmei
Based on the novel by: OTANI Tetsuo
Cinematography: MIZUGUCHI Noriyuki (J.S.C.)
Music: UZAKI Ryudo NAKANISHI Haseo
Editor: KIKUCHI Junichi
Production Design: MARUO Tomoyuki
Producers: KANNO Satoshi, MATSUURA Shigeji
NAKAMURA Kantaro: Dogen
UCHIDA Yuki: Orin
FUJIWARA Tatsuya: HOJO Tokiyori
Based on Komazawa University president Otani Tetsuo’s historical novel which chronicled Zen monk Dogen’s achievements in spreading the Soto school of Zen Buddhism across Japan. Engaged solely in zazen, Dogen sacrifices himself to attaining a spiritual state of nothingness in this illuminating portrait set against the beauty of the four seasons. As Dogen, kabuki actor Nakamura Kantaro gives an expectedly commanding performance that encompasses Dogen’s life from his youth until his ripe age.
The turbulent Kamakura period. Having lost his mother as a young boy, Dogen (Nakamura) travels to China at the age of 24 in search of a Buddhist master. He goes through ascetic training under Zen monk Ju-ching (Zheng Tianyong). After he finally attains enlightenment at dawn one summer morning, he returns to Japan and endeavors to spread Zen Buddhism. Beginning with a prostitute (Uchida Yuki) nursing a baby and married to an indolent husband, Dogen gains the adoration of the general populace. This provokes jealousy in the monks from Mt. Hiei, who drive Dogen out to Echizen (modern day northern Fukui prefecture), where Dogen establishes Eihei-ji temple and continues to educate his students. Dogen is then summoned by the regent of the shogunate, Hojo Tokiyori (Fujiwara Tatsuya), who requests Dogen to free him from visions of vengeful apparitions. Dogen departs to Kamakura.