鬼に訊け 宮大工 西岡常一の遺言 An Artisan’s Legacy, Tsunekazu Nishioka
- Fukaya Cinema: TAKEISHI Kenji
“Miyadaiku” is a carpenter engaged in the construction and restoration of shrines and temples. This profession involves not only working on World Heritage Sites, national treasures, and culturally designated buildings but also extends to other culturally significant structures, requiring extensive knowledge not only in architecture but also in religious studies and history. It is a highly skilled job.
In this documentary, we follow the late NISHIOKA Tsunekazu, a master carpenter (chief who leads a team of craftsmen). He undertook the reconstruction of three iconic Buddhist temple buildings in Nara Prefecture: the three-storied pagoda of Horinji Temple, Yakushiji Kondo, and Saito. These temples are among Japan’s most renowned historical structures, and by preserving and passing down the temple construction techniques since the Asuka period, NISHIOKA Tsunekazu showcased his exceptional expertise.
The documentary features valuable footage and testimonies of him working while he was alive, serving as a reminder of the importance of avoiding the modern tendency to prioritize technology solely for convenience and efficiency. Instead, the film emphasizes the notion that technology should also respect and sustain the life of trees. Through this, it sheds light on the significance of preserving a connection with nature and addresses the concerns of modern society.
- YAMAZAKI Yuji
I’d like you to not just see Mr. Nishioka’s achievement in restoring the Garan of Yakushiji but to also sense what lies behind his words – a kind of “Embodied Philosophy”, when he speaks of the “life of wood”. With Mr. Nishioka, for the first time, I believe the concept of “the body” entered the realm of Japanese philosophy, and he is someone who has ventured that far. Additionally, it is the Japanese perspective on nature that has been continuing since the Asuka period. Japanese people haven’t discarded this aspect, they have been looking at trees and nature since the Asuka period. I believe that the craftsmanship and the way of perceiving things, which have been passed down through generations, have borne fruit in Mr. Nishioka. I would be delighted if you could explore these aspects.
A quote from an interview with Director YAMAZAKI Yuji about the film “An Artisan’s Legacy, Tsunekazu Nishioka” – CINE REFLET interview article.