典座 -TENZO- TENZO

  • TENZO
  • TENZO
  • TENZO
2019 / Documentary / 59min G
Available Worldwide (except Japan, France, Belgium, Switzerland and Korea)
English, Spanish (Latin America), Indonesian, Thai, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese
Contains drinking and smoking scenes.

Synopsis

A film that delves into the exploration of faith after “3.11”, incorporating a blend of documentary and fiction elements.

This film explores the significance and existence of Buddhism and faith after the “3.11” Great East Japan Earthquake, centered around Dogen Zenji's "Instructions for the Cook”. The story follows two disciples, Ryugyo and Chiken, who completed their training at the main temple 10 years ago and returned to their respective temples. Chiken lives with his family in Yamanashi and remains actively engaged in various endeavors, such as providing life counseling services, teaching Shojin Ryori (Buddhist vegetarian cuisine), and conducting Yoga Zazen sessions. On the other hand, Ryugyo lost everything including his temple, family, and followers, in the tsunami in Fukushima. As a debris removal worker living in temporary housing, he cannot give up on rebuilding the main hall. Jig theater, a promoter of films that they strongly recommend, describes the movie as "unparalleled in its straightforwardness when it comes to contemplating faith. It possesses a powerful force that blurs the boundaries between fiction and documentary".
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Director Profile

TOMITA Katsuya

TOMITA Katsuya was born in 1972 in Yamanashi Prefecture. He leads the film production group "Kuzoku" along with the screenwriter and film director AIZAWA Toranosuke. Their motto is to "create the films they want, screen them as they please". His work "Tenzo" was selected for the "Special Screening" section of the Critics' Week at the 2019 Cannes International Film Festival and was theatrically released in France.
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TENZO
CAST
KAWAGUCHI Chiken, KONDO Shinko, KURASHIMA Ryugyo, AOYAMA Shundo
DIRECTOR
TOMITA Katsuya
SCREENPLAY
AIZAWA Toranosuke, TOMITA Katsuya
INTERNATIONAL SALES
Kuzoku Inc.
jig theater
jig theater
SHIBATA Shuhei and MIYAKE Yuko

Director TOMITA Katsuya, known for films such us “Saudade” and “Bangkok Nites”, presents this unique film commissioned by the All Japan Young Soto Zen.
The film explores the significance and essence of Buddhist beliefs after the Great East Japan Earthquake, even it may be unconventional, there is no other film that delves into the theme of “faith” so directly. The remarkable presence of the cast, who seem to portray themselves as they live and carry out their lives in that region, gives the film a sense of authenticity seen in other works by TOMITA Katsuya. It’s as if we are personally touching the lives of these genuine individuals, and the film’s power is so compelling that it blurs the lines between fiction and documentary. When the Soto Zen nun AOYAMA Shundo appears as a mentor in the film, her words draw you in, leaving you surprised by the depth of the teachings that can be imparted through the medium of film. While rooted in the local, it also reaches out to the universe.

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TOMITA Katsuya
TOMITA Katsuya
Director

The film “TENZO” is a film which was created in collaboration with young Zen Buddhist monks who requested it. In the process of creating this work, I first needed to learn about the teachings of Soto Zen, a sect within Zen Buddhism. So, I asked the young monks to introduce me to the most important master of the Soto Zen tradition. Their unanimous choice was the Zen nun AOYAMA Shundo, their mentor.

We decided to visit mentor Aoyama first and foremost. We wanted to present ourselves as we truly were. So, we began by mimicking the Zen question-and-answer style that disciples use when addressing their mentor. We set up cameras and started filming this interaction as a documentary. Indeed, we were immediately captivated by mentor Aoyama’s presence.

“TENZO” refers to the name given to the monks responsible for preparing meals for practicing monks. This unique title within the Soto Zen tradition became the film’s title. This film features actual monks. They were playing roles and posing questions, such as the concepts of enlightenment, salvation, and the nature of religion. It provides us, who live in the world after the “3.11” Great East Japan Earthquake, with an opportunity to contemplate these profound themes.

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Comments

  • Germany
    Rolf

    Vielen Dank für diesen Film.
    Ich werde meine Studien zum Buddhismus wieder aufnehmen.

  • Germany
    Sakura

    Großartiger Film. Sollte man gesehen haben. Danke, dass Sie es ermöglicht haben, den Film online zu sehen!

  • Canada
    piyo-piyo-chan

    It reminded me of another documentary film “The Souls of Zen” by Tim Graf, following Buddhist priests through the March 2011 Tohoku Earthquake (made available for public viewing online by Tim Graf on vimeo at https://vimeo.com/158309233 ).
    Soto Zen’s “activist” edge (perhaps caused by its intentional chaos embedded in its system) shines in both films.

  • India
    Sakshi

    I am often at odds with my faith. While it has provided me with peace of mind it has also tormented me to no ends. And I am in this constant struggle to understand it, the purpose of it all. This film has spoken to those doubts of mine in my faith as well as in me.
    Thank you to JFF for screening this film.

  • Argentina
    alicia lila pesce

    me resultaron placenteras y conmovedoras las reflexiones del viejo maestro.
    tema lejano para occidente. NUESTRA VIDA DA ESPALDAS A LA NATURALEZA.
    Podemos imaginarnos formar uno con las galaxias? muchas gracias por darnos a conocer parte de la cultura de Japón.

  • Spain
    Sara

    La tranquilidad que se respira en toda la cinta es envidiable. La música de los créditos es fantástica. Un tipo de flauta que no se como se llama. Gracias por el trabajo.

  • Natalia

    Siento que la película logra, independientemente de si uno practica o no el budismo, es hacernos reflexionar profundamente sobre la existencia y nuestra vida misma. A través de las visiones de los monjes, parte ficción-parte realidad, se explora esta inquietud humana desde una perspectiva muy interesante, la comida. Me gustó mucho la apreciación de la naturaleza, la división por “sabores” de la película, y también la música y los créditos a manera de escritura tradicional japonesa.

  • Viet Nam
    Binh

    I was deeply moved by the film. How beautiful and magnificent that the filmmakers showed themselves up in the last minutes. Yet we the audiences do not need to wonder if all of the story was made up for filming or it has truly happened. Even though sometimes the characters have played their roles for the film, it does not make any different, because now we know that they all acted and said things following their true heart, without hiding anything.
    Thank you a lot for making and screening it!

  • United States of America
    Greg

    My words can’t add anything to the film. It was well done – worth the time to make and the time to watch. Inspiring.

  • Germany
    Michael

    Thank you for this movie. Very insightful and inspiring. I have to watch it a second time.

  • Canada
    Penny

    Thoroughly engrossing -an inspired study of our human relationships as well as our relationship to the natural world.

  • Philippines
    Christian

    I was inspired by the theme of faith and nature. The movie’s unique approach to storytelling and the parallel stories of the two Buddhist priests made me reflect on my own life and beliefs. I found this refreshing and engaging. Overall, I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who is interested in exploring themes of faith and nature.

  • Germany
    Horst Fabry

    A movie showing the daily life, thoughts, feelings and believe of buddhist monks after the Great East Japan earthquake. Worthwhile to watch.

  • Colombia
    Ana

    Tal como se menciona en la sinopsis hay una línea fina entre la realidad y la ficción, por lo que es interesante verlo un par de veces para disfrutar cada imagen, cada paisaje, cada situación. Las locaciones y la fotografía es hermosa, la historia del budismo muy interesante, y con lo que más me quedo son ciertas frases que quedan resonando en lo profundo de mi (respecto a la comida y la importancia de vivir cada momento del día).

  • Australia
    Tanuki

    A thought-provoking insight into the hearts and minds of two monks.

  • Thailand
    น้วย

    ถ้าไม่มีพื้นความรู้เกี่ยวกับเซน/ทางศาสนาพุทธในญี่ปุ่น/ปรัชญามาก่อนก็อาจจะไม่อินเท่าไหร่ เป็นหนังที่ดูแล้วคิดถึงชีวิตและความเป็นไปบนโลกและตัวศาสนาเอง เป็นหนังที่ดูแล้วใจสงบ สบาย แต่ก็แอบกังวล เหมาะกับช่วงฝนตกแบบตอนนี้มาก

  • Spain
    Arantza Sinobas

    Muy interesante. Me ha dejado muchas frases dando vueltas en mi cabeza y mi sentir. Arigatō Gozaimasu.

  • Argentina
    Norah Fernandez

    This film shows us, the straggle for keeping the faith in a very special moment in the life of the two monks.It makes you think in our own inner straggle.

  • Nepal
    Sunuwar Lachhe

    Nice

  • Sweden
    Magnus Ahlberg

    It was a very earnest film which made me contemplate many things. Great work!

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