• Courtesy of All-Japan Young Soto Zen Buddhist Priest Association


The main characters of this film are two young Buddhist monks, Kawaguchi Chiken (name as a monk: Chiken), who lives at a temple in Yamanashi in the foothills of Mt. Fuji and has a three-year-old son with severe food allergies, and Kurashima Ryugyo (name as a monk: Ryugyo), who lives in temporary housing in Fukushima, works removing post-disaster rubble, and cannot give up the dream of rebuilding his temple's main hall despite having lost everything in the Great East Japan Earthquake and the subsequent tsunami, which occurred in 2011. What role can religion play in contemporary Japan, where disasters frequently occur and a shaken populace grasps to find meaning in life? This work by the film production collective Kuzoku was commissioned by the All-Japan Young Soto Zen Buddhist Priest Association. The mid-length film mixes fiction and documentary, with actual monks playing the roles of monks. With the Tenzo Kyokun ("Instructions for the Temple Chef") by Dogen, the founder of Soto Buddhism in Japan, as a key text, it grapples with the meaning of faith in the current era.

TOMITA Katsuya

  • Born 1972 in Yamanashi, Japan
  • Based in Yamanashi, Japan
  • Photo: Takahiro Yamaguchi

Tomita Katsuya, along with screenwriter and film director Toranosuke Aizawa and other members, heads the film production collective Kuzoku, which operates under the motto "creating and showing films on our own terms." Tomita interpolates the reality of the streets into his fictional narrative through in-depth interviews with real people who lead their lives in the places where his films are set, and by actively casting non-professional actors. His representative work includes Off Highway 20(2007), which portrays young delinquents in a suburban city, and Saudade (2011), a tale of manual labor, immigrants, and hip-hop music against the backdrop of Japan's atrophying economy. In Bangkok Nites (2016), created as part of a long-term residency in Thailand and Laos, Tomita traces the scars left by the wars that ravaged the Indochina peninsula in the 20th century, while his multilayered narrative throws light on contemporary Japan through the prism of South East Asia.

Selected Works & Awards

2016 Bangkok Nites
2011 Saudade
2007 Off Highway 20
2003 Above the Clouds


Tue,Sep 17,13:30


Aichi Arts Center Art Space A (12F)


Aichi Arts Center 12F
1-13-2 Higashisakura,Higashi-ku, Nagoya
461-8525 JAPAN


・5 minutes on foot from Sakae Station on the Higashiyama Subway Line or Meijo Subway Line.
・5 minutes on foot from Sakae-Machi Station on the Meitetsu Seto Line.