Souls of Zen
2012, Germany, Tim Graf and Jakob Montrasio, 60min.
In an ethnographic journey from Tokyo to remote prefectures, Souls of Zen visits rural graveyards, urban temples, modern funeral halls, prayer monasteries, and public festivals to deliver a detailed account on Buddhism in the midst of Japan´s recovery from the earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster that devastated Japan in 2011. Post-screening discussion with Rev. T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki.
The documentary presents perspectives on Buddhism as practiced by clergy, lay adherents, and families in Japan by drawing on ethnographic fieldwork on the daily life of Buddhist temples, monastic education, prayer practice, mortuary rituals, and Japan’s tradition of ancestor veneration in the wake of 3/11. From March to December 2011, Tim Graf and Jakob Montrasio filmed invaluable footage of the greatest religious mobilization in Japan´s postwar history.
In an ethnographic journey from Tokyo to the hardest-hit prefectures, Souls of Zen visits rural graveyards, urban temples, modern funeral halls, prayer monasteries, and public festivals to deliver a detailed account on Buddhism in the midst of Japan´s recovery from the triple disasters.
About the Speaker
Rev. Dr. T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki, D. Min. is a Buddhist priest, ordained in the 750-year-old Jodoshinshu tradition of Japanese Buddhism. He is a President of the Buddhist Council of New York, a Vice President of The Interfaith Center of New York, and Community Clergy Liaison for the NYC Police Dept.
Since 1994, Rev. Nakagaki has organized an annual Interfaith Peace event to commemorate the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings. He organized the annual 9-11 WTC Memorial Floating Lanterns Ceremony from 2002-2011.