New Film, Zen, Now On DVD

The new dramatic feature from Japanese director Banmei Takahashi, Zen, a portrait of Zen master Dogen, has been released on DVD in North America.

Zen is a poignant, in-depth, reverent and moving portrait of Dogen, the great 13th century Japanese Buddhist master. He studied at Buddhist centers in China and established a monastic practice which emphasizes sitting meditation; he is regarded as the founder of the Soto school of Zen. Filmed on location in Japan, impressively well-researched and produced with great attention to authentic detail.

From pilgrimages to China to armed monks at war, the Kamakura Era was a time of upheaval in Japan and saw the beginnings of both the Rinzai and Soto schools of Zen Buddhism, and the arrival of tea. The country would never be the same again. Born in 1200, orphaned at eight and initiated as a monk at age fourteen, Dogen is perhaps best known here for his texts Instructions to the Cook and a collection of discourses called the Shobo Genzo. He led a renaissance in practice and doctrine in Japan, and his Zen is the practical implementation of the principle of non-duality.

Director: Banmei Takahashi
Japan / 127 min / Japanese and Chinese (with English subtitles)
Starring: Kantarou Nakamura, Yuki Uchida, Ryushin Tei, Jun Murakami

Special Bonus Feature: The Zen of Dogen, featuring Kazuaki Tanahashi, editor of the new complete translation of Dogen’s Shobo Genzo