Zen (2009 film)

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Zen () is a 2009 film directed by Banmei Takahashi and starring Nakamura Kantarō II as Dogen, and Yuki Uchida as Orin.[1][2]

The film is a biography of Dōgen Zenji, a Japanese Zen Buddhist teacher. After travelling to China to study, Dogen founded the Sōtō school of Zen in Japan. The Buddhist Film Foundation described it as "a poignant, in-depth, reverent and surprisingly moving portrait of Eihei Dogen."[3]


Russell Edwards of Variety described it as "The origins of a spiritual tradition are depicted with prerequisite solemnity and a pleasing veneer of arthouse showmanship."[4] Mark Schilling, writing for The Japan Times, gave the film three and a half stars and described it as a "rare serious film about this form of Buddhism, which has had a huge cultural influence but is little understood — let alone practiced — by ordinary Japanese."[5]


The film premiered in Japan in 2009. The following year, it had its US debut at the International Buddhist Film Festival.[6] The film was released on DVD and includes a short documentary entitled The Zen of Dogen with Kazuaki Tanahashi.[7]


  1. ^ "Zen - Reviews, Movie Trailers, Cast & Crew. Movies at Film.com". Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  2. ^ Ouellette, Kevin (15 May 2009). "DVD release - Zen (Amuse Soft Entertainment) available on 6/25/2009". Nippon Cinema. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "Zen". The Buddhist Film Foundation. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Zen". Variety. January 25, 2009. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Zen". The Japan Times. January 16, 2009. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  6. ^ "IBFF Showcase 2010". The Buddhist Film Foundation. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  7. ^ "New Film Zen, Now on DVD". The Buddhist Film Foundation. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 

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