Shugendo Now

(Japan, Canada, 2010 , 91 mins, Digital Betacam)
In Japanese with English subtitles
Classification: G


"For us, these mountains are the dwellings of the kami and the buddhas…"

VANCOUVER PREMIERE - There is a unique school of Japanese asceticism called Shugendo, the Way of Acquiring Power, a blend of Shinto, Daoism and Buddhism. Practitioners perform arduous rituals in mountain wildernesses and are deeply committed to protecting the natural environment. Shugendo practitioners take guidance and inspiration from semi-legendary 7th century mystic En no Ozunu (or En no Gyoja), who is venerated as a bodhisattva. Shugendo is not one isolated tradition but various expressions of spiritual practice that share common practices and similar aims.

Shugendo Now is a poetic and intimate journey into a rarely seen world between the developed and the wild, between the present and the infinite.

Filmed on location in the Japanese mountains of Kumano and Yoshino, Tokyo and Osaka.

“Beautifully filmed, aesthetically pleasing, and religiously challenging." Paul Swanson