1. My grandmother calls herself an apres-girl.

    Her name is Kazuko, born Kawabata,
    adopted daughter of Takada and married Sakuma.

    She speaks Japanese, Chinese, Russian and English.
    She was born and raised in Manchuria under Imperial Japan.
    She grew up among Japanese, Chinese and Russians.

    She was held captive by the Red Army,
    displaced from her hometown,
    made friends with a Russian girl
    and saved her father’s life

    This is her story in her early years
    way before the time of today’s trend of so called globalization.

    # vimeo.com/46240891 Uploaded
  2. Kumano is a region in Japan where Shugendo, the Way of ascetic training and testing in holy mountains, has been practised for over a thousand years. This entire short film was shot there. It shows Yamabushi monk Kosho Tateishi, a Master and Teacher of Shugendo, during prayer rituals performed in the wild and at his temple. In his spiritual practices, Kosho is in visceral contact with the elements (earth, water, fire, wind) and in fusion with sacred Nature. The experience of Life through the physical senses awakes our consciousness and ultimately leads to enlightenment in this very body.

    Made possible thanks to the great help of Alena Eckelmann, Kosho Tateishi, Fukami Uzawa, Mark Patrick McGuire, Jean-Marc Abela, Jean Burgert. Thank you Alena for recommending me some of the greatest spots to explore in Kumano, especially some amazing trails of the Kumano Kodō. Thank you Kosho for welcoming me at Sangakurin and for sharing your way of living during my stay.

    I also want to send a very special thanks to the talented composer Oliver Dowie who created the original soundtrack by wonderfully mixing together some traditional prayers, chantings and instruments recorded on site like the Horagai, a large conch shell used by Yamabushi for spiritual meanings.

    I hope to be back in Kumano next year to shoot a feature length film on the same topic.

    Music by
    Oliver Dowie

    Directed, filmed & edited by
    Mathieu Le Lay

    © Mathieu Le Lay - 2015

    # vimeo.com/131426603 Uploaded 200K Plays 75 Comments



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