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Friday, Dec. 26, 2008

Ticket giveaway for 'Zen' screening, meditation demo

Ten pairs of tickets are being offered to readers of The Japan Times for a Jan. 6 screening of the movie "Zen," directed by Takahashi Banmei and starring kabuki actor Nakamura Kantaro, son of kabuki legend Nakamura Kanzaburo. Prior the screening will be a demonstration of zazen (sitting meditation).


"Zen" tells the story of the legendary 13th-century Zen master Dogen (1200-53), who founded the Soto school of Zen. After traveling to China and learning from master Ju-ching, Dogen returns to Japan and settles in a Kyoto temple. His austere and disciplined form of Buddhism, however, is met with opposition by the ruling Tendai sect, forcing Dogen to teach and practice his religion outside the city. Thanks to the support of shogunate official, Hatono Yoshishige, Dogen and his disciples eventually find a home in Echizen Province (modern-day Fukui Prefecture), where they able to lay the foundations of religion that "truly sees things as they are."

The film, which will be released Jan. 10, also stars Yuki Uchida as Orin, a woman whom Dogen saves as a child and who later becomes transformed by his teachings.

The event will be held at Myo-gen Temple, Toyokawa Inari, Tokyo, 5 minutes from Akasaka-Mitsuke Station. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. and the zazen demonstration begins at 7:15 p.m. The film will shown 7:40-9:50 p.m. Those wishing to participate in the zazen demonstration are encouraged to wear casual, loose-fitting clothing. The screening will have English subtitles and English interpretation will be provided for the zazen demonstration.

The 10 lucky readers will be chosen by lottery. To qualify, please e-mail your name to zen@kadokawa-pictures.co.jp (e-mail addresses will be used only to notify you of your eligibility). The deadline is Jan. 2. Those receiving the tickets will be notified by e-mail Jan. 3.

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