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Sun 24 March 2024 • 3:30pm

The Zen Diary

the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2024: Unforgettable: Memories, Times and Reflections in Japanese Cinema

Rating PG

Event details

Directed by Yuji Nakae
Starring Kenji Sawada, Takako Matsu, Tomoko Naraoka, Fumi Dan

Tsutomu (Kenji Sawada) is a writer who lives in a secluded mountain cabin in Nagano. He shares the space with his dog and the unburied ashes of his wife Yaeko, who passed away thirteen years ago, and spends his time harvesting vegetables, then cooking with them using a method he learned as a young Buddhist monk. Though largely solitary, he receives occasional company from his editor and romantic interest Machiko (Takako Matsu), and from his rather eccentric mother-in-law, Chie (Tomoko Naraoka).

When Tsutomu one day finds Chie dead in her home, he is forced to finally consider his feelings on death. He works to arrange Chie’s funeral proceedings, and once the funeral has concluded, invites Machiko to live with him, an offer to which she gives serious thought.

Based on an essay on food and cooking by leading Japanese author Tsutomu Mizukami, The Zen Diary eschews drama in favour of its focus on zen cuisine and seasonal scenery, offering audiences a glimpse into the joys of a slow, simple life seen through the lenses of bonds, memory, and love.

Cinema, Storyhouse Cinema
Approx 111 mins

£8.90 / £8 for screenings before 5pm
(Non-Members: £9.90 / £8.90 )

£6.65 for under 16s
(Non-Members: £7.40)

£5 for Young Storyhouse Card
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Japanese With English Subtitles

Suggested rating: PG

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