(Directed by Luis Carapeto and filmed by Helena Inverno)
This is a three-part film of Nishijima Roshi’s daily life in the mid 1990s. From the early 1990s, he started to live in the Ida Ryogokudo Zazen Dojo, the centre we set up at Moto Yawata in the eastern suburbs of Tokyo in July, 1987. Sensei also had an office in Ichikawa in the centre of Tokyo where he would invite his foreign students for discussions and work on his books and studies.
Once a year, Sensei would hold a retreat or “sesshin” for his foreign students at Tokein in Shizuoka, the temple belonging to his master, Rempo Niwa. These retreats were always held from Thursday evening to Sunday afternoon.
The video shows Sensei’s daily life and morning zazen in the Zazen Dojo in Moto Yawata and travelling to his office in Ichikawa, including discussions with some of his foreign students. It follows him to Tokein for a weekend retreat and films daily zazen practice in the temple’s zendo and Sensei giving talks on Buddhism and walking with students in the nearby tea fields.
This is followed by some footage of one of Sensei’s few visits to Europe in 2002, where he was invited to a weekend retreat with some of his European students in Brussels. The film ends with one of the weekend retreats he held at Tokein five times a year for all employees of Ida Ryogokudo, the cosmetics company owned by Mr. Ida, who was Sensei’s first Japanese student and who became his main sponsor. Mr. Ida supported all of Sensei’s publishing activities and provided both the building that became the Zazen Dojo and Sensei’s office at the company’s headquarters in Ichikawa.
(These videos are also available on YouTube. Thanks to Brad for making them available.)