Carving the Divine

Carving the Divine offers a rare and intimate look into the life and artistic process of modern-day Busshi – practitioners of a 1400 year lineage of Buddhist woodcarving.

A feature documentary by award winning director, Yujiro Seki. Carving the Divine is showing at Art & Ornament on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 April. This screening is co-organised by Japan House.

Published
Carving the Divine Film

Carving the Divine offers a rare and intimate look into the life and artistic process of modern-day Busshi – practitioners of a 1400 year lineage of Buddhist woodcarving. Determined to pass his craft down to future generations, Master Koun Seki, the former apprentice of renowned Busshi, Kourin Saito, interviews a candidate applying to be his new apprentice. Quickly though, we discover this apprenticeship and the Busshi’s life to be far less glamorous, and much more austere, than we (or the Candidate) would’ve likely imagined.

Once Master Seki makes his selection, we’re taken on a trip through a guild culture unlike anything existing today in The West: From the growing pains of a novice apprentice, to the entire guild working together as one body to create breathtaking works of art, to the monkish practice of the famed, Grand Master Saito himself, alone on his quest to “leave nothing but great works behind.”

What’s more, we’re granted unprecedented access into the secret rites of Shingon (True Word) Buddhism. And faced with the devastation of the Tōhoku Tsunami, we’re given profound insight into the Busshi’s significance within the Japanese psyche, and the nature of human perseverance through suffering.

Carving the Divine

Award Winning

Carving the Divine has become the official selection for 29 film festivals, showing a total of 22 countries, and won the awards at 12 festivals worldwide, such as winning the Best Director Award of a Foreign Language Documentary at the Milan International Filmmaker Festival and premiering at the famous Raindance Film Festival in London.

Screening at Art & Ornament on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 April, Dalkeith Palace. Carving the Divine will run both days at 4pm, please book a ticket to attend.

Share this page: