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April 24, 2006

Evan at Ozu's Grave

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CameraKonica Minolta MAXXUM 7D
Lens (35mm Equiv.)Minolta 24mm f/2.8 (36 mm)
Exp. Prog. / Shutter @ ApertureAperture priority / 1/200 s @ f/5
Metering w/Adj. @ ISOSpot w/0.00 eV @ 200

...a continuation from a few days ago.


Following printouts of excellent directions we found on-line, we finally made it to Ozu's gravesite: a giant polished granite block carved with the Japanese character "mu" on it. "Mu" more or less means "not anything."

Why Ozu Yasujiro would have this emblazed on his grave, I'm not sure. But I do know a story invovling the character "mu" as told in the form of a Zen Koan.

In short, a monk asked a Great Master Shinsai of Joshu, "Does even a dog have the Buddha-nature or not?

The reply from the monk was simple, "mu."

It was really quiet in the graveyard. Evan and I dwelled in the shade for awhile to escape the heat before we took a walk back to the train station and went into the city of Kamakura to go and find the Daibutsu.

I haven't bothered to try and translate the characters off to the left of "mu" (see detail, left). Are there any Japanese-speakers out there who might be able to enlighten me?


Posted by jordanh at April 24, 2006 9:30 AM |

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My understanding is that Ozu thought of .the emptiness of the unshot/unexposed film before he made it into a movie.

Posted by: steve naegele at June 8, 2012 12:55 PM

Did you get the translation of the character on the left?

The first two characters look like Engaku, the name of the temple.

On the other hand, the whole inscription looks like the name of the calligraphy artist.

We don't quite know, we work on it.

Posted by: Paolo Bologna at November 4, 2016 4:33 PM

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