Yujiro Seki, Director
Carving the Divine offers a rare and intimate look into the life and artistic process of modern-day Būshi — practitioners of a 1400-year lineage of woodcarving that’s at the beating heart of Japanese, Mahayana Buddhism.
Over the course of the past several years, Yujiro Seki singlehandedly planned, shot, and edited this feature length documentary. At this point, he needs your support to help fund the post-production process of getting the film in shape for the Sundance Film Festival and distributing it to the public. Funds will help pay for Musical Composition, Color Correction, Subtitle Editing, Digital Marketing, and Publicity. An Indiegogo link is below.
The stakes are high for the apprentices: the daily (and nightly) demands of a lifelong commitment to mastery prove too much for most to bear. But for those devoted enough to fulfill their duties to the guild and to themselves as Būshi, there’s the promise of contributing to collective works of awe-inspiring beauty and power. And even more importantly, there’s the promise of leading their millennium-old tradition into the future.
“Living among these Būshi for the years necessary to document them transforming blocks of wood into incredible sculptures, I was able to gain access into the secretive world of some of Japan’s foremost masters, capturing a world of Buddhist rituals normally off-limits to all but monks and priests. My proudest achievement in Carving the Divine is that I believe the finished film does a good job of showing how these two traditions — Mahayana Buddhism and the art of the Būshi — both sculpt and are sculpted by Japan itself, and how the struggles of today’s Būshi reflect the historical struggles of the Japanese People — to ‘persevere,’ as we Japanese so often say.” — Yujiro Seiki.
Please click on the Indiegogo logo to visit Yujiro’s fundraising campaign.