Documentary Film

Featured Cast

Shinnyo Kawai

Shinto priest of Ise Shrine. Inspired by Shinto beliefs about how man should live in harmony with Nature, and deeply concerned about the problems of pollution, Kawai became a priest of Ise Shrine in 1975. With his clear diction and ready wit, he has become a popular speaker in Japan.

Kengo Kuma

Internationally-acclaimed architect known for his style of using locally-produced materials to create buildings in harmony with regional traditions and the natural surroundings. Among his many internationally-known works are the Nezu Museum and the New Kabukiza Theater.

Mitsuo Ogawa

Master Carpenter of Ise Shrine. Formerly the main apprentice of Master Carpenter Joichi Nishioka, the “demon of Horyuji.” Rebuilt several ancient temples, including the three-story pagoda of Horinji. Now putting all his efforts into grooming a successor.

Takeshi Kitano

Filmmaker. While continuing his career as one of the most popular celebrities in Japan, Kitano gained international fame as the director of several internationally-acclaimed movies. His film “Hana-bi” won the Golden Lion at the 54th Venice International Film Festival.

Katsuhiko Kurata

As Superintendent of Ise Forest, Kurata oversees all aspects of forest management in the area surrounding Ise Shrine. Planning centuries ahead, Kurata is focused on ensuring there will always be enough Japanese Cypress trees for future shrines.

Soju Ikeda

Owner, Kiso Timber Company. His family-run operation in Kiso-gun, Nagano Prefecture has supplied timber for the Ise Shrine for centuries. Ikeda manages the giant Japanese Cypress trees in his forests in the traditional manner.

Genmyo Ohno

129th Chief Abbot of Horyuji Temple. Ono has lived at Horyuji Temple since he was three years old, and was ordained when he was in the third grade. Horyuji was originally built in the 7th century and is one of the oldest continuously-occupied wooden structures in the world.

Masaru Tanaka

Professor Emeritus at Kyoto University. One of the Japan’s leading authorities on coastal ecology and juvenile fish physiology. Tanaka has been forceful in pointing out important ecological links between the sea and the mountains, and has advocated for a new branch of environmental science focusing on the interplay between forests, mountains, and the ocean.

Tsutomu Ohashi

Neuroscientist who discovered the “hypersonic effect,” a neurological reaction in which the brain is stimulated by sounds at very high frequencies. As a music composer, Ohashi is famous for composing the soundtrack of the hit movie “AKIRA,” and is President of the Geino Yamashiro Association.

Shigeatsu Hatakeyama

Operates an oyster fishery at Kesen-numa that has been in his family for generations. For over 20 years, Hatakeyama has spearheaded a reforesting initiative called “The Forest Longs For the Ocean Movement.” Recipient of a Forest Hero Award from the United Nations.

Akira Miyawaki

Professor Emeritus, Yokohama National University. A strong advocate of maintaining indigenous forests, Miyawaki has planted over 40 million trees all over the world, from the Great Wall of China to Kenya.

Yoshihiro Narisawa

Chef Narisawa brings attention to environmental issues through the lens of food, by creating recipes with the theme of “Living Together with the Forest.” He has consistently been chosen as one of the most influential chefs in the world.

Creative Team

Director: Masaaki Miyazawa

Born in Tokyo, 1960. Graduated from Nihon University with a degree in Photography. Received the ICP Infinity Award in New York for his debut collection shot on infrared film “Yume Juyo” in 1985. After returning to Japan, he pursued a career in fashion and advertising photography. In 2005, he received official permission to shoot the 62nd Ise Jingu Nenshiki Sengu ceremony. Thus began a long-term photography project with the theme “Myths That are Alive Today.” Over an eight-year span culminating in the final “Sengyo no Gi” ceremony in October 2013, Miyazawa took approximately 60,000 photographs documenting the rebirth of this ancient shrine. His recent works include “Jo-An” and “Sengu.”

Soundtrack: AUN J Classic Orchestra

“In music there are no national boundaries, but there is nationality.” This is the simple yet powerful idea underlying the AUN J Classical Orchestra, an eight-member group that plays traditional Japanese instruments in a contemporary way. They have performed all over the world at important cultural sites such as Mont Saint-Michel. With a 2013 performance at Angkor Wat, they launched the “One Asia” cultural exchange tour with indigenous music artists from other ASEAN countries. In the US, they’ve performed the American National Anthem at Fenway Park in Boston, and played at the opening ceremony of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. In Japan, they have performed numerous times at Ise Shrine and other famous cultural sites including Rakushiji Temple and many others. They have released six albums including “Octet,” a cover album of Western songs, and “Hachinin no Hibiki,” featuring songs composed by all the members.

Director / Director of Photography: Masaaki Miyazawa

Executive Producer: Hideaki Okuyama

Producers: Susumu Hattori, Yusuke Kamata, Shin Ryusawa

Editor: Ryuji Miyajima

Written by: Yusuke Kamata

Musical Director: Naoki Tachikawa

Music: Akiko Grace, Osamu Kitajima

Theme Song: AUN J Classic Orchestra

Presented by Sustainable Investor

In production of Heart Tree, Generation Eleven Pictures

2014 / 79 minutes / 4K / Color / Digital / American Vista / 5.1 ch