Buddhism in Japanese feature film
Tue Jul 6 16:27:07 EDT 1999
You might also consider both Chinese and Japanese (although Japn. are
mostly limited to TV, as far as I know) versions of "Journey to the West"
(Saiyuki); in particular, Stephen Chiau Sing-chi's "Chinese Odyssey I &
II," (which did reasonably well in Japan on video) is an interesting
example of this. There is also an animated version from China dating
from around 1977/8. The story is interesting for, among other things, its
popularity in a pan-East Asian context (cf. "Dragonball"), and its use in
popular culture (the "Son Goku" [Monkey King] karaoke system, for
example). The Chiau film makes rather unique use of the Shinkyo (Heart
Sutra) as an "open sesame" kind of spell.
Best of luck,
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