Extra Notes
I translated a series of film summaries for the 2013 Yebisu Festival for Art and Alternative Visions official catalog, which was sold onsite at the festival. This is my translation of a film summary for Inori《祈》, a version in which the last sentence has been modified appears in the festival catalog.


The documentary Inori depicts a broad theme through its portrayal of scenes from a modest, everyday life in a small community nestled deep within the mountains.


The film is set Nara Prefecture’s Totsukawa Village, which was devastated by a severe flood during the Meiji Period. Located near the southernmost end of Nara Prefecture between the central mountains of the Kii Peninsula, the village is often called a landlocked remote island.


Abandoned by its younger generations, the now-quiet Kannogawa was once a bustling small settlement, but now remains home to only a few villagers. These people spend their time inheriting their history and living with nature, therefore continuously observing the circle of life while going about their daily tasks.


Playing on “The current of the flowing river does not cease, and yet the water is not the same water as before,” a famous line from Kamo no Chōmei’s An Account of My Hut (Hōjōki) as translated by Chambers, the film depicts the appearance of the villagers, the animals and the mountains and rivers of the landscape in a simple way, employing a motif of disasters and impermanence, and raises the question of how humans should coexist with nature.


The film was shot in April 2011, but in September of the same year, the Kii Peninsula flooded and was damaged by a tremendous landslide. The scenery has now changed, though miraculously, a reflection of it has been preserved in this film.

    2013 Yebisu International Festival for Arts and Alternative Vision