By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
The trailer for the movie, Suffering of Ninko, is deceptively wonderful. We are presented with what appears to be a comedy about Ninko (Masato Tsujioka), a novice Buddhist monk, whom many a woman wants to cuddle up with. There’s even two male members of his order who show interest, and to see how he struggles to stay celibate is at the heart of this rated R film. Reciting his mantras is easy, but when he is presented with physical challenges, averting his eyes is not. However, there’s more he must face to test his virtue.
The people from Edo-period Japan tends to have a deeper spiritual connection with the world. Whether that’s in the art they produce or their every day life, the supernatural is generally believed to exist everywhere. When rendered to a form either on paper or with a word, there’s a life given to the work. With literature, it gives the narrative a higher meaning. In the full 70minute film, just what this tale means is worth exploring. Is it folklore, a Brothers Grimm type tale or symphonic prose?