Kinoshita Keisuke's Grave at Engakuji

This year, I again took my Yale Summer Session students on a tour of Kamakura. It was hard to schedule this year because of all the bad weather (it seems like the rainy season has not ended despite the weather bureau's declaration), but we started out where we usually do: Engakuji in Kitakamakura. We begin there not only because it is a very nice Zen temple (Rinzai sect), but also because we can honor two of Japan's great directors, Ozu Yasujiro and Kinoshita Keisuke. It's also an opportunity to show students what's involved in doing "ohakamairi" (I always bring Ozu a can or bottle of whiskey, and most students are surprised by that), but it also gives them a chance to get closer to filmmakers they have seen. This year, I showed The End of Summer to the entire class, and about a third wrote about Twenty-Four Eyes for their midterm report. Some were genuinely eager to visit these graves.

I wrote about this last year, but Kinoshita's grave is right by Ozu's. If you are looking at Ozu's grave, you just have to turn around 180 degrees and you can see it in the corner, next to the water faucet. I always feel sorry for Kinoshita when I visit. Every time I come, there are always flowers or bottles of liquor at Ozu's grave, but nothing at Kinoshita's. Ozu's grave is usually nice and clean, but Kinoshita's is closer to the surrounding shrubbery, and often has dead leaves or spider's webs on it. We always bring flowers and clean the grave when we visit. 

So please, when you visit Ozu's grave, turn around and pay a little homage to another brilliant filmmaker. 


Everything © Aaron Gerow. Send comments and suggestions to