“This feature-length experimental narrative offers an extraordinary perspective on Japanese Buddhism and feminine identity; moreover, the film’s biography morphs into a suspenseful mystery with twists and turns worthy of a Murakami novel. The GateKeeper of Enmyoin is destined to attract a diverse audience, including specialists in Japanese culture, gender studies, religion, cultural studies, memoir and biography, experimental narrative, and so on. But most importantly, it will beguile any viewer who comes with no expectations than to experience the world through an artist’s fine-tuned sensibility and generous sharing of self.”

– Deirdre Boyle, documentary historian

“Part portraiture, part detective story, part religious and cultural exploration, part identity meditation, The Gatekeeper of Enmyoin manages to create a series of deeply resonant connections between the unique life and times and legacy of Teijun Ogawa, a 95 year-old female Buddhist priest, and the compellingly persistent and roving curiosity of filmmaker Reiko Tahara, a young Japanese woman living with her family in the United States.  Reiko’s probing but delicate voice-over uncovers both the simplicities and the complexities found inside the spiritual world of the Enmyoin Buddhist Temple.  Filled with mystery, magical overtones, compassion, and profound respect, The Gatekeeper of Enmyoin is also some of the most innovative documentary storytelling I’ve seen in a long time, with a brilliant musical score by Co-Director, Max Uesugi.”

– Alan Berliner, filmmaker

The GateKeeper of Enmyoin is partly funded by ;

♦ Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC)

♦ National Endowment for the Arts

♦ Jerome Foundation

♦New York State Council on the Arts, Individual Artist Program

♦ The Center for Asian American Media withfunds provided by the CPB

♦ The Decentralization Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council, Inc. (BAC), Kings County

♦ The Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by the Brooklyn ArtsCouncil, Inc (BAC)