Memory, Melancholy and Nostalgia, the 4th International Interdisciplinary Memory Conference

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


The Tomb of Yasujiro Ozu: A Journey’, Professor K Kosmala, T Grace, G Jamieson
This practice based-research project pays homage to the iconic Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu and documents a journey to Ozu’s final resting place with oblique references to Ozu’s distinctive cinematic style. We seek to pose and examine questions of transcultural artistic legacy through the creation of a moving image work developed in the context of shifts in time and space, continuity and memory. In so doing, the project seeks to interrogate and produce insight into the precise workings of the cultural ‘homage’ artefact and the capacity for an enacted pilgrimage – the journey to a special place of memory – in this case Ozu’s tomb – to evoke a sensory cinematic experience. Our understanding of this experience is framed through a critical discussion that often privileges the philosophical perspective in relation to Ozu’s work: for example, Donald Ritchie describes the aesthetic quality of Ozu’s films as akin to the Buddhist ethos of 'Zen' (1974) and Paul Schrader (1972) argues that Ozu’s inherent poeticism exemplifies a 'transcendental style' that encapsulates 'mono no aware', or a sensitivity to 'things' (the vase of Late Spring is the typical example often cited by scholars). Our project incorporates visual contemplation of the inscription on Ozu’s tomb – ‘Mu’ which translates as ‘nothingness’, and enacts a form of symbolic pilgrimage that culminates in what has become the popular practice of leaving an offering in the form of a refreshment at Ozu’s tomb. Such tokens seek to express something empathetic for Ozu’s life and work, therefore perhaps it is fitting that it is through a sensitivity to ‘things’ that appreciation and reverence is expressed.
Period17 Sept 201518 Sept 2015
Event typeConference
LocationPolandShow on map


  • memory
  • Ozu
  • creative practice
  • film
  • tomb
  • journey
  • Japan