A serene observation of women giving birth at the clinic of Dr. Tadashi Yoshimura who has spent 40 years on the path of natural childbirth, Genpin is Naomi Kawase’s special meditation on life and on the unshakable bond between mother and child.
The title, Genpin, was overlaid on the words of the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, “The valley spirit never dies. It is named the mysterious woman (genpin).”
In the film, the obstetrician Tadashi Yoshimura reflects on the relationship between childbirth and death, and observes, more as a human being than a doctor, that to deny death is to deny life.
Life born into this world, life that ends at the moment of birth, life that ends before birth. Lives do not cease as a solitary life, but are carried on by the species, and continue.
Through the flux of the Japanese seasons, Naomi Kawase entered the circle of the women giving birth at the Yoshimura Clinic and the world of Dr. Yoshimura, who has spent 40 years on the path of natural childbirth, and wove the footage she shot with her own 16mm camera into this film.