The Departure

About This Episode


After a youth full of drinking and night clubs, Ittetsu Nemoto was in a near fatal motorcycle accident. Hospitalized for three months, he realized how precious life was and turned to Zen Buddhism. Now, in a temple nestled among the rice fields in rural Japan, he dedicates his life to preventing suicides.

“What makes life worth living?” he asks. This question fuels his unconventional approach to suicide prevention. Retreats, pilgrimages, meditation, and collaborative art projects help patients realize what they’d be leaving behind. But while Nemoto helps others rediscover their will to live, he must also practice what he preaches. His work begins to take a toll on his family and health, and he must learn to draw the line between his patients and his own life.