Masatsugu Okutani, a 41 year old Japanese, leads a double life. One takes place in Paris where “Masa”, as friends call him, works as the Sales & Marketing Manager for the international Japanese food company Ajinomoto and deeply enjoys la vie en rose on the banks of the river Seine. He also travels a lot, visiting clients in attractive cities across Europe, such as London, Hamburg, Milano, Madrid and Barcelona. Kiso Mura, a village nestling in the mountains between Nagano and Kyoto, is at the heart of Masa’s other life. There his father runs the shintô sanctuary of Yabuhara, celebrating the unchanging, ever present rituals to honour the kami, those zillions of divinities who fill the Japanese pantheon. Following in the tradition of the previous 24 generations of shintô officiants (priests) in the Okutani family. His parents expect Masa to become Nr. 25. How could it be different in a country where tradition and duty are intertwined? Masa already participates in jointly conducting with his father ôharae, the winter and summer Grand Purification ceremonies. In order to do so, he studied shintô over four years at Kokugakuin university in Tokyo. But Masa also got himself an MA in Business Management at Aberystwyth University in Wales. Being proud of his cultural heritage, he yet feels more like a citizen of the world. Going back to the place of his birth seems difficult to him. Like most of Japan’s villages, Kiso Mura is slowly dying. The young move to the cities, leaving the rural shintô sanctuaries to oblivion. Masatsugu Okutani stands at the crossroads of two lives which may collide. He would love to be Japan’s unofficial cultural ambassador to the West. And even celebrates, if requested, shintô rituals in the neighbourhoods of Notre Dame or Saint Germain. However, will he be able and willing to resist the family’s expectations? And the call of the kami at the 1400 year old sanctuary in Kiso Mura?