Do a temple stay at the headquarters of Soto Zen Buddhism – Japan Today

Posted: October 3, 2020 at 5:56 am


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Oct. 2 05:08 am JST Oct. 2 | 06:48 am JST 2 Comments

Looking for Japanese spirituality and history all wrapped up into one fantastic experience? A day visit, or better yet, a stay at Eihei-ji Temple will leave you with lasting memories and maybe even eternal peace.

Fukui PrefecturesEihei-ji Temple stands as one of Japans two head temples of Soto Zen Buddhism. Introduced to Japan in the 13th century by Dogen Zenji, the Soto school is the largest single religious denomination in the nation, with more than 14,000 temples dotted across the country.

Who was Dogen Zenji?

Dogen founded Eihei-ji in 1243, in what is today Fukui City, north ofKyoto Prefecture. Dogen and his followers were looking for a home to avoid conflict arising with other sects of Buddhism, such as Tendai.

For a short time, the temple was known asDaibutsu(Giant Buddha) Temple, but Dogen renamed the complex to Temple of Eternal Peace, or Eihei-ji, in 1246. Dogen lived the remainder of his life at Eihei-ji, leaving only once at the Shogun regents request. After he died in 1252, priests entombed Dogens ashes and a memorial in Eihei-jisjoyoden,or founders hall.

Today, Eihei-ji is the head training temple of Soto Zen Buddhism, and more than 200 priests and nuns call the temple home. Practicing Soto Zen priests from all over Japan, and even the United States San Francisco Zen Center, come to Eihei-ji to meditate and chant sutras.

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Do a temple stay at the headquarters of Soto Zen Buddhism - Japan Today

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October 3rd, 2020 at 5:56 am

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