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About the photograph collection "ZEN"
In the year 2002, we commemorated the 750th anniversary of Dougen Zenji's death.
Dougen Zenji, the founder of the Soto Sect
of Zen, is one of the greatest Zen monks in the Medieval period in Japan. The Zen had strong influence on our mental structure and still today it forms a basis of our way of thinking.
For more than two years, I have been taking photographs of Eiheiji, one of the Soto Zen's two head temples, which stands on the deep mountains in Fukui prefecture.
Before daybreak, a sound of the grand temple bell echoes in the dark sky, and at the same time, a monk runs through the scrubled cloister floor while ringing a bell to wake up other fellows in practice. The daily life of Eiheiji and Soujiji, the other head temple of the Soto Sect, where one can't be bothered by others voices all through the day, begins like this, and their way of life has never been changed for 750 years.
Thanks to the Soto Sect, I enjoyed every moment of taking pictures of monks practicing Zen meditation in the complete silence of the temples. These years in the sacred mountains were really exciting to me.