The Tokozan monastery Daijō-ji in Kanazawa – Japan
The Tokozan monastery, Daijō-ji, has been well known for many years, first by the name Shojurin and later, Kinshihou.
Its founder was Tettsu Gikai Zenji (1219-1309), the third Abbot of the Eihei-ji monastery, the main Sōtōshu School found in the Fukui Prefecture.
Tettsu Gikai Zenji received his teachings from Teacher Dōgen Zenji (1200-1253) and afterwards continued his education with profound simplicity and modesty.
He then went to China where he visited many temples that he described in his text "Gosanjussatsuzu", a document recognized as National Cultural Patrimony.
Returning to Japan, he restructured the Eihei-ji monastic building and for this reason his work is called "Eiheichukō", a term meaning "Re-founder of Eihei-ji".
Later, Tettsu Gikai Zenji relocated to the Kaga region where in the Nonoichi province and under the protection of the Togashi family, in the second Shoo year in 1289, he founded the Daijo-ji monastery.
Daijō-ji is one of the most important monasteries amongst the four main monasteries in the Eihei-ji Lineage.
Keizan Jokin Zenji (1268-1325), disciple of Tettsu Gikai Zenji, was the second Abbot of Daijō-ji. He founded the Yoko-ji monastery in Hakui, then later founded another important monastery: Soji-ji. Keizan Zenji defined the foundations upon which the Sōtōshu School practice is built, in which the Tradition was developed for the majority of Japanese temples. This is way one refers to him with the epitaph "Taiso" (the Great), and is associated with the honorable "Koso" (the Eminent) attributed to Dōgen Zenji.
This is how Daijō-ji, through the works of its Abbots, is a monastery linked particularly with two main monasteries in the Sōtōshu School: Eihei-ji and Soji-ji.
In the Edo Period, about 300 years ago, under the protection of the Honda family, Daijō-ji was relocated to its current setting.
The 26th Abbot Gesshu Soko Zenji and the 27th Abbot Manzan Dohaku Zenji, followers of Dōgen Zenji's teachings, introduced to Daijō-ji the denomination, "Kiku Daijō", meaning "monastery of rigorous Zen practice", this reputation was widely diffused throughout the country.
Still today, Daijō-ji is a monastery dedicated to monastic education.
Daijō-ji was built with the construction style like the "Shichido-Garan" model, "Zen monastery with seven buildings", typical for Sōtōshu School monasteries. The Buddha hall is recognized as National Cultural Patrimony and some buildings of the same monastic complex were recognized as Cultural Patrimony for the Ishikawa Prefecture.
Today, many people visit Daijō-ji and to practice Zen in search for support for their own hearts and every year the amount grows of those who come to find themselves in the simple and pure atmosphere of the Monastery.