About the photograph
In the year 2002, we commemorated the 750th anniversary of Dougen
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.