Currently in the western countries, "ZEN" is booming, do you know the high priest who conveyed "ZEN" for the first time to the West from Japan ?
Soyen Shaku was born in Takahama Town in Fukui Prefecture in 1859, he went to Kyoto "Myoshinji" Temple when he was 10 years old.
After that, he trained at Kyoto "Kenninji", Okayama "Sogenji", Kamakura "Engakuji" etc. At the age of 23, he received a certificate from Kosen Imakita, a chief priest of Kamakura "Engakuji".
After 1885 he studied English at Keio University for about 3 years and after graduation he studied Theravada Buddhism for about 3 years in Sri Lanka and took office as a chief priest of Engakuji in 1892 after returning to Japan.
At the Universal Religious Tournament held in Chicago, USA in 1893, he gave a speech on "Modern Buddhism" as a representative of Japan. Paul Carus, who operated the publishing company in Chicago, highly appreciated this speech and requested temporary staffing for Buddhism enlightenment in the United States. In response to it, D. T. Suzuki went to the United States with the recommendation of Soyen Shaku, after which Buddhism and Zen spread to the world.
In 1902, Mrs. Russell, a large furniture dealer in San Francisco, came to Japan and received guidance of Zen by Soyen Shaku. Mrs. Russell stayed for about nine months as a first foreigner who experienced Zen meditation in Japan.
In 1905, with the request of Mrs. Russell, this time he was traveling to the United States and teaching Zen, while staying in Russell 's residence for about nine months. After that, he moved to the east coast, met with President Theodore Roosevelt at the time, furthermore traveled around Europe and conveyed Buddhism and Zen.
In 1919, he passed away at the age of 59 at Kamakura Tokeiji.
In 2018, our honorable activity such as establishing his monument is being carried out in order to correspond to the 100th anniversary of the passing away of a great person "Soyen Shaku" in the local community Takahama.
The photo is cited from the Internet