NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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道元 Dougen Dogen

Jp En

Dogen is the founder of the Soto sect of the Japanese Buddhism. Born in Kyoto in 1200, he entered a Buddhist monastery in Mt. Hiei at the age of 13. He became a priest in the next year and studied the Tendai Buddhism and Zen doctrines. Then he went to China to study “Shoho (true dharma)” and visited Zen monk Nyojo (Ju-Ching, 13th Patriarch of the Soto lineage of Zen Buddhism) in Mt. Tiantóng in 1225, when he became the Dharma successor. His way of Zen is “Shikan Taza,” which means “zazen alone.”

When Dogen returned to Japan, he stayed at Kenninji Temple in Kamakura, where he wrote down “the Fukan Zazengi (Universally Recommended Instructions for Zazen),” a short text emphasizing the importance of and giving instructions for zazen, or sitting meditation. In 1233, he founded Koshoji Temple in Uji, south of Kyoto, where he stayed for 8 years and devoted himself to the propagation of Zen Buddhism.
In 1243, he was invited to Echizen province, where his followers founded Daibutsuji Temple (present-day Eiheiji Temple) as a comprehensive center of Zen practice. Dogen spent the remainder of his life at this temple teaching young priests.

Dogen’s masterpiece “the Shobogenzo,” collected together in ninety-five fascicles, has been studied even up to the present day as the book that lead us to enlightment.
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北山安夫 KitayamaYasuo Yasuo Kitayama

Jp En

President of Kitayama Zoen. Born in 1948 in Kyoto. A contemporary master gardener who has received international repute. After graduating from the university, he studied gardening under the late Hiroyasu Komiyama of Komiyama Teien Sosakusho in Kyoto. Thereafter he established his own practice at the age of 26. Since then he has taken charge of many garden projects and restorations including Kodaiji Temple and its Tacchu (sub-temple) of Entokuin, Japan’s oldest Zen-Buddhism temple of Kenninji Temple, Kubota Icchiku Art Museum (Yamanashi Pref.), Entsuji Temple (Saga Pref.), and the rock arrangement design of the Japanese Garden in Forest Experience Zone at the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan. He has also taken charge of many garden designs in foreign countries such as Italy and some African countries. His design of gardens and rock arrangements is characterized by simplicity that is only attained by trimming off superfluity. Based on his philosophy of “Killing oneself to make oneself alive”, he controls self-assertion and makes a garden that is receptive to every human feeling. This self-control seems to be an embodiment of aesthetics that has traditionally sustained Japanese beauty.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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