Chujakumon Gate

Eihei-ji Temple (plan)
Fukui, Japan

Eihei-ji, a leading Soto Zen temple, was founded by Dogen in 1244. Soto Zen emphasizes sitting meditation, whereas Rinzai Zen focuses on koans. Eiheiji was burned down several times in the succeeding centuries, most notably by doctrinal rivals at the end of the 16th century. Its existing buildings are 19th century and later.

Chujakumon (1852) is the inner gate of the temple. Its so-called kara-mon style has little to do with China, in spite of its name; the bow-shaped karahafu gable was original to Heian Japan. The view in this photo looks south (downhill) towards the temple entrance (plan).

At present, as in the past, Eihei-ji is an active training temple for monks. It also offers temple stays for visitors, and is politically active; for example, it adopted an anti-nuclear stance in 2011.