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Keizan (瑩山)

Keizan Jōkin 瑩山紹瑾 (1268-1325). One of the "two ancestors" of the present Soto school. A fourth generation dharma heir of Dōgen, the founder of the Soto lineage in Japan. Keizan became a monk at Eiheiji at age 13. At age 32 he received dharma transmission from Tettsū Gikai 徹通義介 (1219-1309), an heir to Dōgen's lineage who had converted Daijō Monastery (Daijōji 大乘寺) in Kaga (modern Ishikawa Prefecture) into a Chinese style Zen monastery. Keizan later succeeded Gikai as abbot of Daijōji and turned it into a major center of Soto Zen proselytizing in the region. He also founded or rebuilt a number of other monasteries that were to become instrumental in the spread of Soto Zen all around Japan: Jōjūji 淨住寺, Yōkōji 永光寺, and Sōjiji 總持寺; → "Sōji Monastery." The great majority of Soto clergy in Japan today trace their lineages of dharma inheritance back to Keizan (and through him to Dōgen). Keizan's most influential writings include: Admonitions for Zazen (Zazen yōjin ki 坐禪用心記), Record of the Transmission of the Light (Denkōroku 傳光録), and Keizan's Rules of Purity (Keizan shingi 瑩山清規).