In the early years of the Kanei period, about 370 years ago, a young itinerant
priest stayed in the Katata area.
He made up his mind to practice and propagate Zen, so he put up at a hermitage.
At first the villagers were unconcerned about him. However, when they
knew his pious personality and sincerity, they believed him and came to
rely on his guidance.
This young priest was the founder of Shofukuji temple, “Ee-chu-so-ten”.
He never sought distinction. He always wore black clothes. He had been
familiar with the villagers until he passed away on August, 15th 1677.
He maintained the hermitage and built a foundation for a temple, however
he didn’t become the founder of a temple.
He requested to his master “Ka-san-tou-kan” to become the founder of the temple.
We can feel his pleasant personality with this story.
The successive priests of Shofukuji temple
The founder Ka-san-tou-kan 夾山東寛禅師
(The founder) Ee-chu-so-ten 一株祖典禅師
The second Kei-zan-so-kei 荊山祖圭禅師
The third Ten-rei-chi-gan 天霊智巖禅師
The 4th Tu-gen-chi-tastu 通元智達禅師
The 5th Chu-zan-chi-jou 籌山智丈禅師
(He held the additional post)
The 6th Ki-shu-gi-kan 橘洲宜侃禅師
The 7th Ou-shu-chi-sou 鴎洲智叢禅師
The 8th Kan-tei-sou-shin 寛庭宗清禅師
The 9th Rin-sen-sou-shou 臨川宗照禅師
The 10th Kei-zan-sou-haku 庭山宗柏禅師
The 11th Shou-hou-shu-shin 彰峰守信禅師
The 12th Ryou-zan-so-tou 梁山祖棟禅師
The 13th Gi-san-kyou-yu 巍山喬雄禅師
The 14th Kaku-mu-stu-tou 覚夢通棟和尚
The 15th Tai-shin-ken-go 太真研悟