About Dogen Zenji
(Taken from Prof. Masunaga book ‘Soto Approach to Zen’, the chapter: ‘The place of Dogen’, pages 203-214)
The place of Dogen
It was Dogen (1200-1253) who first brought Soto Zen to Japan. Keizan (1268-1325) made possible the popularization of Soto Zen, thereby laying the foundation for the large religious organization, which it is today. Dogen, born in a noble family, quickly learned the meaning of the Buddhist word “mujo” (impermanence). While still young, he lost both his parents. He decided then to become a Buddhist priest and search for truth. He went first to Mt. Hiei, the headquarters of the sect.