Taicho Daishi, the famous Shugendo monk of the Nara Period, was born here in 682. As a child he played with clay and created many Buddha statues. People called him a child prodigy, and he used to practice Zazen on this stone (Zazen Stone) all day long. During the eighty-six years of his life, he traveled to more than 20 prefectures, visited five-hundred places all over Japan, preached to people, built temples, created statues, climbed and trained in the mountains, worked on flood control in villages, built roads, and much more. His whole life was dedicated to the people and to Buddha, which earned him the reverential nickname, 'Etsu-no Daitoku (Man of Great Virtue in Echizen)'. Now, his 'Zazen Stone' is preserved here inside Taicho-ji Temple in Fukui, together with a cedar tree beside it that has been here since Taicho's childhood.
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I was born in and grew up in Tokushima prefecture, and have lived in many places since then: Nishinomiya, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Fukuoka and Fukui. I am currently living in Yokohama City. All the places I lived, all the places I visited, I have loved dearly. The historical places where people lived, loved, suffered, and fought - places where I can still hear their heartbeats - mesmerize me. I'd like to retrace the footsteps of the people who lived in Japan a long long time ago, and introduce to you what they left behind on this soil.