SOTOZEN.COM > Library > Glossary > Sōji Monastery
One of two head temples (honzan 本山) of the Soto school; the other is Eiheiji. In 1321, Keizan took over as abbot of a monastery on the Noto Peninsula (modern Ishikawa Prefecture) and changed its name to Shogaku Mountain Sōjiji (Shogakusan Sōjiji 諸嶽山總持寺); it had previously been called Shogaku Kannon Hall (Shogaku Kannondō 諸嶽觀音堂) and was affiliated with the Shingon Vinaya school (Shingon Risshū 眞言律宗). The term sōji, literally "all" (sō 總) "upholding" (ji 持), entered the lexicon of East Asian Buddhism as a Chinese translation of the Sanskrit dhāraī (magical spell, literally, "that which supports"). Under Keizan's guidance, Sōjiji became a leading center of Soto Zen. In 1898, almost the entire monastery was destroyed by fire. In 1907, Sōjiji was moved to its present location in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, where it was constructed on a grand scale. The original monastery site, rebuilt to some extent after the fire, is now called the Ancestral Cloister of Sōjiji (Sōjiji Soin 總持寺祖院).