Soji-ji on the Noto Peninsula is one of the two main temple of the Soto Zen Buddhism, the most important Zen school in Japan. It boasts two temples: If Eihei-ji in Fukui is the “Zen of the mountains,” then Soji-ji is the “Zen of the sea”.
Monks would periodically serve at Soji-ji in a 75-day rotation system. They would arrive by boat to Kuroshima, a coastal town where shipwrights and sailors made fortune through trade, then walk to Soji-ji temple.
As they return to their hometown after completing their duties, they would bring back along fine Wajima lacquerware, participating in the spread of this refined craft throughout Japan. “Zen of the Sea” is a modern reinterpretation of that system.