Takuan Sōhō (1573-1645) was a Rinzai Zen priest of the early Edo period. Born in Izushi, Tajima Province, he studied under Haruya Soen (1529-1611) at Shofukuji Temple, the pagoda of Izushi Sogyoji Temple in his hometown in Tensho 14 (1586) at the age of 14, and later at Sangenin Temple, the pagoda of Daitokuji Temple, after traveling to Kyoto.
In 1609, at the age of 36, he was promoted to the 154th abbot of Daitokuji Temple by imperial invitation, but left the temple after only three days to rebuild Nanshuji Temple, which had been destroyed in the war, and Sogyoji Temple, which had been devastated. In 1629, he was exiled to Ueyama in Dewa Province for defending himself against the Shogunate over the Purple Cloak Law, but was pardoned in 1632 and entered Edo (present-day Tokyo). He received the deep devotion of Tokugawa Iemitsu (1604-1651) and in 1638 founded Tokaiji Temple in Shinagawa, Edo.