The Sōtō Zen Daihonzai Temple in Taiwan was the Taiwanese branch temple of Eihei-ji Temple and Sōji-ji Temple, the two daihonzan (head temples) of the Japanese Buddhist sect of Sōtō Zen. Japanese Sōtō Zen is a school of Zen Buddhism that was introduced to Taiwan by Japanese troops during the Japanese colonial period. Missionaries spread the religion with increasing success in Taipei, and in the 40th year of the Meiji era (1907 CE), a Taiwanese branch of the temple was built under the suggestion of rōshi (teacher) Yamada Sogaku. The temple was later rebuilt with reinforced concrete in the 10th year of the Taishō era (1921 CE). The bell tower of the temple is a two-tier structure that combines stone masonry and reinforced concrete, with a doorway in the lower level and a bronze bell hanging in the upper level. The bronze bell was cast by Saijiro Takahashi in Kyoto in the 9th year of the Taishō era (1920 CE), and is preserved to this day as a precious artifact. Bells are an important part of Buddhist rites. In the Muromachi period, the Japanese began combining bell pavilions and the sanmon (the most important gate of a Japanese Zen Buddhist temple) into shōrō (bell towers) with a doorway. The bells are rung on special holidays as a prayer. The bell tower of Sōtō Zen Daihonzai Temple has a bell with a rich, profound sound that complements its elegant architecture. It is an excellent example of Buddhist temple architecture during the Japanese colonial period.
There is only a bell tower in Bell Tower of Sōtō Zen Daihonzai Temple in Taiwan. The original site and the original buildings of the courtyard were demolished in 1993 and rebuilt into the existing Beishi Youth Education Center behind the bell tower.
The Bell Tower of Sōtō Zen Daihonzai Temple in Taiwan is symmetrically spread out around the central doorway. There are also doorways on the left and right sides of the central doorway, which can communicate horizontally.
The main body of the clock tower is constructed of reinforced concrete imitating wood, following the traditional Japanese Buddhist architectural style
There is a pedestal under the bell tower, and a platform above the pedestal constitutes a flat seat. The flat seat is surrounded by high fences. The architectural form is common in traditional Japanese wooden architecture.
There is a bronze bell hanging inside the white exterior wall on the second floor, and there is a porch outside, and there are protruding flat railings on the side of the porch.
The bell tower belongs to the architectural style of Japan from Momoyama to Edo period
The monument explanatory board depicts the layout plan of the Caodongzong Dabenshan Taiwanese Courtyard during the Japanese Occupation
A stone lantern symbolizing Japanese garden culture was added outside the clock tower
The center of the lower pedestal is the central doorway, the doorway size is large in the middle and small on both sides