Akeji Sumiyoshi was born in 1938 in Kyoto, in an ancient imperial palace in ruins. From the age of three, he lived with his grandfather in the mountains of Kurama Yama where he introduced his grandson to calligraphy and martial arts. Later, Akeji turned to zen Buddhism, which he both practiced and studied.
He essentially lived a wandering life between shinto sanctuaries and Buddhist monasteries. He was taught traditional pharmacopoeia and some Shamanic practices. Spiritually fulfilled, Akeji sought a university education in law and natural sciences at the University of Kyoto. In the 1960s, although living a secluded life in the mountains of Izumo, the recent graduate answered a call from the Prime Minister who made him join a think tank on the future of Japan.
He spent his first long stay in France, as well as in Lichtenstein, Spain and Germany. He discovered the richness of the western culture, and opened a dialogue that continued throughout France and Europe.
Today, Master Akeji lives in Himuro, a remote hamlet close to the slopes of Kurama Yama, in an old forest refuge. With his wife, he leads a secluded and almost totally self-sufficient life.
He passed away in Japan in 2018.