Ekiken, who was a follower of the Chu Hsi school of Neo-Confucianism, spent much of his life traveling about to Nagasaki, Edo, and Kyoto and studying under various scholars, but he had no single person whom he acknowledged as his teacher.
Living at the time of the Genroku era, when a commercial and money economy was beginning to flourish, his thinking is marked by a strongly empirical and positivist tone.
His works, unlike the usual scholarly treatises of the time, are written in a style that is very simple and easy to read and they enjoyed widespread popularity during the Edo period.
He compiled a genealogy of the Kuroda family and a gazetteer of the province of Chikuzen as well as keeping many journals of his travels.
In his works entitled Shinshiroku and Ekiken jukkun he expounded his views on the essential dignity and equality of man, an equality that transcends the class divisions of feudal society. Ekiken had only two disciples, Takeda Shun’an and Kozuki Gyuzan, but because of the great number of his works and their practical nature, he had an incalculable influence upon his time.