In his youth Otani Kodzui was educated in London and traveled to Europe. During this time he became acquainted with a number of travelers and researchers. Among them were Sven Hedin, Aurel Stein and Albert von Le Coq. These meetings have greatly influenced him, and he decided to explore the East Turkestan region, played an important role in the spread of Buddhism. Among its objectives was the discovery of the ancient text of the Buddhist sutras.
In the years 1902-1910 Otani Kodzui funded three expeditions to Central Asia. Among them, the most significant achievement is considered an archaeological study of the ancient city Subashi in the Taklamakan Desert.
The first expedition (1902-1904), the only one of the three, which Otani Kodzui personally supervised, it was organized as a part of his return from Europe to Japan. He left London August 16, 1902, and August 21 in St. Petersburg gathered like-minded people (Inoue Cohen, Honda Eryu, Watanabe Ticino, Hori Kenyu), and the expedition went to Kashgar via Baku, Samarkand, Andijan, Osh arrived in Kashgar September 21. There expedition discussed plans with his British counterpart, Colonel Miles and decided to split into two. Otani, Inoue and Honda have made the Indian group, and Watanabe and Hori - Central. Together they went from Kashgar 27 September, and getting to Yarkand, divided.
The Indian team, with three horses and fourteen camels, went through Mintaka pass and, after passing through Gilgit, 9 October reached Srinagar in Kashmir. From India it reached the Sea of ??Japan.
Central Asian team returned to Yarkand iotpravilas east after spending 40 days on the excavations of the ancient city of Khotan. January 2, 1903, she left and went through Hotan Taklimakan to Aksu and Turfan. 20 February the band returned to Kashgar and undertook a new journey through Baralbashi, Tumshuk, Aksu, and Bai, April 10 arrived in Dogwood around Pile. Heap took them 4 months. Here, the group explored a number of archaeological sites, including Dulduk-Okura, East and West Subashi, caves and Dogwood Kumtura. Prior to this unexplored Pile was the main point of application effort expedition as Hotan has already been studied by Stein and Turfan German archaeologists. After the excavation of the expedition returned to Japan through China, passing Turpan, Urumqi, Hami and Xi`an.
Otani Kodzui had to stop personal involvement in the expeditions in relation to inheritance duties abbot in 1903, received the news of the death of his father, Koson Otani. As rector, he continued to organize expeditions and made modernization of Buddhist schools Jodo Shinshu in Kyoto.
The second expedition (1908-1909) composed of: Tachibana Dzuit