Zenshūyo is a Japanese Buddhist architectural style derived from Chinese Song Dynasty architecture. Named after the Zen sect of Buddhism which brought it to Japan, it emerged in the late 12th or early 13th century. Together with Wayō and Daibutsuyō, it is one of the three most significant styles developed by Japanese Buddhism on the basis of Chinese models; until World War II, this style was called karayō but, like the Daibutsuyō style, it was re-christened by Ōta Hirotarō, a 20th-century scholar. Its most typical features are a more or less linear layout of the garan, paneled doors hanging from hinges, intercolumnar tokyō, cusped windows, tail rafters, ornaments called kibana, decorative pent roofs. Kōzan-ji's butsuden in Shimonoseki, Zenpuku-in's shaka-dō in Kainan and Anraku-ji's pagoda in Ueda, all dating to the Kamakura period, are considered the three most important Zenshūyō buildings. Kōzan-ji's butsuden is the oldest extant building in the Zenshūyō style in Japan. At the end of the 12th century, more or less while in Nara Chōgen was rebuilding Tōdai-ji, in the process was creating the architectural style that would be called Daibutsuyō, two monks were introducing Zen to Japan.
First was Eisai. Having the support of shōgun Minamoto no Yoriie, he was able to found temples in both Kamakura and Kyoto. A little Dōgen introduced the Sōtō school to Japan. Unlike Eisai, he declined the support of Kamakura's regent Hōjō Tokiyori and open his head temple, Eihei-ji, within the forests of today's Fukui prefecture; the success of the Zen sects, which were embraced by the warrior caste, meant that they were able to introduce to the country a new architectural style, like the Daibutsuyō derived from Song Dynasty architecture, but different in spirit. After arriving in Japan the style started to evolve in response to local tastes. Among its innovations is the roof, covered in wood shingles rather than tiles, as in China. Zen temple buildings have a so-called "hidden roof" structure, consisting in two roofs, the true one and a second underneath it; the second, false roof hides the first, making it possible to obtain sloping roofs and shallow eaves. The invention of the hidden roof in the 10th century allowed the inclination of the roof's underside to be different from that of the exterior, thus making Japanese temples feel different from their Chinese counterparts.
The Zen sect was successful, therefore imitated. Many of its innovations were therefore adopted by other Buddhist schools. Zenshūyō's characteristics are decorative pent roofs and pronouncedly curved main roofs, cusped windows, earthen floors and paneled doors. Wood structures are light, design light and orderly. All buildings have either stone or earthen floors. Other important characteristics are: More or less fixed garan composition and layoutZen's discipline is strict and its rules many and complex; as a consequence, the Zen garan has a typical elongated and bilaterally symmetrical layout where each building's shape, position and use are predetermined. To the contrary, older schools like Tendai and Shingon use more irregular building dispositions which take into account terrain characteristics; the typical Zen garan, of which Kenchō-ji's is a good example, begins with a gate followed by another, larger one, the main hall, the lecture hall, the chief abbot's residence all aligned more or less on a north to south axis, with the bath house and the sūtra repository to its east, the monks' hall to its west.
Use of penetrating tie beamsDuring the Heian period temples were built using only non-penetrating tie beams made to fit around columns and pillars nailed. The daibutsuyō style and the zenshūyō style replaced them with penetrating tie-beams, which pierced the column, were therefore much more effective against earthquakes; the nageshi was however retained as a purely decorative element. Tokyō between postsWhile other styles put roof-supporting brackets only above columns, Zen temples have them between columns. TōrihijikiEach bracket step has its own tōrihijiki or tōshihijiki, a long horizontal beam parallel to the wall and inserted into the bracket step, it strengthens the structure while at the same time supporting the roof rafters. OdarukiA tokyō's third step is supported by a so-called tail rafter, a cantilever set between the second and the third step; the name refers to its typical shape, similar to a tail protruding from the bracket. KibanaAnother Zenshūyō feature is the kobushibana or kibana, a nose-like decoration with a spiraling motif carved on a rafter after the last protruding bracket.
Fan-shaped roof raftersRoof rafters radiate outwards from a single central point. Paneled doorsDoors called sankarado are made of separate panels and do not slide, but are fixed to the tie beams by heavy hinges called waraza. Above the door's panels runs a transom. Sōmon and sanmonThe entrance to a Zen temple is straddled by two symbolic gates, the sōmon and the more important sanmon. MokoshiTypical of the style is the main hall, which has just one story but seems to have two because of the presence of a roofed corridor called mokoshi. Having the width of one bay, it makes the three-bay, one-story building look like a two-storey, five-bay building. Cusped windowsZen temple
Main Hall (Japanese Buddhism)
Main hall is the term used in English for the building within a Japanese Buddhist temple compound which enshrines the main object of veneration. Because the various denominations deliberately use different terms, this single English term translates several Japanese words, among them Butsuden, Butsu-dō, kondō, konpon-chūdō, hondō. Hondō is its exact Japanese equivalent, while the others are more specialized words used by particular sects or for edifices having a particular structure; the term kondō "golden hall", started to be used during the Asuka and Nara periods. A kondō is the centerpiece of an ancient Buddhist temple's garan in Japan; the origin of the name is uncertain, but it may derive from the perceived preciousness of its content, or from the fact that the interior was lined with gold. This is the name used by the oldest temples in the country. A kondō, for example Hōryū-ji's is a true two-story building with a 3x2 bay central core surrounded by a 1-bay wide aisles (hisashi making it 5x4 bays, surrounded by an external 1-bay wide mokoshi, for a total of 9x7 bays.
The second story has the same dimensions as the temple's core at the first story, but has no mokoshi. Some temples, for example Asuka-dera or Hōryū-ji, have more than one kondō, but only one exists and is the first building to be built; because of its limited size, worshipers were not allowed to enter the building and had to stand outside. The kondō and a pagoda were surrounded by a corridor called kairō; the use of kondō declined after the 10th century, when it was replaced by a hondō divided in naijin and gejin. The term remained in some use up to the Edo period, but its frequency decreased drastically after the appearance of the term hon-dō in the Heian period; the term hondō means "main hall" and it enshrines the most important objects of veneration. The term is thought to have evolved during the 9th century to avoid the early term kondō, at the time used by six Nara sects called the Nanto Rokushū, it became common after the introduction of the two Mikkyo sects to Japan. Various new types of temple buildings, including the hondō, were built during the Heian period, in response to the requirements of new doctrines.
Different buildings were called hondō depending on the sect, for example: the kondō, the chudō, mieidō, the Amida-dō. A notable evolution of the hondō during this period is the inclusion of a space for worshipers inside the hondō itself, called gejin. Other names such as Konpon-chūdō "cardinal central hall" are used as well, for example for the main hall at Mount Hiei's Enryaku-ji; the Tokugawa funeral temple of Kan'ei-ji, built explicitly to imitate Enryaku-ji had one, though it has not survived. Yama-dera in Yamagata is another example of a temple using this name; the Butsuden or Butsu-dō "Buddha Hall", is the main hall of Zen temples of schools such as the Sōtō 曹洞 and Rinzai 臨済. This architectonic style arrived together with Zen during the Kamakura period. There are following types of Butsuden or Butsu-dō: The simplest is a 3x3 bay square building with no mokoshi (a mokoshi being an enclosure circling the core of the temple covered by a pent roof one bay in width; the second type is 3x3 bay square, but has a 1 bay wide mokoshi all around the core of the temple, making it look like a two-story, 5x5 bay building as in the case of the butsuden, visible in the photo on the right.
It is known that during the 13th and 14th centuries large butsuden measuring 5x5 bays square having a mokoshi were built, but none survives. Large size 3x3 bay butsuden with a mokoshi however still exist, for example at Myōshin-ji. In the case of the Ōbaku Zen school that arrived late in Japan, the architecture retained the Ming Chinese style; the hondō of Ōbaku Zen temples is called daiyū-hōden ‘the Treasured Hall of the Mahāvīra ’. An example can be found at Mampuku-ji. Shichidō garan for details about the main hall's position within a temple compound; the Glossary of Japanese Buddhism for terms concerning Japanese Buddhism, Japanese Buddhist art, Japanese Buddhist temple architecture. Mahavira Hall, the common Main Hall of Chinese and Korean Buddhist temples Iwanami Kōjien Japanese dictionary, 6th Edition, DVD version Iwanami Nihonshi Jiten, CD-Rom Version. Iwanami Shoten, 1999-2001; the Evolution of Buddhist Architecture in Japan by Alexander Soper 1978, ISBN 9780878171965 Japanese Art Net User System Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology, Kondou, Hondou entries.
Accessed on May 6, 2009 Watanabe, Hiroshi. The Architecture of Tokyo. Edition Axel Menges. ISBN 978-3-930698-93-6
Hanyu Pinyin abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, written using Chinese characters; the system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters; the pinyin system was developed in the 1950s by many linguists, including Zhou Youguang, based on earlier forms of romanizations of Chinese. It was published by revised several times; the International Organization for Standardization adopted pinyin as an international standard in 1982, was followed by the United Nations in 1986. The system was adopted as the official standard in Taiwan in 2009, where it is used for international events rather than for educational or computer-input purposes, but "some cities and organizations, notably in the south of Taiwan, did not accept this", so it remains one of several rival romanization systems in use.
The word Hànyǔ means'the spoken language of the Han people', while Pīnyīn means'spelled sounds'. In 1605, the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci published Xizi Qiji in Beijing; this was the first book to use the Roman alphabet to write the Chinese language. Twenty years another Jesuit in China, Nicolas Trigault, issued his Xi Ru Ermu Zi at Hangzhou. Neither book had much immediate impact on the way in which Chinese thought about their writing system, the romanizations they described were intended more for Westerners than for the Chinese. One of the earliest Chinese thinkers to relate Western alphabets to Chinese was late Ming to early Qing dynasty scholar-official, Fang Yizhi; the first late Qing reformer to propose that China adopt a system of spelling was Song Shu. A student of the great scholars Yu Yue and Zhang Taiyan, Song had been to Japan and observed the stunning effect of the kana syllabaries and Western learning there; this galvanized him into activity on a number of fronts, one of the most important being reform of the script.
While Song did not himself create a system for spelling Sinitic languages, his discussion proved fertile and led to a proliferation of schemes for phonetic scripts. The Wade–Giles system was produced by Thomas Wade in 1859, further improved by Herbert Giles in the Chinese–English Dictionary of 1892, it was popular and used in English-language publications outside China until 1979. In the early 1930s, Communist Party of China leaders trained in Moscow introduced a phonetic alphabet using Roman letters, developed in the Soviet Oriental Institute of Leningrad and was intended to improve literacy in the Russian Far East; this Sin Wenz or "New Writing" was much more linguistically sophisticated than earlier alphabets, but with the major exception that it did not indicate tones of Chinese. In 1940, several thousand members attended a Border Region Sin Wenz Society convention. Mao Zedong and Zhu De, head of the army, both contributed their calligraphy for the masthead of the Sin Wenz Society's new journal.
Outside the CCP, other prominent supporters included Sun Fo. Over thirty journals soon appeared written in Sin Wenz, plus large numbers of translations, some contemporary Chinese literature, a spectrum of textbooks. In 1940, the movement reached an apex when Mao's Border Region Government declared that the Sin Wenz had the same legal status as traditional characters in government and public documents. Many educators and political leaders looked forward to the day when they would be universally accepted and replace Chinese characters. Opposition arose, because the system was less well adapted to writing regional languages, therefore would require learning Mandarin. Sin Wenz fell into relative disuse during the following years. In 1943, the U. S. military engaged Yale University to develop a romanization of Mandarin Chinese for its pilots flying over China. The resulting system is close to pinyin, but does not use English letters in unfamiliar ways. Medial semivowels are written with y and w, apical vowels with r or z.
Accent marks are used to indicate tone. Pinyin was created by Chinese linguists, including Zhou Youguang, as part of a Chinese government project in the 1950s. Zhou is called "the father of pinyin," Zhou worked as a banker in New York when he decided to return to China to help rebuild the country after the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, he became an economics professor in Shanghai, in 1955, when China's Ministry of Education created a Committee for the Reform of the Chinese Written Language, Premier Zhou Enlai assigned Zhou Youguang the task of developing a new romanization system, despite the fact that he was not a professional linguist. Hanyu Pinyin was based on several existing systems: Gwoyeu Romatzyh of 1928, Latinxua Sin Wenz of 1931, the diacritic markings from zhuyin. "I'm not the father of pinyin," Zhou said years later. It's a lo
Daibutsuyō is a Japanese religious architectural style which emerged in the late 12th or early 13th century. Together with Wayō and Zenshūyō, it is one of the three most significant styles developed by Japanese Buddhism on the basis of Chinese models. Called tenjikuyō, because it had nothing to do with India it was rechristened by scholar Ōta Hirotarō during the 20th century, the new term stuck. Ōta derived the name from Chōgen's work Tōdai-ji's Daibutsuden. Soon abandoned after its creator's death because it didn't harmonize with Japanese tastes, it nonetheless influenced other building styles with its rational solutions; the combination of wayō and daibutsuyō in particular became so frequent that sometimes it is classed separately by scholars under the name Shin-wayō. This grandiose and monumental style is the antithesis of the traditional wayō style; the Nandaimon at Tōdai-ji and the Amida-dō at Jōdo-ji in Ono are its best extant examples. The style was introduced by priest Chōgen, who in 1180 directed the reconstruction of Tōdai-ji, destroyed during the Genpei war.
Chōgen had just come back from the last of his three travels to China and therefore chose as a basis for the work Song Dynasty architecture. He was supported in his innovative work by first shōgun Minamoto no Yoritomo. Of his work at the temple only three structures remain, the mentioned Nandaimon, which remains the best Daibutsuyō example, the Kaizandō and the Hokkedō; the gate's most characteristic features are the six-tier bracket groups projecting directly out of the columns and connected to each other by ties as long as the facade. During the Edo period the temple's Main Hall, the Daibutsuden, was rebuilt in the style, to which it would give its name. Chōgen built other buildings in this style near and around Nara, of which the Amida-dō at Jōdo-ji in Ono is a good extant example; the style declined after its creator's death because it did not agree with Japanese tastes. Structural elements are treated as design elements, the building's deliberate roughness is supposed to be part of its beauty, but the concept was too alien to Chōgen's contemporaries, was rejected.
The Daibutsuyō style was short-lived but innovative, many of the ideas it introduced were adopted by other styles as well. In particular, during the Muromachi period the traditional Wayō style was so influenced that the mix of the two is sometimes called Shin-wayō. Thick woodwork and imposing general look Use of penetrating tie beamsDuring the Heian period temples were built using only non-penetrating tie beams made to fit around columns and pillars and nailed; the daibutsuyō style and the zenshūyō style replaced them with penetrating tie-beams, which pierced the column, were therefore much more effective against earthquakes. The nageshi was however retained as a purely decorative element. Thick, visible structural elements with decorative functionAs mentioned, many structural elements are left uncovered and have a decorative function. For example, the roof's supporting members are not covered by a ceiling and are therefore visible from within the temple; the Nandaimon's stabilizing bracket ties which run the entire width of the gate are fully visible.
Structural elements are much thicker than in Zen buildings. SashihijikiThe sashihijiki is a bracket arm inserted directly into a pillar instead of resting onto a supporting block on top of a pillar, as was normal in the preceding wayō style. At Tōdai-ji, both the Nandaimon and the Daibutsuden have six sashihijiki one on top of the other.. ŌgidarukiAnother detail unique to this style are the ōgidaruki. The rafters supporting each roof corner spread in a fan-like pattern. KibanaThe tips of each protruding beam ends in a nose-like structure called kibana. Japanese Buddhist architecture - Heian period Wayō Setchūyō Zenshūyō Fletcher, Sir Banister. Sir Banister Fletcher's a history of architecture. Architectural Press. ISBN 0-7506-2267-9. Retrieved 2009-11-11. "JAANUS". Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System. Nishi, Kazuo. What is Japanese architecture?. Kodansha International. ISBN 4-7700-1992-0. Retrieved 2009-11-11. Young, David. Introduction to Japanese architecture. Periplus Asian architecture. Tuttle Publishing.
ISBN 0-7946-0100-6. Retrieved 2010-01-11
Japanese architecture has traditionally been typified by wooden structures, elevated off the ground, with tiled or thatched roofs. Sliding doors were used in place of walls, allowing the internal configuration of a space to be customized for different occasions. People sat on cushions or otherwise on the floor, traditionally. Since the 19th century, Japan has incorporated much of Western and post-modern architecture into construction and design, is today a leader in cutting-edge architectural design and technology; the earliest Japanese architecture was seen in prehistoric times in simple pit-houses and stores adapted to the needs of a hunter-gatherer population. Influence from Han Dynasty China via Korea saw the introduction of more complex grain stores and ceremonial burial chambers; the introduction of Buddhism in Japan during the sixth century was a catalyst for large-scale temple building using complicated techniques in wood. Influence from the Chinese Tang and Sui Dynasties led to the foundation of the first permanent capital in Nara.
Its checkerboard street layout used the Chinese capital of Chang'an as a template for its design. A gradual increase in the size of buildings led to standard units of measurement as well as refinements in layout and garden design; the introduction of the tea ceremony emphasised simplicity and modest design as a counterpoint to the excesses of the aristocracy. During the Meiji Restoration of 1868 the history of Japanese architecture was radically changed by two important events; the first was the Kami and Buddhas Separation Act of 1868, which formally separated Buddhism from Shinto and Buddhist temples from Shinto shrines, breaking an association between the two which had lasted well over a thousand years. Second, it was that Japan underwent a period of intense Westernization in order to compete with other developed countries. Architects and styles from abroad were imported to Japan but the country taught its own architects and began to express its own style. Architects returning from study with western architects introduced the International Style of modernism into Japan.
However, it was not until after the Second World War that Japanese architects made an impression on the international scene, firstly with the work of architects like Kenzo Tange and with theoretical movements like Metabolism. Much in the traditional architecture of Japan is not native, but was imported from China and other Asian cultures over the centuries. Japanese traditional architecture and its history are as a consequence dominated by Chinese and Asian techniques and styles on one side, by Japanese original variations on those themes on the other. Due to the variety of climates in Japan and the millennium encompassed between the first cultural import and the last, the result is heterogeneous, but several universal features can nonetheless be found. First of all is the choice of materials, always wood in various forms for all structures. Unlike both Western and some Chinese architecture, the use of stone is avoided except for certain specific uses, for example temple podia and pagoda foundations.
The general structure is always the same: posts and lintels support a large and curved roof, while the walls are paper-thin movable and never load-bearing. Arches and barrel roofs are absent. Gable and eave curves are gentler than in columnar entasis limited; the roof is the most visually impressive component constituting half the size of the whole edifice. The curved eaves extend far beyond the walls, covering verandas, their weight must therefore be supported by complex bracket systems called tokyō, in the case of temples and shrines. Simpler solutions are adopted in domestic structures; the oversize eaves give the interior a characteristic dimness, which contributes to the building's atmosphere. The interior of the building consists of a single room at the center called moya, from which depart any other less important spaces. Inner space divisions are fluid, room size can be modified through the use of screens or movable paper walls; the large, single space offered by the main hall can therefore be divided according to the need.
For example, some walls can be removed and different rooms joined temporarily to make space for some more guests. The separation between inside and outside is itself in some measure not absolute as entire walls can be removed, opening a residence or temple to visitors. Verandas appear to be part of the building to an outsider, but part of the external world to those in the building. Structures are therefore made to a certain extent part of their environment. Care is taken to blend the edifice into the surrounding natural environment; the use of construction modules keeps proportions between different parts of the edifice constant, preserving its overall harmony.. In cases as that of Nikkō Tōshō-gū, where every available space is decorated, ornamentation tends to follow, therefore emphasize, rather than hide, basic structures. Being shared by both sacred and profane architecture, these features made it easy converting a lay building into a temple or vice versa; this happened for example at Hōryū-ji, where a noblewoman's mansion was transformed into a religious building.
The prehistoric period includes the Jōmon and Kofun periods stretching from 5000 BCE to the beginning of the eighth century CE. During the three phases of the Jōmon
Tenshōzan Renge-in Kōmyō-ji is a Buddhist temple of the Jōdo sect in Zaimokuza, near Kamakura, the only major one in the city to be close to the sea. Kōmyō-ji is number one among the Kantō Jūhachi Danrin, a group of 18 Jōdo temples established during the Edo period by Tokugawa Ieyasu, dedicated to both the training of priests and scholarly research, it is the sect's head temple for the Kantō region. In spite of the fact it is a Jōdo sect temple, Kōmyō-ji has several of the typical features of a Zen temple, for example a sanmon, a pond and a karesansui. Kōmyō-ji has always enjoyed the patronage of Japan's powerful and is the only Buddhist temple in Kamakura to have had the privilege of being a daimyō's funeral temple, it was chosen for that role by the Naitō clan, feudal lords from today's Miyazaki Prefecture whose tombs are part of the temple's compound. The temple, besides the usual Buddhist cemetery, maintains a special crypt for the ashes of house pets and other animals, twice a year holds in the Main Hall ceremonies in their memory.
The crypt is maintained by a group of veterinarian volunteers. The temple holds occasional music concerts in its main hall, concerts that are announced in its Wweb site. For 3500 yen, visitors who make a reservation can try at Kōmyō-ji the vegetarian food the resident priests themselves eat. Entrance is free, with the exception of the sanmon, which can be visited only telephoning the temple, explaining the motives for the planned visit, making a reservation and paying a small fee. Kōmyō-ji's precise origins are unclear. According to the temple itself, it was founded by Kamakura's fourth regent and de facto ruler of Japan Hōjō Tsunetoki. According to this version of events, it was built in 1240 in the Sasukegayatsu Valley near Jufuku-ji for famous Buddhist priest Nenna:ja:Ryōchū, it was called Renge-ji, or "Temple of Lotuses", a name, still part of its official full name. Tradition says Tsunetoki received in a dream the divine order to rename the temple Kōmyō-ji, or "Temple of the Shining Light", soon thereafter decided to move it to its present location near the sea.
The usual date given by the temple itself for the transfer and the name change is 1243, however it isn't supported by any historical record. It would be therefore more precise to say. According to a variant of the theory, Renge-ji was opened for Ryōchū by Hōjō Tomonao with the name Goshin-ji. Kōmyō-ji was sponsored by Hōjō Tokiyori and other Kamakura regents, acquiring a complete seven-building temple compound and becoming a center of Amidist devotion in the Kantō region. Ryōchū presided over the temple for more than forty years, dying there in 1287. During the following years, the temple enjoyed the continuous religious and financial support of emperors, shōguns and daimyōs, among them Ashikaga Takauji and several other Muromachi period shōguns, taikō Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Tokugawa Ieyasu, their generosity is well attested by the temple's archives. Three different emperors, Go-Hanazono, Go-Tsuchimikado and Go-Uda, donated it their own calligraphy. During the Muromachi period it was restored by Yūshō Shōnin and in 1495 Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado made it his praying temple.
When Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1547 created the Kantō Jūhachi Danrin group of temples, he dedicated it to the training of priests and scholarship, put Kōmyō-ji at its top. The buildings presently part of its compound belong to different eras, the sōmon being the oldest and the Kaisandō the newest; the temple's gates are a few hundred meters from the ruins of Wakaejima, an artificial island built in 1232 which, in spite of its state of disrepair, has been declared a national Historic Site because it's the sole surviving example of artificial harbor of the Kamakura period. Wakaejima used to be the point of entry of most of the cargo needed to support the city and it's that at least part of Kōmyō-ji's own timber came from there; the Zen style main gate (the sōmon was first erected in 1495 restored in 1624-28, it is believed that part of the old timber was reused for the reconstruction. The huge Hon-dō is an Important Cultural Property. To its left lie the Kaisandō and the Shoin drawing room. Between them is the temple's lotus pond, designed in the early 17th century.
The temple's huge sanmon is an 1847 reconstruction of an older original. The 16 meter wide structure has two stories, the first in traditional Japanese style, the second in Zen style; the characters Tenshōzan on the gable under the Sanmon were written by Emperor Go-Hanazono himself in 1436 and sent to the temple as a present. The Sanmon's second floor contains several statues, the most important of which are the so-called Shaka Sanzon, or Shakyamuni Trinity, three statues which represent Shaka, Monju Bosatsu and Fugen Bosatsu.. The so-called Shi Tennō, or Four Heavenly Kings are statues of four protector gods; these are accompanied by the Sixteen Arhats. All the statues were built during the late Edo period; the Sanmon is closed to the public, but it's opened for ceremonies or festivities, can be visited at any time telephoning the temple, explaining the motives for the visit and paying a small fee. Located next to the main hall, the rock garden consists of white raked gravel, some rhododendrons and eight rocks.
Each rock represents a god. The group of thr
Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China during the Tang dynasty as the Chan school of Chinese Buddhism and developed into various schools. Chán Buddhism was influenced by Taoist philosophy Neo-Daoist thought. From China, Chán spread south to Vietnam and became Vietnamese Thiền, northeast to Korea to become Seon Buddhism, east to Japan, becoming Japanese Zen; the term Zen is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Middle Chinese word 禪, which traces its roots to the Indian practice of dhyāna. Zen emphasizes rigorous self-control, meditation-practice, insight into the nature of things, the personal expression of this insight in daily life for the benefit of others; as such, it de-emphasizes mere knowledge of sutras and doctrine and favors direct understanding through spiritual practice and interaction with an accomplished teacher. The teachings of Zen include various sources of Mahayana thought Yogachara, the Tathāgatagarbha sūtras and the Huayan school, with their emphasis on Buddha-nature and the Bodhisattva-ideal.
The Prajñāpāramitā literature as well as Madhyamaka thought have been influential in the shaping of the apophatic and sometimes iconoclastic nature of Zen rhetoric. The word Zen is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Middle Chinese word 禪, which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna, which can be translated as "absorption" or "meditative state"; the actual Chinese term for the "Zen school" is Chánzong, while "Chan" just refers to the practice of meditation itself or the study of meditation though it is used as an abbreviated form of Chánzong. The practice of dhyana or meditation sitting meditation is a central part of Zen Buddhism; the practice of Buddhist meditation first entered China through the translations of An Shigao, Kumārajīva, who both translated Dhyāna sutras, which were influential early meditation texts based on the Yogacara teachings of the Kashmiri Sarvāstivāda circa 1st-4th centuries CE. Among the most influential early Chinese meditation texts include the Anban Shouyi Jing, the Zuochan Sanmei Jing and the Damoduolo Chan Jing.
While dhyāna in a strict sense refers to the four dhyānas, in Chinese Buddhism, dhyāna may refer to various kinds of meditation techniques and their preparatory practices, which are necessary to practice dhyāna. The five main types of meditation in the Dhyāna sutras are ānāpānasmṛti. According to the modern Chan master Sheng Yen, these practices are termed the "five methods for stilling or pacifying the mind" and serve to focus and purify the mind, can lead to the dhyana absorptions. Chan shares the practice of the four foundations of mindfulness and the Three Gates of Liberation with early Buddhism and classic Mahayana. Early Chan texts teach forms of meditation that are unique to Mahayana Buddhism, for example, the Treatise on the Essentials of Cultivating the Mind which depicts the teachings of the 7th-century East Mountain school teaches a visualization of a sun disk, similar to that taught in the Sutra of the Contemplation of the Buddha Amitáyus. Chinese Buddhists developed their own meditation manuals and texts, one of the most influential being the works of the Tiantai patriarch, Zhiyi.
His works seemed to have exerted some influence on the earliest meditation manuals of the Chán school proper, an early work being the imitated and influential Tso-chan-i. During sitting meditation, practitioners assume a position such as the lotus position, half-lotus, Burmese, or seiza using the dhyāna mudrā. A square or round cushion placed on a padded mat is used to sit on. To regulate the mind, Zen students are directed towards counting breaths. Either both exhalations and inhalations are counted; the count can be up to ten, this process is repeated until the mind is calmed. Zen teachers like Omori Sogen teach a series of long and deep exhalations and inhalations as a way to prepare for regular breath meditation. Attention is placed on the energy center below the navel. Zen teachers promote diaphragmatic breathing, stating that the breath must come from the lower abdomen, that this part of the body should expand forward as one breathes. Over time the breathing should become smoother and slower.
When the counting becomes an encumbrance, the practice of following the natural rhythm of breathing with concentrated attention is recommended. Another common form of sitting meditation is called "Silent illumination"; this practice was traditionally promoted by the Caodong school of Chinese Chan and is associated with Hongzhi Zhengjue who wrote various works on the practice. This method derives from the Indian Buddhist practice of the union of śamatha and vipaśyanā. In Hongzhi's practice of "nondual objectless meditation" the mediator strives to be aware of the totality of phenomena instead of focusi