Kamen Rider Gaim
Kamen Rider Gaim is a Japanese television series, a tokusatsu drama, in the Kamen Rider Series. The series, written by Gen Urobuchi, directed by Ryuta Tasaki and produced by Naomi Takebe, began airing on TV Asahi from October 6, 2013, replacing Kamen Rider Wizard in its initial timeslot and joining Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger Ressha Sentai ToQger in the Super Hero Time programming block, until Gaim concluded on September 28, 2014. In Zawame City, a large company known as the Yggdrasill Corporation transformed the once bustling suburban city into a jōkamachi. To escape the resulting feeling of oppression, many of the youth in Zawame formed dance crews called Beat Riders to bring joy back into peoples' lives. Rising in popularity is the Inves Game, a simulator that uses strange devices known as Lockseeds to summon monsters known as Inves. Kouta Kazuraba, a member of the dance group Team Gaim, tries to find his place in the world while torn between his loyalty to his teammates and his sister Akira's insistence that he starts acting like an adult and find a proper job.
When Team Gaim's captain disappears after informing Kouta of a strange belt he found, Kouta discovers that the Lockseeds and Inves are from an alternate dimension known as Helheim Forest. Encountering a mysterious girl resembling his Team Gaim teammate and close friend Mai Takatsukasa, Kouta uses a Sengoku Driver belt and the Orange Lockseed to become a samurai-armored warrior, named Armored Rider Gaim. In time, including Team Baron's leader Kaito Kumon as Armored Rider Baron and Kouta's Team Gaim teammate Mitsuzane Kureshima as Ryugen, other Armored Riders appear to amass social power throughout Zawame: Team Raid Wild's Ryoji Hase as Kurokage, Team Invitto's Hideyasu Jonouchi as Gridon, the perfectionist ex-soldier Oren Pierre Alfonzo as Bravo. Unbeknownst to the Armored Riders, the Yggdrasill Corporation monitors them and the Inves Games while the head of its R&D division, Mitsuzane's older brother Takatora, is the enigmatic white Armored Rider Zangetsu, protecting a dark secret hidden within Helheim Forest.
When Kouta confronts Takatora as he becomes a New Generation Armored Rider alongside the Armored Rider development scientist Ryoma Sengoku as Duke, his aide Yoko Minato as Marika, the Lockseed Dealer Sid as Sigurd, he learns the horrible truth of Helheim Forest: that it was home to a once prosperous civilization, eradicated by the strange plants growing throughout it, as anyone who consumed the fruit of these plants is turned into an Inves. Finding an ally in DJ Sagara, a pirate radio DJ who knows more than he is letting on such as the intelligent Over Lord Inves, Kouta finds himself in the middle of a Sengoku period-like brawl among various factions for the right to possess the power of Helheim Forest–the proverbial forbidden fruit itself–and the fate of life on Earth as he knows it, but while adamant to obtain the Golden Fruit to save the world, Kouta's goal involves him having a predestined confrontation with Kaito who desires the fruit's power to shatter the status quo of the world. Kamen Rider × Kamen Rider Gaim & Wizard: The Fateful Sengoku Movie Battle, released on December 14, 2013, is the annual entry of the "Movie Wars" film series, featuring a crossover between the cast and characters from Kamen Rider Gaim and Kamen Rider Wizard.
A short teaser of the film was first shown during the screening of Kamen Rider Wizard in Magic Land, with a teaser shown after the finale of Wizard announcing the release date. The event of the movie takes place between Episode 9 and 10. Heisei Rider vs. Shōwa Rider: Kamen Rider Taisen feat. Super Sentai was released in Japanese theaters on March 29, 2014, it was first hinted at in a trailer after The Fateful Sengoku Movie Battle. Many previous series' leading actors will be returning for the film, with Masahiro Inoue of Kamen Rider Decade, Renn Kiriyama of Kamen Rider W, Kohei Murakami and Kento Handa of Kamen Rider 555 confirmed, with a subsequent trailer for the film showing Shunya Shiraishi from Kamen Rider Wizard. Kento Handa, on his Ustream channel, announced that he had been on set with Ryo Hayami of Kamen Rider X, Hiroshi Fujioka of the original Kamen Rider was announced as being on the cast. In a recent trailer and magazine, the Sentai teams' Ressha Sentai ToQger and Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger were confirmed to be in the movie, Shun Sugata of Birth of the 10th!
Kamen Riders All Together!! TV special returns and will play a new double role as Ambasaddor Darkness, Itsuji Itao of Kamen Rider The First will play as Ren Aoi, a main antagonist of the film, it has been reported. The event of the movie takes place between Episode 23 and 24. Kamen Rider Gaim the Movie: Great Soccer Battle! Golden Fruits Cup! was released in Japanese theaters on July 19, 2014, double-billed with the film for Ressha Sentai ToQger. It was a collaboration with the Japanese soccer league J. League and feature cameo appearances by professional soccer players; the film's antagonist Kogane, Kamen Rider Mars, will be portrayed by kabuki actor Kataoka Ainosuke VI. The event of the movie takes place between Episode 37 and 38. Kamen Rider × Kamen Rider Drive & Gaim: Movie War Full Throttle (仮面ライダー×仮面ライダードライブ&鎧武 MOVIE大戦フルスロットル, Kamen Raidā × Kamen Raidā Doraibu Ando Gaimu Mūbī
11eyes: Tsumi to Batsu to Aganai no Shōjo
11eyes: Tsumi to Batsu to Aganai no Shōjo, known as 11eyes in its anime adaptation, is an adult visual novel developed and published by Lass first released on April 25, 2008, for a Microsoft Windows PC as a DVD. A port playable on the Xbox 360 entitled 11eyes CrossOver was released on April 2, 2009, published by 5pb.. A manga adaptation illustrated by Naoto Ayano began serialization in the October 2009 issue of Kadokawa Shoten's Comp Ace magazine. An anime adaptation produced by Dogakobo and directed by Masami Shimoda began airing in Japan on October 7, 2009. A fan disc for Windows entitled 11eyes -Resona Forma- was planned for release at Fall 2010; the anime has been licensed in North America by Sentai Filmworks. Since losing his sister seven years ago, Kakeru Satsuki has led a vacant life, he has only been able to return to normal with help from his childhood friend, Yuka Minase, other friends at school. One day the sky turns red, the moon turns black, everyone around Kakeru and Yuka disappears and monsters start roaming the streets.
This virtual world is nicknamed "Red Night" by the pair. After several more incidents, they find four other humans affected by this mysterious phenomenon: Misuzu Kusakabe, a red-haired onmyouji swordswoman. Kakeru wants to protect Yuka in return for her constant support and kindness, but is unable to awaken his own hidden power, which Misuzu promises will appear; the six of them band together to survive with their special powers, but are soon targeted by grotesque creatures nicknamed "Black Knights" whose ultimate goal is to kill them. The plot thickens when the teenagers find a girl named Lisette trapped in a red crystal guarded by the Black Knights, who begs them to save her from this prison. What is the mystery behind this mysterious phenomenon of Red Night? Who are the Black Knights, how are they connected to Lisette? Furthermore, is Kukuri's resemblance to Kakeru's dead sister coincidence? What about Yuka and Kakeru's powers? Kakeru Satsuki Voiced by: Shinsuke Nakamoto, Daisuke Ono The main protagonist of the series.
He and his sister were orphaned in their youth, went to an orphanage where they first met Yuka. After his older sister committed suicide ten years prior to the main storyline, Kakeru felt that his life was empty; this was filled by Yuka and his new friends he met in high school. He has heterochromia and wears an eyepatch over his right eye, known as the eye of Aeon, which holds what seems to be the power of precognition, it shows him images of Velad, an ancient King of Drasuvania who apparently possessed the eye. He is able to use his right eye in battle to counter his opponent's moves. In the VN, the real power of the eye of Aeon not only covers precognition, but allows the bearer to assimilate all the memories and abilities of countless previous bearers, it allows the bearer to realize the desired future out of all the possible futures there are. The price for those powers is that upon death, the bearer's soul is absorbed into the eye as it's being passed on to a new bearer; this explains why Kakeru dreams of Velad, the previous bearer of the eye.
The Eye of Aeon is a magic stone on its own and is not a fragment of Liselotte's voidstone, nor can it increase her power. After this fact is revealed, the Black Knights are no longer after Kakeru's life and he is given the option to walk away from the ongoing conflicts, although he decides to keep fighting with his friends. Yuka Minase Voiced by: Oto Agumi, Mai Goto Kakeru's childhood best friend, she met him at the orphanage where they grew up, was able to help Kakeru feel better after his sister's suicide. She now attends the same high school as Kakeru and spends most of her time with him, causing most other characters to believe that she is Kakeru's girlfriend. In the part of the story, she discovers that she has a power that seems to negate others' powers, she and Kukuri name the power "Hand of Glory". However, it's a misconception of her and other companions in the "Red Night". In the game, she was able to remember why the bloody event at Ayame orphanage, where she and Kukuri used to live as orphans, happened.
It turned out that because her power was awakened and she did not know how to control it at the time, it wreaked havoc in the orphanage. The orphans living there killed each other, she explained Kakeru weren't affected due to her power to nullify. This event had such an impact on her that she sealed this portion of memories in her mind since and did not dare to go near the orphanage once she was adopted. Liselotte, while using her connection with the "fragments", tells Yuka that her power is "Phantasmagoria", a special technique/spell used by Liselotte herself; the power allows her to show people illusions of her own design. She explains that her power appears to nullify others because while being affected by Phantasmagoria, people unconsciously lose the will to maintain their power so it appears as though the power is nullified. While being conscious of her own power, she uses it to try to keep Kakeru to herself
Hitomi (Dead or Alive)
Hitomi is a player character in the Dead or Alive series of fighting games by Team Ninja and Koei Tecmo. She was introduced in Dead or Alive 3 in 2001, replacing Ein/Hayate as the regular karate martial artist in the character roster. Hitomi is of Japanese and German descent, she enters the Dead or Alive fighting tournaments either to test her skills against other martial artists, or out of personal reasons; the character has been well received by game critics for her sex personality. Hitomi was born in Germany to Japanese mother, she was trained in karate by a martial artist and dojo owner. She is cheerful, with a longtime commitment to her martial arts studies. Despite her Japanese name, Hitomi identifies more as Western, as her role in the series focuses more on her upbringing with her father while her relationship with her mother is unexplored. After the events of the original Dead or Alive, Hitomi encounters an amnesiac named "Ein", abandoned by the executive committee of the first tournament.
She takes him into her home, together they practice karate until he departs to enter the second tournament to find out about his past. He regains his memories of being ninja clan leader Hayate, which enables him to return home to his village. In Dead or Alive 3, the eighteen-year-old Hitomi enters the third DOA tournament to prove her skills and independence. While working as a waitress for the Dead or Alive Tournament Executive Committee, she reunites with Ein and meets ninjutsu specialist Ayane, during this time, Ein reveals the truth about himself to Hitomi, she additionally meets fellow contestant Jann Lee, whom she chastises for being too hard on opponents after he brutally defeats Leifang. After Hitomi finishes third, she is allowed to quit the dojo and she transitions into life as an independent adult. Hitomi is a secret playable character in the 2004 release Dead or Alive Ultimate, but does not appear in the game's story mode. In Dead or Alive 4, she enters the DOA tournament once more, this time in hopes of winning the cash prize after her father is stricken with an illness that puts a financial strain on the dojo despite his eventual recovery.
She defeats Leifang and again faces Jann Lee her from a T-rex. In the DOATEC Tritower, Hitomi encounters Hayate and pleads for him to return to her father's dojo, admitting that she does not know what to do without his guidance, but Hayate refuses, because he is no longer "Ein", while the fourth tournament is not a competition but a war. In Dead or Alive 5, Hitomi reunites with Leifang and they train together before going their separate ways. Hitomi defeats Eliot in the semifinals. Before the finals, Hitomi encounters Hayate once again, declaring that she needs to win one more fight and she will be champion. However, she is defeated by Jann Lee in the finals. In Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, Hitomi is invited to Zack Island for the fourth DOA tournament, which turns out to be a ruse concocted by Zack in order to lure the girls of DOA into a two-week tropical vacation. In the sequel Dead or Alive Xtreme 2, Hitomi returns to the island to participate in the fifth tournament after being deceived again into a false invitation from Zack.
In Dead or Alive Xtreme 3, Hitomi returns to New Zack Island after the fifth tournament to get distracted itself and have some fun before returning to her training for the next tournament. Hitomi, envisioned as a "traditionally-trained karate girl," started out as the intended new main heroine to replace Kasumi back when DOA3 was to feature a brand new cast of characters, she is a physically fit young woman of average height. Despite her Japanese heritage, she has blue eyes and brown hair styled with straight bangs and a front fringe, pushed back with a pink headband. In Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, she stands at 161 cm in height with an 89 cm bust, with these numbers increasing or decreasing only fractionally in Dead or Alive 4 and Dead or Alive Xtreme 2. Hitomi's standard wardrobe is contemporary Western with blue jeans, tank tops, denim jackets, all with fighting gloves; the back label of her pants bears the initials of the games in which she appears, while a distinctive emblem is emblazoned on either the front of her shirt or the back of her jacket.
While remodeling the characters for more realistic appearances in Dead or Alive 5, the designers made sure to keep Hitomi's headband as her distinctive trait. Her wardrobe in Dead or Alive 5 Last Round includes downloadable costumes of Alma from Koei Tecmo's Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess, Tita Russell from Nihon Falcom's The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel, Tsubame Miyama from Square Enix's School Girl Strikers, Tanpei from Tatsunoko's Time Bokan, Juvia from Fairy Tail, Yuri Sakazaki from SNK Playmore's The King of Fighters, among others, such as a ninja outfit and an Attack on Titan uniform, she was planned as straightforward, easy-to-use character, as the series' creator Tomonobu Itagaki added her to Dead or Alive 3 "because of her accessibility to players of all skills." Siliconera's preview of Dead or Alive: Dimensions stated: "If you’re a DOA newcomer, start with Hitomi. She’s a nice combination of stylish moves easy to learn." Dean James of Attack of the Fanboy wrote that "Hitomi has the best punch techniques" in Dead or Alive 5 Last Round, while her recovery time "more than makes up" for her weak offense, "making her quite useful for anybody playing the series for the first time."
The character compensates for her lack of
Ichigo Kurosaki is a fictional character in the Bleach manga series and its adaptations created by Tite Kubo. He is the main protagonist of the series, who receives Soul Reaper powers after befriending Rukia Kuchiki, the Soul Reaper assigned to patrol around the fictional city of Karakura Town; these powers come at the cost of Rukia's own, as a result, Ichigo concedes to work as Rukia's stand-in, fighting to protect people from evil spirits called Hollows and sending good spirits, wholes, to a dimension known as the Soul Society. In addition to the manga series, Ichigo appears in many other pieces of Bleach media, including the anime series, the four featured films, the two original video animations, rock musicals, several video games, light novels and the 2018 live-action film. Kubo said that Ichigo was created to replace Rukia as the protagonist of the series because he felt she wasn't suited for the role, his character has been well received among both reviewers. Ichigo is featured in Weekly Shōnen Jump character popularity polls.
He was ranked as the most popular character in Bleach. The 2007 Japanese Newtype magazine polls ranked Ichigo as one of the top 100 most-loved anime characters. Reviewers of the series have praised his personality, though some consider him to be a stereotypical anti-hero. Merchandise based on Ichigo's likeness has been released, including toys and action figures. In the animated adaptations of Bleach, Ichigo is voiced by Masakazu Morita in Japanese. In the English adaptations, he is voiced by Johnny Yong Bosch. In the live-action film, he is played by Sota Fukushi; when drawing the manga series, Kubo commented that Rukia Kuchiki, the first Bleach character he introduced, was intended to be the protagonist. Through subsequent development of the series, Kubo decided to make her a valued ally and instead introduced Ichigo as the central character. Initial design sketches show Ichigo wearing glasses, having dark hair and softer eyes; when designing Rukia, Kubo modified Ichigo's appearance to contrast with hers, giving Ichigo orange hair, a trademark scowl, removing the glasses.
During the series' first chapter, Ichigo's wristwatch was based on one Kubo himself wore at the time. In chapters, his wristwatch was based on Naoto Fukasawa's W11K cellphone. According to Kubo, along with Orihime Inoue, are the most arduous characters to sketch. While illustrating one of Ichigo's scenes, Kubo found. Kubo has stated that Ichigo's greatest strength is his thoughtful nature. However, he noted it as his greatest weakness, since worrying about his friends tends to put him in danger; when asked in an interview if he had any plans to focus on the love triangle between Ichigo and Rukia, Kubo chose neither to confirm nor deny it as he didn't want to focus on romance. Kubo attributes Ichigo's popularity among readers to the fact that he "looks cool", he mentioned that as people read more about him they will discover that he is a warm and kind-hearted person. Following over fifty volumes of the manga's released, Kubo believes that Ichigo was the most developed character, he said that Ichigo introduces readers to the events in it.
When the Arrancar arc ended, Kubo rebooted the series which resulted in Ichigo losing his Soul Reaper powers. In the same way Ichigo became a Soul Reaper during the series' first chapter. Ichigo is voiced by Masakazu Morita in the Japanese anime, while as a child he is voiced by Yuki Matsuoka. Morita said that Ichigo was one of his favorite characters he played alongside Tidus from Final Fantasy X. Johnny Yong Bosch voices him in the English dub as a teenager, Mona Marshall as a kid. While describing Ichigo as one of his best roles, Morita notes that voicing him can be at times difficult. Bosch has enjoyed voicing Ichigo's character due to his personal interest in the character's morals. However, he experienced difficulty voicing him in some scenes. Sota Fukushi portrays Ichigo in the live-action adaptation of the series which adapts the storyline's first arc, Johnny Yong Bosch reprising his role in the film's English dub. Ichigo is one of the teenagers having the ability to see ghosts, he meets a Soul Reaper named Rukia Kuchiki from a secret organization called the Soul Society who are in charge of sending souls to the afterlife.
At the same time, Ichigo's family is attacked by a Hollow, a deceased spirit that became a warped soul-eating monster which Soul Reapers deal with. After being wounded in an attempt to shield Ichigo from a Hollow attack, Rukia transmits her Soul Reaper powers to him so he can save his family. In following months, Ichigo acts in Rukia's place as the Soul Reaper in protecting Karakura Town from Hollows as their friendship continues to bloom. Ichigo's past is revealed as he faces the Grand Fisher, a hollow who killed his mother when he was nine years old. In time, the Soul Society sends two high-seated officers to take Rukia back for committing the crime of transferring her Soul Reaper powers to a human. In training with Kisuke Urahara in order to rescue Rukia, Ichigo obtains his own Soul Reaper powers and learns the name of his Zanpakutō, Zangetsu. In his search for Rukia, Ichigo is confronted by members of Gotei 13, the main military force in the Soul Society; as he approaches the prison where Rukia is being held captive, Ichigo does battle with and defeats enemy Soul Reapers including Renji Abarai, Kenpachi Zaraki, Byakuya Kuchiki, who adopted Rukia as his sister.
For his matc
The Tang dynasty or the Tang Empire was an imperial dynasty of China spanning the 7th to 10th centuries. It was followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Historians regard the Tang as a high point in Chinese civilization, a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Tang territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, rivaled that of the Han dynasty; the Tang capital at Chang'an was the most populous city in the world in its day. The Lǐ family founded the dynasty, seizing power during the collapse of the Sui Empire; the dynasty was interrupted when Empress Wu Zetian seized the throne, proclaiming the Second Zhou dynasty and becoming the only Chinese empress regnant. In two censuses of the 7th and 8th centuries, the Tang records estimated the population by number of registered households at about 50 million people, yet when the central government was breaking down and unable to compile an accurate census of the population in the 9th century, it is estimated that the population had grown by to about 80 million people.
With its large population base, the dynasty was able to raise professional and conscripted armies of hundreds of thousands of troops to contend with nomadic powers in dominating Inner Asia and the lucrative trade-routes along the Silk Road. Various kingdoms and states paid tribute to the Tang court, while the Tang conquered or subdued several regions which it indirectly controlled through a protectorate system. Besides political hegemony, the Tang exerted a powerful cultural influence over neighboring East Asian states such as those in Japan and Korea; the Tang dynasty was a period of progress and stability in the first half of the dynasty's rule, until the An Lushan Rebellion and the decline of central authority in the half of the dynasty. Like the previous Sui dynasty, the Tang dynasty maintained a civil-service system by recruiting scholar-officials through standardized examinations and recommendations to office; the rise of regional military governors known as jiedushi during the 9th century undermined this civil order.
Chinese culture further matured during the Tang era. Two of China's most famous poets, Li Bai and Du Fu, belonged to this age, as did many famous painters such as Han Gan, Zhang Xuan, Zhou Fang. Scholars of this period compiled a rich variety of historical literature, as well as encyclopedias and geographical works; the adoption of the title Tängri Qaghan by the Tang Emperor Taizong in addition to his title as emperor was eastern Asia's first "simultaneous kingship". Many notable innovations occurred including the development of woodblock printing. Buddhism became a major influence with native Chinese sects gaining prominence. However, in the 840s the Emperor Wuzong of Tang enacted policies to persecute Buddhism, which subsequently declined in influence. Although the dynasty and central government had gone into decline by the 9th century and culture continued to flourish; the weakened central government withdrew from managing the economy, but the country's mercantile affairs stayed intact and commercial trade continued to thrive regardless.
However, agrarian rebellions in the latter half of the 9th century resulted in damaging atrocities such as the Guangzhou massacre of 878–879. The Li family belonged to the northwest military aristocracy prevalent during the Sui dynasty and claimed to be paternally descended from the Daoist founder, Laozi the Han dynasty General Li Guang and Western Liang ruler Li Gao; this family was known as the Longxi Li lineage. The Tang Emperors had Xianbei maternal ancestry, from Emperor Gaozu of Tang's Xianbei mother, Duchess Dugu. Li Yuan was Duke of Tang and governor of Taiyuan, modern Shanxi, during the Sui dynasty's collapse, caused in part by the Sui failure to conquer the northern part of the Korean peninsula during the Goguryeo–Sui War, he had prestige and military experience, was a first cousin of Emperor Yang of Sui. Li Yuan rose in rebellion in 617, along with his son and his militant daughter Princess Pingyang, who raised and commanded her own troops. In winter 617, Li Yuan occupied Chang'an, relegated Emperor Yang to the position of Taishang Huang or retired emperor, acted as regent to the puppet child-emperor, Yang You.
On the news of Emperor Yang's murder by General Yuwen Huaji on June 18, 618, Li Yuan declared himself the emperor of a new dynasty, the Tang. Li Yuan, known as Emperor Gaozu of Tang, ruled until 626, when he was forcefully deposed by his son Li Shimin, the Prince of Qin. Li Shimin had commanded troops since the age of 18, had prowess with bow and arrow and lance and was known for his effective cavalry charges. Fighting a numerically superior army, he defeated Dou Jiande at Luoyang in the Battle of Hulao on May 28, 621. In a violent elimination of royal family due to fear of assassination, Li Shimin ambushed and killed two of his brothers, Li Yuanji and Crown prince Li Jiancheng, in the Xuanwu Gate Incident on July 2, 626. Shortly thereafter, his father abdicated in his favor and Li Shimin ascended the throne, he is conventionally known by his temple name Taizong. Although killing two brothers and deposing his father contradicted the Confucian value of filial piety, Taizong showed himself to be a capable leader who listened to the advice of the wisest members of his council.
In 628, Emperor Taizong held a Buddhist memorial service for the casualties of war, in 629 he ha
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