Zen literally means quot;to meditate.
These were not exclusive schools, and temples were apt to have scholars versed in several of the schools. It has been suggested that they can best be thought of as "study groups".
The Buddhism of these periods, known as the Asuka period and Nara period — was not a practical religion, being more the domain of learned priests whose official function was to pray for the peace and prosperity of the state and imperial house. Their practice was a combination of Buddhist and Daoist elements and the incorporation of shamanistic features of indigenous practices.
Some of these figures became immensely popular, and were a source of criticism towards the sophisticated academic and bureaucratic Buddhism of the capital. In the Kamakura shogunate was established at Kamakura.
Additionally, it was during the Kamakura period that the influential monk Nichiren began teaching devotion to the Lotus Sutra. Nichiren Buddhism established the foundation of Japanese Buddhism in the thirteenth century.
The school is known for its sociopolitical activism and looks to reform society through faith. It was built in Muromachi period. In the Muromachi periodZen, particularly the Rinzai schoolobtained the help of the Ashikaga shogunate and the Emperor of Japanand accomplished considerable development.
This decreased the power of Buddhism, which had become a strong political and military force in Japan. Neo-Confucianism and Shinto gained influence at the expense of Buddhism, which came under strict state control. The only traders to be allowed were Dutchmen admitted to the island of Dejima.
Ingen had been a member of the Linji schoolthe Chinese equivalent of Rinzai, which had developed separately from the Japanese branch for hundreds of years. Thus, when Ingen journeyed to Japan following the fall of the Ming dynasty to the Manchu peoplehis teachings were seen as a separate school.
During the Meiji period —after a coup inJapan abandoned its feudal system and opened up to Western modernism. Shinto became the state religion.
Within the Buddhist establishment the Western world was seen as a threat as well as a challenge to stand up to. Rinzai and Soto Zen chose to adapt, trying to modernize Zen in accord with Western insights, while simultaneously maintaining a Japanese identity.
Other schools, and Buddhism in general, simply saw their influence wane. The edict of April ended the status of the buddhist precepts as state law and allowed monks to marry and to eat meat.
A broad range of subjects was taken as typical of Japanese culture. Suzuki contributed to the Nihonjinron by taking Zen as the distinctive token of Asian spirituality, showing its unique character in the Japanese culture. During the s, "leaders of both Honmon Hokkeshu and Sokka Gakkai were imprisoned for their defiance of wartime government religious policy, which mandated display of reverence for state Shinto.
During the war, this was halved to 28 branches, but the law enforcing this was repealed following the end of the war, allowing former branches to return. Further, since then, many groups have split off from existing branches.
They were distinguished by a rejection of abhidharma as not being the words of the Buddha. Practices of this lineage are also known as "consciousness-only" since they teach that all phenomena are phenomena of the mind.
Sanron[ edit ] This school was transmitted to Japan in the 7th century. Three-Discourse School; a Madhyamaka school which developed in China based on two discourses by Nagarjuna and one by Aryadeva.
Madhyamaka is one of the two most important Mahayana philosophies, and reemphasizes the original Buddhist teachings that phenomena are neither truly existent or absolutely non-existent, but are characterized by impermanence and insubstantiality.
DosenChina, c. The Ritsu school specialized in the Vinaya the monastic rules in the Tripitaka. The school takes its name from that authoritative text. However, before his return he also studied, and was initiated into, the practice of the Vajrayana, with emphasis on the Mahavairocana Sutra.
Shingon Buddhism[ edit ] One of the major schools of Buddhism in Japan today and one of the few surviving Vajrayana lineages in East Asia, it originally spread from India to China through traveling monks such as Vajrabodhi and Amoghavajra.
In the capital he studied Tangmi and Sanskrit and received initiation from Huiguo.Zen Buddhism was the most influential and popular school of buddhism in Japan during the Kamakura and Muromachi period, because it lead the Japanese people towards a new, more cultural view on spirituality and art.
Meditation is the foundation of Zen Buddhism. Zen literally means "to meditate." Meditation, in Zen, is the path and the goal. The goal is to meditate. Zen Buddhisim and Japan Essay Words | 8 Pages. Zen Buddhism and Japan Japan and the development of Zen Buddhism went hand in hand towards the beginning of the sixth century.
Buddhism was in full bloom in India and the Chinese were adapting it to there Lifestyle when several Japanese clans began picking it up. Zen and Japanese Culture, New York: Pantheon Books, A classic. Zen Buddhism and Psychoanalysis, Erich Fromm, D.
T. Suzuki, and De Martino. Approximately one third of this book is a long discussion by Suzuki that gives a Buddhist analysis of the mind, its levels, and the methodology of extending awareness beyond the merely discursive level.
Zen Buddhisim and Japan Essay Words | 8 Pages Zen Buddhism and Japan Japan and the development of Zen Buddhism went hand . Buddhism in Japan has been practiced since its official introduction in CE according to the Nihon Shoki from Baekje, Korea, by Buddhist monks.
  Buddhism has had a major influence on the development of Japanese society and remains an influential aspect of the culture to this day.