Zen Style Medieval Japanese Architecture (Karayo)

Shofukuji Zen Buddhist Temple, 1407

By Haunty

The Architecture of the Zen Sect (Zenshuyo)

The first Zen Buddhist sect, the Rinzai, was introduced to Japan by a monk called Myoan Eisai (1141-1215), only to be followed shortly by the second Zen sect, the Soto, that was introduced by Eihei Dogen (1200-1253).

Eisai was supported by the second Kamakura shogun, Yoritomo's son Yoriie, and was encouraged to build Buddhist temples in Kyoto and in Kamakura. And so he did. Dogen, however, declined the shogunal regent's invitation and chose instead to

withdraw deep into the woods among the mountains of what is today known as Fukui Prefecture, where he established the temple Eiheiji, the headquarters of the Soto.

Both the Rinzai and the Soto sects gained ground rapidly due to the fact that the strict self-discipline and respect for intuitive understanding they displayed was greatly appreciated by the warrior mind. Also, these Zen Buddhist sects had deep connections to Chinese culture and learning and were not under the influence of the court, which the shogunal regime was highly suspicious of.

Source: haunty.hubpages.com
Category: Architecture

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