Subject Information

SUBJECT Rinzai
TYPE AAT
ALTERNATE Rinzai Zen
REFERENCE ID 300263946
NOTES Refers to one of the two main branches of Zen. It originated in the Lin Chi school of Ch'an in China and was later introduced to Japan by Eisai in 1191. Rinzai stresses spontaneous enlightenment and advocates unusual ways of achieving it, such as shouts, slaps, and the use of koans. Rinzai downplays veneration of Buddha images and reading of scripture (sutras). After it was first introduced it appealed to the aristocracy and was supported by the shoguns. Later, Soto became the more popular form of Zen. Rinzai nevertheless flourished during the Kamakura period (1685-1768) during which Hakuin, a Rinzai master, introduced reforms that led to modern Zen.
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