Skip to main content

Rinzai-shū

Rinzai-shū (Jap. pronunciation of ‘Lin-chi’, the Chinese founder of the line, + shū, Jap., ‘tradition’, ‘school’, or ‘teachings’). With Sōtōshū, one of the two dominant forms of Zen Buddhism widely practised in Japan. This tradition, founded by the Chinese master, Lin-chi I-hsüan (d. 867), is usually considered to have been introduced into Japan by Yōsai, also known as Eisai (1141–1215). In fact, however, it did not crystallize as an independent Japanese school until two or three decades after his death. The modern Japanese tradition owes much of its spiritual development to the revitalization of the practice brought about by Hakuin Ekaku (1685–1768).

Rinzai-shū is noted for its emphasis on the more audacious forms of Zen training, including shouting, striking, and the dynamic exchanges between master and disciple centring on the kōan. According to Hakuin, the master's role is to bring about a crisis in the student called the ‘Great Doubt’ or the ‘Great Death’ so that, in a moment of realization (satori), the student makes a spiritual breakthrough.

When the Rinzai school was officially recognized by the state, it was organized in a tripartite system of gozan (Five Mountains), jissetsu (Ten Temples), and shozan (the remaining larger temples). The list of Five Mountain temples changed many times (though it remained based on Kyōto and Kamakura), but this structured and state-recognized form of Rinzai is often called Gozan Zen.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Rinzai-shū." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Rinzai-shū." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 15, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/rinzai-shu

"Rinzai-shū." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved December 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/rinzai-shu

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.