Skip to main content


Ts'ao-tung (Jap., Sōtō). Ch'an/Zen school of Buddhism, the name being derived from the graphs of the two founders, Tung-shan Liang-chieh and Ts'ao-shan Pen-chi, who in turn received their names from the mountains of their monasteries. In its Chinese form, it is also known as ‘The Five Ranks’, from its fivefold approach to recognizing the identity of the absolute and the relative, the one and the many. The stanzas of the Five Ranks are now regarded as the consummation of the kōan process. See further GO-I. Ts'ao-tung is one of the Five Houses of Ch'an Buddhism in the period of the Five Dynasties; but its future lay in Japan as Sōtō.

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

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Tsao-tung." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . 23 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Tsao-tung." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . (February 23, 2019).

"Tsao-tung." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved February 23, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles 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, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use 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

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most 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.