Gozanha (group of the highest-ranked temples in the Zen sect) (五山派)

The Gozanha (Gozansorin) are the Zen temples (Zenrin) that were placed under the protection and control of the Gozan-Jissetsu-Shozan system (system of five great temples, ten important temples of the Rinzai sect, and Zen temples other than Gozan and Jissetsu). The Gozan-Jissetsu-Shozan system was a system of jikaku (status of a Buddhist temple) established by the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun).

Because the temples ranked under Gozan were mostly Buddhist temples of the Rinzai sect, the Gozanha are often taken as the Rinzai sect; however, the Daioha (Daio school), which in turn belonged to the Rinzai sect, wasn't subject to control by the Gozan system. Contrastingly, Sochiha (Sochi school of Buddhism) of Chinese origin, which wasn't directly related to Dogen, was under the control of the Gozan system despite belonging to the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism.

The Gozanha system flourished under Soseki MUSO, to whom Takauji ASHIKAGA had paid respect; ultimately it produced many high-ranking priests, such as Myoha SHUNOKU, Shushin GIDO and Chushin ZEKKAI, thereby exerting considerable influence on the policies of the Muromachi bakufu with reverence by the successive Ashikaga shoguns.

[Original Japanese]