Mokusho-zen (a method of zazen) (黙照禅)

The term "Mokusho-zen" indicates a method of zazen (sitting meditation) in Zen Buddhism. The opposite term is "Kanna-zen" (another method of zazen).

Daie Soko, a Zen priest of Kanna-zen in the period of the Chinese Southern Sung Dynasty, rebuked the Zen style of the antagonistic Kochi school and called it 'Mokusho Jashi style' (literally, 'a style of wicked mentor Mokusho'); from that event the Kochi school became called 'Mokusho-zen.'

The style of Kochi Zen school was based on the theory explained in "Mokushomei"(literally, the "Seal of Silent Illumination") written by KOCHI Shokaku, the founder of the Kochi school. This theory preached that the essence of zazen was for one to keep just sitting in silence, being isolated from any ordinary discretion or consideration, until his or her own nature would appear in an image of Buddha so that he or she might obtain Buddhist virtue.

Against this theory, Daie put much value on Koan (questions with paradox from a teacher to a student during the course of Zen practice), its ideas, and participation and exploration into it.
He accused Kochi's zazen of just sitting of being a vanity and called it 'Mokusho Jazen' (literally, 'Mokusho, the wicked Zen belief.')
Subsequently, "Mokusho-zen" became the term to indicate a method of zazen in general without practices of Koan.

In Japan, Zen priests of the Rinzai school are said to have initially teased and used this name for the style of zazen of the Sodo school founded by Dogen. In Japan, the term Mokusho-zen did not continue to have a negative meaning for a long time, but at a later stage, it was used by the Sodo school to mean its own Zen style.

[Original Japanese]