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Five Temples

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Five Temples; 五山; (Jpn Gozan or Gosan); Either of two groups, one in Kamakura and the other in Kyoto, of five principal temples of the Rinzai school of Zen in Japan. They are respectively called the Five Temples of Kamakura and the Five Temples of Kyoto. In the fourteenth century, the shogunate designated these ten temples the highest-ranking Zen temples in Japan. This ranking system was modeled after the one applied to official Zen (Ch'an) temples in China.

The Japanese term gozan literally means "five mountains," mountain in this context being synonymous with a temple or monastery. Though the five temples and their order of ranking in each of the two cities changed, in 1341 the Five Temples of Kamakura were Kencho-ji, Engaku-ji, Jufuku-ji, Jochi-ji, and Jomyo-ji; the Five Temples of Kyoto were Nanzen-ji, Tenryu-ji,Kennin-ji, Tofuku-ji, and Manju-ji. In 1386 Nanzen-ji was raised to a special position, and the newly built Shokoku-ji was included to form the five temples in Kyoto. The order of ranking was, from highest to lowest: Tenryu-ji, Shokoku-ji, Kennin-ji, Tofuku-ji, and Manju-ji. Nanzen-ji occupied a rank above both the Five Temples of Kamakura and those of Kyoto.

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