I. Tendai Patriarchs
 The origin of the Tendai Sect can be traced to the eminent Chinese Tientai master Zhiyi (known in Japan as Chigi, or posthumously as Tendai Daishi ("Great Master Tientai"); 538-597) of the Sui dynasty (581-618). Based on the Tientai teaching that "all sentient beings are bodhisattvas, and all can become buddhas" in the doctrine of the Single Vehicle from the Lotus Sutra, Saicho made the "perfect teaching," which emphasized this doctrine, the pillar of Tendai thought and incorporated esoteric Buddhism and the Indian master Bodhidharma's Chan (J., Zen) teachings, through which he taught the four teachings of en (perfect teaching), mitsu (esotericism), kai (precepts), and zen (meditation). The Tendai masters Ennin (posthumously Jikaku Daishi, 794-864) and Enchin (posthumously Chisho Daishi, 814-891) and the many disciples, who followed in Saicho's footsteps, continued to deepen Tendai teachings and produce various doctrinal interpretations, which in turn contributed to the diversity and eclecticism found in Tendai art.
National Treasure
Quilted Seven-Strip Surplice
Enryaku-ji Temple, Shiga Prefecture