About Puhua

Zhenzhou Puhua, also called P'u-k'o, and best known by his Japanese name, Fuke, was a Chinese Chán (Zen) master, monk-priest, wanderer and eccentric, mentioned in the Record of Linji. Fuke was used to create a legend for the komusō samurai-monks that appeared in Edo-period Japan. They used their self-named Fuke Zen to establish a constructed connection to Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhism in the 17th or 18th century. The legend is written in the Kyotaku Denki (虚鐸伝記), first published in 1795 together with a "Japanese Translation" of the "original" in literary Chinese (kanbun). The original text may have been written in the middle of the 17th century, but there are no historic texts to support this. For the komusō (虚無僧) samurai-monks, he was considered the traditional antecedent—at least in spiritual, mythological, or philosophical terms—of their order, which was formally established in Edo Japan. It is possible that the ideological roots of the sect derived from the Rinzai poet and iconoclast Ikkyū and the monk Shinchi Kakushin (心地覺心) who traveled to and from China and Japan in the 13th century. Still, according to some accounts, the sect is simply a more direct derivative of the Rinzai school and its teachings.
Tang emissaries to Sogdian King Varkhuman in Samarkand, 648–651 CE, Afrasiab murals

The most prominent Buddhist monks of the Tang dynasty

The Tang dynasty, or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907 AD. Historians generally regard the Tang as a high point in Chinese civilization, and a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. From the outset, religion played a role in Tang politics. In his bid for power, Li Yuan had attracted a following by claiming descent from the Taoism sage Lao Tzu. People bidding for office would request the prayers of .
Bodhidharma with Dazu Huike. Painting by Sesshū Tōyō, 15th century.

Chan Buddhist monks – The spirit of the Bodhidharma

Bodhidharma was a semi-legendary Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th or 6th century. He is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Buddhism to China, and regarded as its first Chinese patriarch. According to Chinese legend, he also began the physical training of the monks of Shaolin Monastery that led to the creation of Shaolin kungfu. The Chan ( in Japanese) school of Chinese Buddhism began when, in the 7th century, a small religious community gathered .