Dharma Characteristics school ［法相宗］ (Chin Fa-hsiang-tsung; Hossō-shū): A school that aims to clarify the ultimate reality by analyzing and classifying the aspects and characteristics of things and phenomena. The basic scriptures of the school comprise six sutras and eleven treatises, including the Revelation of the Profound Secrets Sutra, The Treatise on the Establishment of the Consciousness-Only Doctrine, and The Treatise on the Stages of Yoga Practice. The Dharma Characteristics doctrine classifies all phenomena into five categories, which are further subdivided into one hundred dharmas, or elements of existence. It maintains that all phenomena arise from the ālaya-consciousness, and that nothing can exist without the ālaya-consciousness. The doctrines of this school derive from the teachings of the Consciousness-Only school of Maitreya, Asanga, and Vasubandhu, which was introduced to China by Paramārtha and Hsüan-tsang. In the first half of the seventh century, Hsüan-tsang journeyed to India and brought back The Treatise on the Establishment of the Consciousness-Only Doctrine, which he translated into Chinese with the aid of his disciple Tz’u-en. Based on its teachings, Tz’u-en founded the Dharma Characteristics school. His teachings were transmitted to Hui-chao and then to Chih-chou. The school prospered during the T’ang dynasty (618–907) but later declined. Its teachings were introduced to Japan on four occasions: by Dōshō, who went to China in 653 and studied under Hsüan-tsang; by Chitsū and Chitatsu, who made the journey in 658 and also studied under Hsüan-tsang and Tz’u-en; by Chihō, Chiran, and Chiyū, who went in 703 and received the teachings from Chih-chou; and by Gembō, who went in 716 and also studied under Chih-chou. Dōshō’s line, based at Gangō-ji temple, is called “the transmission of the Southern Temple,” while Gembō’s, based at Kōfuku-ji, is called “the transmission of the Northern Temple.” See also Consciousness-Only school.