insentient beings ［非情］ ( hijō): Those beings or objects that have no emotions or consciousness, such as trees and stones. The term is contrasted with sentient beings, those forms of life that possess senses, emotions, or consciousness. Buddhism classifies all existences into two categories: sentient and insentient. A dispute arose in Chinese Buddhism with regard to whether insentient beings possess a Buddha nature, but the view that Buddhahood exists as a potential in all things and phenomena prevailed in China. This idea also became widespread in Japan. See also enlightenment of plants.