Zen is a branch of Buddhism that flourished in Japan under the impulse of a succession of realized masters. Zen means “meditation.”
The Indian Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma, travelled to China, c.475CE, and introduced the teachings of the Buddha to that country. In China, Buddhism mingled with Taoism, resulting in the Ch’an School of Buddhism. Around 1200 Ch’an Buddhism spread from China to Japan where it became known as Zen.