Tiantai is an important school of Buddhism in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, revering the Lotus Sutra as the highest teaching in Buddhism. In Japan the school is known as Tendai, in Korea as Cheontae and in Vietnam as Thiên thai tông.
The name is derived from the fact that Zhiyi, the fourth patriarch, lived on Tiantai Mountain. Zhiyi is also regarded as the first major figure to make a significant break from the Indian tradition, to form an indigenous Chinese system. Tiantai is sometimes also called "The Lotus School", after the central role of the Lotus Sutra in its teachings.
During the Tang dynasty, the Tiantai school became one of the leading schools of Chinese Buddhism, with numerous large temples supported by emperors and wealthy patrons, with many thousands of monks and millions of followers.