Age of Empires Series Wiki

The Zen Temple is a native Asian religious settlement featured in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties. Like all natives, they can be allied with by building a Trading Post at their Trading Post site.


Sohei aoe3de.png Sohei Naginata: Japanese warrior Monk armed with a naginata. Good against cavalry and buildings.


Age Technology Cost Effect
Age I tech tree aoe3.png
Meditation.png Meditation 350 wood,
350 coin
Gives 1,000 XP
Master Lessons.png Master Lessons 150 food,
150 coin
Melee infantry get +10% attack
Merritocracy.png Meritocracy 300 food,
300 coin
Unit upgrades cost -20%


This Holy Site is identical to a Native Trade Site. Allying with Natives allows a player to train special Native units, usually warriors, and also grants access to a group of improvements to that tribe. Native units do not cost any population spaces, but can only be built in limited numbers.

Zen is a school of Buddhism that seeks a form of enlightenment achieved by the Buddha, a title that began with the very first Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, an Indian prince who abandoned his life of luxury to pursue an ascetic life. The goal of Zen is to eventually reach enlightenment through the Four Noble Truths: existence is suffering; desire is its cause; the cessation of suffering is possible; and the way to accomplish this is to follow the Eightfold Path.

In the year 520 AD, a legendary Indian monk named Bodhidharma brought the teachings of Zen, then called Chan, to the Chinese. Chan Buddhists worked to see the world just as it is, with a mind free of thoughts or feelings. This perception was called “no-mind, or “wu-shin” in Chinese. Chan split into two separate schools, the Southern school, which believed in sudden enlightenment, and the Northern school, which believed in a more gradual process. Only the Northern school survived through the 8th century. By the 12th century, Zen had flourished in Japan, and by the 20th century it had gained adherents in the West.

Today, Zen Buddhism is practiced by millions of people around the world. The tenets remain the same, that the potential to reach enlightenment lies in every human being, but is blocked by ignorance. Only intense study, meditation, doing good deeds, conducting rites, and the worship of images will enable the breakthrough required to shed limited perceptions and achieve a spiritual awakening.