The career of Dogen (1200-1253) is notable for two main aspects. The first is that as a young monk he traveled to China in the 1220s and helped to bring back and introduce to Japanese Buddhism voluminous Song dynasty Chán records which mainly deal with the exploits of Táng dynasty masters. The second aspect is that Dogen was the founder of two important temples, Koshoji outside Kyoto and Eiheiji in the remote Echizen mountains, which became the basis for the formation of the Soto sect (Ch. Cáodòng) as a prime example of the new Kamakura era Japanese Buddhism. This paper focuses on Dogen's relation to Chán texts while recognizing that the two aspects are very much interrelated in that Dogen used Chinese Chán as a model for his brand of Japanese Zen, and in his later years at Eiheiji made his approach to religion increasingly dependent on Chinese sources.