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2020年 07月 05日

4. Nichiren Starts Propagation in Kamakura. (1)

  Japanese version

アイコン が含まれている画像自動的に生成された説明

       Family crest of the Minamoto clan. gentian.

Tokiyori Hojo and his child made Zen meditation in Kenchoji Temple of Kamakura.

Samurais of guard are gathered around the temple. There has been heavy security.

There is Doryu, a Zen priest who wore a black robe facing the parent and child.

Doryu was called Rankei, a virtuous priest invited from Sung. He came from the Western Shu (present-day Shichuan Province, China) of the Southern Sung dynasty. He made a voyage to Japan with a disciple at the age of 33 years old and he went to the capital Kyoto the next year and entered the Invited Place of Sen'yu-ji Temple. Furthermore, he visited Kamakura and was in Juhukuji Temple and Joraku-ji Temple, and he was invited and was nominated as the founder of Kenchoji Temple and he received faith from Tokiyori Hojo.

Tokiyori had been already far from the regent's post, but he is a direct descendant of Hojo from Sanetoki and Yasutoki. His power overwhelmed the others and puts it under the control of him even the Imperial Court.

The reason was 'the Revolt of Zhokyu' that Retired Gotoba Emperor rose the soldier who would beat the second regent Yoshitoki Hojo of the younger brother of Masako Hojo of the wife of Yoritomo Minamoto in 1221, but he was defeated in the war. As a result, Yoshitoki performed Gotoba ex-emperors banishment to Oki island, and the Emperor Juntoku banishment to Sado island, on the charge of a rebellion. In addition, the Tsuchimikado ex-emperor who was the prince royal of the Gotoba ex-emperor, in spite of being innocent, was sentenced to banishment to an island of Tosa on his wish. After this, the Kamakura Shogunate will establish the Imperial Court rule.

In this sense, the regent of the Kamakura Shogunate could be called the actual emperor in Japan at the time.

A Zen priest holding a stick stands behind parent and child.

At first, Tokisuke, the eldest son was hit on his shoulder. He frowned as if to say, "Why?”

Tokimune was stricken next. The reaction of Tokimune is different from the older brother. He looked regretful for a moment, but then bowed low with his palms together, straightened his back, and quietly closed his eyes again.

Doryu smiles.

“Because you two are young, minds are moving, aren’t you?".

Closing his eyes, father Tokiyori talks.

“Hmm. Is it possible for the noble monk to read the mind of two children?”.

Doryu is proud-looking.

"Lord Tokisuke is in rivalry with Lord Tokimune. He has a thought that he doesn't want to be defeated by the younger brother vividly”.

"Hum, what do you think about a younger brother?"

"It will be the future of his father."


"He is trying to figure out who will be the leader of Kamakura after you. Tokisuke of the older brother is dominant with the number of ages, but I am superior with the ability".

Violent-tempered Tokisuke burst into a conversation.

"The Monk Doryu, you are saying too much!"

The father stopped an older brother.

"Wait, and wait. The guess of the chief monk is mixing the supposition. It is the teachings of the Zen Buddhism not to disarrange a mind in such a thing".

A smile played on Doryu's lips.

Closing his eyes, Tokiyori said it.

"Then the monk, is my mind readable?"

Doryu was lost in thought.

"Is it not a recent natural disaster and famine?"

"Do you see it like that?"

"The Kamakura Shogunate is thought to be stable now. Accordingly, as for the Lord Tokiyori, you should devote yourself to the improvement of domestic administration from now on. However, aren't you thinking that you are incapable of starvation, pestilence, and a natural disaster?"


Doryu's expression stiffens for a moment at the unexpected response.

"I am thinking about you, who is a Buddhist priest. You are a noble monk who came all the way from the Southern Song Dynasty. Our Japan thought that the trade with China was important and we maintained the port of Kamakura. However, that is possible because the politics of China are stable. China is being threatened by the northern savage tribe now."

Sweat broke out on Doryu's forehead.

“Did you know, the lord?”

“The reason that we built this temple is because you are the Chinese superior well-informed person. I want to hear various information. I think that it is not to be a loss if you want to spread Zen Buddhism in Japan.”

Doryu was facing down.

"Lord, that is not easy to do as I would like. In Japan, a Nembutsu sect of Buddhism occupies most of it now and there is the priest attacking every denomination, including our Zen Buddhism in Kamakura now."

"Well, that's puzzling."

"I believe the monk is called Nichiren."

Tokiyori laughed.

"I have concerns about diplomacy with other countries across the sea. And you, a monk, have concerns about a man named Nichiren in Kamakura."


     The excavated road of Shakado in Kamakura.

Poorhouses formed a line in the downtown area of Kamakura. The common people of the Kamakura era lived in the buildings that were as if about to collapse at any moment. The wall was strengthened with soil, and the roof was stacked with board and stone so as not to blow away by wind. Judging from the present era, it may be said that it is in the slums, but people are strong in all ages.

The everyday wear of the common people wore pants to a cotton kimono and closed an ankle with a string, and attached a short sword and a bag of stones for striking fire to a waist. It is a style of loose trousers which is found in the countryside still now, and it is familiar to us of the present. One outstandingly more different than the present time is that men attached the headwear of court nobles. Both old men and young put the triangular black crowns on their heads, and they tied it up with a string under the chin and fixed it. It is said that they had attached this even when sleeping. It is thought that the aristocratic culture of the Heian era came down to the common people.

The eating habits were simple. Their staple food mixed wheat and a millet with unpolished rice and steamed it. They did not boil the cleaned rice with water like the present. A noble ate the polished rice, therefore, generally they were short-lived.

The thatched hut of Nichiren was a simple building too.

He is the mere Buddhist priest who came from the country of Awa. The people on whom he relied were only a few believers of the hometown Awa country.

There was a place which was called Matsuba valley in the district called Nago'e. Nago'e is the district of southeast Kamakura, Tokimasa Hojo of the first regent had made his house there. There is the house of the town's people and the samurai here. The sea is near here. Down a gentle slope lies the lively Zaimokuza Beach. There was a mansion of Nago'e who was a branch family of Hojo near. There is the parents' house of O'ama in Nagoe. From here is far from around the Hachiman shrine where the bureaucrats of the shogunate inhabits. Although the majority of Buddhist priests had a passion for getting close to the shogunate, Nichiren at first resided in a thatched hut of the Matsuba valley and started propagation to a samurai and a town's people.

The people of the town feel interest in a rare thing.

"Hey! Where do you go?"

"It is said that there is a Buddhist priest who moved to the Matsuba valley recently. It is said that the Buddhist priest makes the sermon interesting.”

"Hum, it is amusing. I will hear it."

"I go, too. By the way, may it cost money?”

Townsmen go into the thatched hut of Nichiren.

There were around ten guests around Nichiren in the house.

There is the person of the town, there are both a woman and the samurai either.

All of them sat down on wooden flooring and heard a sermon from Nichiren. The Japanese paper which was written using large characters as Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is hung on the wall of the house.

In front of that, there is a frugal Buddhist altar, eight Lotus Sutras, the Muryogi Sutra of the opening sutra, and the 'Fugen Bodhisattva sutra' of the ending sutra.

Nichiren began a sermon in front of the Buddhist altar.

"The person believing Nembutsu advocates it with Nam-Amidabutsu. They do not pray to Buddha, but pray to Amitabha. In the first place Amitabha is the Buddha, whom Shakyamuni Buddha preached. If Buddha Shakyamuni is our parent, so to speak, Amitabha Buddha is like a stranger. That is why it is the same as looking down upon one's parents: all creatures worship the others and ignore the Buddha who is a parent."

The audience looked puzzled.

"The Buddhist priest of the Zen Buddhism says ‘The truth was conveyed other than teachings', and they expand the false theory that the truth of the Buddha Law was orally transmitted to Mahakashyapa. Such a thing is not possible. The Zen sect is the teachings of the devil who excludes Shakyamuni, the great benefactor who started Buddhism."

One person left among the audience, and two people left. There was the person who waved a neck, and returned home.
And everyone disappeared. Still Nichiren remained calm.

テキスト, 手紙自動的に生成された説明

The opening section of the 'Saint Knows the Past, Present and Future'. In 1275

Nichiren directly preached Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which was the title of the Lotus Sutra. He preaches it regardless of the ability of a person hearing immediately. A shakubuku meant this.

On the contrary, Shakyamuni has induced all creatures for 40 years. He preached the various teachings to preach the Lotus Sutra that was the core of Buddha Law. ‘Adjusting, and nurturing inborn capacity’ means this. Shakyamuni needed 40 years to begin to preach the Lotus Sutra that was his purpose in life.

Nichiren was different from Shakyamuni and preached the nub of the Lotus Sutra promptly.

This method is shown in 'Bodhisattva Fukyo' of the 24nd chapter of the Lotus Sutra. The Fukyo Bodhisattva (note) appeared there, did the shakubuku, and preached not to discriminate, saying, "there is the nature of Buddha (the world of Buddha) to all creatures".
The populace does not have a relationship with the Lotus Sutra. 'Originally not being yet of virtue' (note) means this. Therefore, the populace had malice toward the Fukyo Bodhisattva and persecuted the Bodhisattva with a stick and a tree and a tile and a stone. Nichiren inherits the same method as the Bodhisattva Fukyo.

Nichikan (note) of the 26th chief priest of Nichiren Shoshu preaches it.

“And our Daishonin, the father of the sect, wrote in, 'The Saint Knows the Past, Present and Future.'

‘Nichiren is the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra. I inherited the method of Fukyo.' Daishonin said this way and he did the shakubuku and spread it as like the Bodhisattva Fukyo completely. Therefore, the Daishonin directly spread the fundamental teachings of the chapter of the 'life span' in all of Japan without gradually growing the ability using the means repeatedly like Shakyamuni did. In other words, the present all creatures of the latter Day of the Law are because they are in the state of ‘Originally not being yet of virtue'.” 'The Discussion of the Chapter of Life Span' in the Vol. 10 in the Collection of Main Points in the Fuji Sect Studies.


Bodhisattva Fukyo

The Bodhisattva who is preached in the chapter of the Jo Bodhisattva Fukyo. The Jo Bodhisattva Fukyo is a different name. He appeared in the middle day of the Law, which was the post mortem period of the Buddha of the King I-on-no. Because he preached the Lotus Sutra of 24 words teaching that all creatures have the nature of Buddha and worshiped all creatures and did not look down upon them, he was called Bodhisattva Fukyo. However, people looked down on him, and persecuted him by a stick tree, a tile and a stone, but he did not stop practices of the worship. Shakyamuni Buddha preaches a method of the post mortem propagation of Buddha and a merit to go against it through the practices of the Bodhisattva.

Nichiren Daishonin preached that he and his followers who chant Myoho-Renge-Kyo in the Latter Day of the Law are the Bodhisattva Fukyo.

“Article 10. About the interpretation; 'They heard his preaching, they all believed in him, showed allegiance, obeyed and followed.'

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The word 'heard' refers to the stage of hearing that name. After all, it is the daimoku for forcing to chant it and angering a person. 'All' means the arrogant believers of four kinds. “Believed in” refers to the faiths or belief that is without doubt. 'Showed allegiance' means the allegiance for the Lotus Sutra. An 'obeying ' is that one's mind obeys to the Lotus Sutra. A 'follow' means that one's body follows the Lotus Sutra. After all, now Nichiren and his followers, practitioners of the Lotus Sutra who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, are the Bodhisattva Fukyo in the Latter-Day of the Law.” (About important article 30 in the chapter of the Bodhisattva Fukyo).

From 1665 to 1726. The other name is Kakushin. He is born a child of Jo'en Ito of the vassal of castle king of Joshu (Gunma) Maebashi, Lord Sakai. At 18 years old, he made up his mind to become a priest when he heard the sermon of Nissei in the Jozaiji Temple of Shitaya. He did hard ascetic practices after becoming the priest under Nichi'ei and changed the name to Nichikan in 1689. In 1711, he becomes the sixth leader of teaching and learning. During this time, he publicized justice of Nichiren and devoted himself to the prosperity of the religious sect. Main writings are the 'Exegesis of Five Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin' and the 'Books of Six Volumes'. He received the transfer of lineage from Nichiyu on the 25th, he became the chief priest of Taiseki-ji Temple, in 1718. He is said to be the contributor of the halfway prosperity along with Nichi'u of the ninth.

Originally not being yet of virtue.
The inborn capacity of all creatures has two kinds of "Already being of virtue originally” and “Originally not being yet of virtue". "The virtue" means a seed that will become a Buddha, and it is necessary to plant the seed called Myoho-renge-Kyo because there is not this seed as for all creatures of the Latter-Day of the Law. The shakubuku which is a professor method of the Latter-Day of the Law has significance to plant the seed of Myoho-renge-Kyo to all creatures of the “Originally not being yet of virtue".


    The excavated road of Shakado

Nichiren continued criticizing the other religion at the same time. "Nembutsu is the hell of incessant suffering, the Zen is the work of evil spirits, Shingon destroys the country, the religious precepts sect is the act of treason to the country."

It means that the person chanting the Nembutsu falls into the hell of incessant suffering. The Nembutsu had force as if almost becoming the state religion in those days. Nichiren repeatedly criticized Nembutsu mainly. The Nembutsu monks also underestimated the fact that Nichiren was alone and attacked him, but Nichiren fought back using the doctrine of the Lotus Sutra as a shield. There was not a person who matched Nichiren in a discussion of the doctrine.

By the way, the Nembutsu sect [the Jodo Shinshu sect], Zen Buddhism [Soto sect], and Shingon have been handed down up till the present. Four denominations which added the Nichiren sect survived until the present. In other words, a denomination which had been created in the Kamakura era just survived until the present. There are the times of civil wars after the Kamakura era, and there is the Meiji Restoration, and there was the defeat of the Showa, but these four religious sects are the basic tone of the mind structure of Japanese without changing regardless of awareness or lack of self-consciousness.

In addition, in AD 754, the Ritsu (religious precepts) sect was handed down by a Buddhist priest Ganzin of Tang. However, it became outdated early because the doctrine of the Ritsu sect established the ordination platform to let people make a priest and only granted religious precepts. Although Christianity appeared and preached the Ten Commandments in substitution for this, Christianity does not preach the three existences, past, the present and future, and neither does it not preach the reward and punishment of cause and effect. This Christianity of non-Buddhism, so to speak, is hardly spreading in Buddhism country Japan.

By the way, the population ratio of the Christian believer in Japan is only around 1.5% now. In addition, although India of the Buddhism birthplace became the British colony once, the Hinduism that preached the metempsychosis of the three existences (past, present, future) and preached the reward and punishment of the cause and effect penetrated to the people this country, and Christianity almost did not spread. The population ratio of the believer according to the Indian denomination is Hinduism approximately 80%, Islam 13%, Christianity approximately 2% and Buddhism does not reach 1%.

Besides, Christianity never spread in China too, which was a Buddhist country. The ratio of believers in modern China by sect is just under 80% for folk beliefs (Taoism), just under 13% for Buddhism, just over 2% for Christianity, and less than 2% for Islam.

The Nembutsu that Honen advocated were all the rage at this time. Honen passed away ten years before Nichiren was born, but the teachings of Honen had been breathing for people of the Kamakura era vividly. Nichiren criticizes Nembutsu from the root doctrine as the prime example of the most evil religion. To criticize the Nembutsu sect was to criticize initiator Honen of the source.

The Nembutsu religious sect survives until the present times, but nobody evaluates Honen who is the founder. The reason is because Nichiren clarified that the doctrine of Honen deviated too terribly from a text of a sutra.

The claim of Honen is as follows.

Because the teachings except three Pure Land Sutra are difficult enlightenment for the common mortal, destroy all it. Therefore, he told people to abandon all sutras such as the Lotus Sutra, the Kegon Sutra and the Golden Best Sutra, which Shakyamuni Buddha preached, close it, ignore it and throw it away. So-called; throw away, close, ignore, abandon.

Honen interpreted the golden words of the Buddha who had said that "the clear Law that Buddha preached would hide and sink when the times of the Latter Day of the Law began" in his own way.

It is preached on the Sutra of the Great Assembly (the Bodhisattva Getsuzo of the 15th chapter) in this way.

“Shakyamuni Buddha decided the times of future to the Bodhisattva Getsuzo, stating; The first five-hundred-year period after my death will be the times of self-emancipation, and the next five-hundred-year period will be the times of meditation. With the above it is one thousand years. The third five-hundred-year period will be the era of reading, reciting, and hearing, and the next five-hundred-year period will be the time of building temples and statues. With the above it is two thousand years. The last five-hundred-year period will be the times of fight and dispute within the teachings that I have preached, as a result the pure Law will become obscured and lost”.

This text of the sutra became the grounds of the thought of the Latter-Day of the Law.
 Nichiren also criticized other religions and elucidated that the way of attaining Buddhahood for human beings of the Latter-Day of the Law exists only in the Lotus Sutra. However, Nichiren quotes a lot of Buddhist scriptures except the Lotus Sutra in his writings, and recognizes the value of all sutras of Buddha. Nichiren placed the Lotus Sutra to the ultimate best teachings and, with that in mind, revived all the Buddhist sutra.
 However, Honen said the other sutras except sutras (Immortality Sutra, Meditation Immortality Sutra, Amida Sutra) of the pure land are the gate of the saint path.

He preached, although the teachings except three sutras are suitable for a person of excellent ability, common people of the Latter-Day of the Law cannot understand it and therefore not become Buddha. By this doctrine, he said that if we chant the name of Amida Buddha, we can attain Buddhahood in the afterlife. And he called this the gate of easy Buddhist practice.

Honen says.

"There is no Tathagata Amida in the real world. We can come across Amida who is in another country after death. Therefore, we cannot ask in this life to become Buddha". However, this logic is worded to lead to present negation.

We seek a hope or a thing such as the possibility within even though daily life unconsciously. It may be said that it is instinct. Honen closed the cap of emotions of such human beings. This result is escapism, and only despair remains. That is why Nichiren called Nembutsu the hell of incessant sufferings.

Hell is not a story of the future life. If we deny hope or possibility, only sufferings are left.
 Nichiren uncovered the wicked doctrine of Honen in this way, but they had known that the logic of Honen did not have consistency when the scholar of Nembutsu to be hostile to Nichiren checked a doctrine of Honen. The Nembutsu only spread with momentum, they could not refute it at all when attacked from the document of all the sutras by Nichiren.

Therefore, there is no person evaluating Honen in the present day. Furthermore, there are not the people who praise his writing, "the Selection of Nembutsu."


    Saicho of the Great Teacher Dengyo. 767 to 822 AD.

 Honen got religious precepts from the head priest of the Tendai Sect, Gyogen of the 48th of the teacher. Naturally, he learns the education and research of the Lotus Sutra and Tendai. However, it appears that he failed to master the essence of the Lotus Sutra. "Throw away it, close it, ignore and abandon it." These are only the arrogance of Honen.

When we just read the Lotus Sutra, some scenes having difficulty in understanding surely come out. At the ceremony in the air, Tathagata Taho and Shakyamuni Buddha float in the air together with the tower of treasure. The advent of Bodhisattvas who had emerged from the depth of the ground of hundred billion to take up propagation after the passing away of Buddha. Even the Maitreya-Bodhisattva who was in that place said, “The Buddha, when did you lead these Bodhisattvas?". He became defiant about this phenomenon and doubted it. Several scenes more than the understanding of the ordinary man appear there. Honen felt his powerlessness for the elucidation of this phenomenon. After he was troubled, he changed his attitude. Honen was able to discover only a method clinging to the Amida Sutra of only 1878 words that he could understand rather than the people understand.

The logic that is preached in Amida Sutra is very simple. It is like that if we summarize this. "In the west, after passing through a hundred thousand billion Buddha lands, there is a Buddha land called Paradise. There is a Buddha named Amida there. The people of the country receive only pleasure without receiving pain. Thus, we name a country of Buddha the Land of Happiness. Three evil paths do not exist there. If a good man and a good woman pray, hearing the name of Amida absorbedly, at the time of the end, Amida Buddha appears, we can be born in the Land of Happiness. Therefore, these people who heard this sutra should pray to be born in the Buddha's country.

As you can see, the Amitabha Sutra does not explain a single word about the internal testimony of Buddha's enlightenment. In addition, it is not clear why we can pass away to the Land of Happiness if we pray in the name of Amida.

Shariputra, the man with the best wisdom, is a partner to talk of the sutra of this Amida, but he is a partner to talk of the chapter of the Expedient Means in the Lotus Sutra too. Shariputra asks the Buddha for teachings three times at the place of the sermon of the Lotus Sutra, and Buddha begins to preach "the one great purpose by fate” that appeared in the Saha world for the first time. In other words, Buddha reveal a very deep thought why he appeared in this Saha world. Buddha says, "I will let them open the wisdom of Buddha and show the wisdom of Buddha and realize the wisdom of Buddha" for all creatures.

Nichiren concisely elucidates the merits and demerits of the before-Lotus Sutra and the Lotus Sutra in " Letter about the Messenger of Mongolia."

"All of the laws are included in one's mind, and even one dust is not missing in there after all. One possesses nine mountains, eight seas, too, and one’s mind has the sun and the moon and the star. However, the people do not know it even if Buddha says it this way. For example, an infant is not afraid of water and fire, a blind person will not be able to see his figure in a mirror. All religions of non-Buddhism and Hinayana and provisional Mahayana preached only a part of the Law of one's mind. These do not preach like the Lotus Sutra. Therefore, many sutras have merits and demerits, and the people are divided into a saint and a wise man. Because the doctrine to preach increases, I stop it and end it.”

In other words, Nichiren points out that Honen, who depends on the internal and external sutras which preach only partly the Law of a person's mind, is a blind person who cannot see his figure floating into a mirror, and is an infant who is not afraid of terrible suffering.

Therefore, after the death of Honen, his disciples appeared who modified Honen's doctrine, they stopped throwing away all sutras and began preaching that people could pass away to the Pure land even by the other sutras.

They say that they accept other sutras to escape blame from the world. But the real intention is only to practice Nembutsu.

Shinran, who learned Honen as a teacher, is this representative.

It is easy to read the “Lamenting the Differences" to understand Shinran. " Lamenting the Differences” is what Yui'en of the immediate disciple of Shinran wrote the words of a teacher, it is contents that he was grieved over various kinds of divergent views that occurred in a religious community after Shinran death.

We will watch the contents of "Lamenting the difference.”

At first it is the negation of the possibility. Shinran takes the teachings from his teacher Honen well.

“Attaining the Buddhahood in one's present body by Shingon or the purification of the six senses by the Lotus Sutra are the difficult ways and only the superior saint of capacity is able to practice it and are able to accomplish for the first time only after concentrating a spirit. Against this, the doctrine of the Jodo Shinsyu sect will attain Buddhahood by Amida's help in the next life. Originally we pass away to Pure Land by all means if we do even faith, this is the big avenue which was made as if being able to become a Buddha promptly. The doctrine of Jodo Shinshu is different from the doctrines of Shingon and the Lotus Sutra in this way. Therefore, you must know that it is the claim that misunderstood doctrine really that the present self can attain Buddhahood while doing faiths of the Jodo Shinshu." Shinryu Umehara translation.

Shinran says giving up this world and betting on the future life. This world is meaningless if we believe in Shinran. There are no modern people having such a thought. But in modern Japan, the reason why there is no end to suicides may come from the teaching of the Nembutsu to escape from this world. The suicide per 100,000 of Japan is 18.5 people, and this is the 17th worst in the world. It is the worst in the G8. When they are hard or tough, they become feeble, and commit suicide. Shinran is more dangerous than a narcotic drug. We know that Zendo, the founder of the Chinese Nembutsu, hanged himself with the tree of willow. Saying this world is being filled with sufferings, Zendo committed suicide.

Nichiren writes it down about the suicide of priest Zendo as follows.

"He became the great deadly foe of various Buddhas of past, present, and future and he repeated a mistake of great slandering Buddha's teachings that he loses seeds of the attaining Buddhahood of the Tathagatas of the directions of 10th. This is a cause to be the reward of the big crime, and to enter the great castle of the hell of the incessant suffering.

Therefore, he perhaps had gone crazy immediately. He climbed the willow tree in front of a temple, hanged himself and flung himself and he had committed suicide. The curse of the evil doctrine does not turn a heel. We watch the invisible punishment here.

He said at the end, ‘I hate myself. I am tormented by various pains, and there is no rest for a while either'. He climbed the willow tree in front of the temple and he prayed toward the west and said in this way. 'Buddha, please give me great power, please rescue me. The Bodhisattva of Kannon and Seishi, please come and help me.' He finished advocating it in this way and threw his body from the blue willow and committed suicide. On March 17, as he hung himself and flew away, the rope snapped, or a willow branch broke, and he fell on the hard earth of a drought-stricken area and broke his hip bone. It may be the rope which he bound was weak or the willow branch may have been broken. For seven days until March 24, he fainted in agony during the day and night, crawling, yelling, and crying. And has died”.Nembutsu is Hell of Incessant Suffering’.

Saicho of the Great Teacher Dengyo was born approximately 400 years before Shinran. He preached this, “Must not believe and accept all scholars of the non-justice. What is the reason? A disciple falls again in the place where a teacher falls, and followers drop either. We should be careful with golden clear teachings. You must be careful." 'Protecting the Domain of the Country' in 'The Chart of Teachings during Five Periods of Shakyamuni Buddha.'

"A disciple falls again in the place where a teacher falls”. These words are exactly right. We can recognize that the teacher and disciple of Honen and Shinran, have let the Japanese degenerate remarkably between these several hundred years.

Nichiren attacked the Zen Buddhism at the same time. He vividly writes down the figure of the then Zen priest by "'the Question and Answer of Saint and the Foolish Person" that he wrote in 1268.

“There is a hermit who walks aimlessly like a wormwood and goes around the countries as a floating weed. He comes over before we realize it, and leans against the pillar gate, and he smiles and does not talk. We doubt it and ask him a question, but he says nothing at first. When we asked him a question, forcibly after this, he said, ‘The moon is dusky, and the wind blows restlessly'. He is different from an ordinary man in both his figure and the character and we cannot communicate in the language. It is the Law of the Zen of the present if we inquired into”.

 It is said that the Zen priest cannot communicate in a language. The Zen Buddhism is not that awful in the present times, but the teachings have not changed compared to the old times. The contents of teachings share the same roots.

Zen sect also denied all the sutras the same as the Nembutsu. The Zen sect says that the Buddha gave the essence of the Buddhist to only Mahakashyapa (note) of the disciple of Buddha orally, not by a sutra. Therefore, they say that a text of a sutra does not have the truth, and is useless to learn. “Conveyed separately from teachings”, this means it. The persons to tell this hidden doctrine are Zen priests beginning with priest Daruma.
 Nichiren impeaches them with anger.

“The denomination called Zen says 'conveyed separately from teachings', and they say that Buddha whispered to Mahakashyapa outside all the sutras secretly. Therefore, they say that the person learning all sutras without knowing the Zen is like a dog biting thunder and resembles a monkey waiting for the moonlight. Hence, they are left by their parents in Japan because they are unfilial. Because it was rude, they were made to expel from the Lord. Or young Buddhist priests neglect study. This is because Zen is an evil doctrine suitable for the abnormal nature of the prostitute. In this way, everybody became a priest and, as a result, they became the locust which eats the farmer in the country in this way. Therefore, Heaven angers his eye, and the god of ground waves his body.‘The Selection of Times’.

Nichiren says that the person who causes slight faiths and enters the road of Buddha becomes a pest devouring the expense of the country. Therefore, when Zen Buddhism happened, the people who shaved their hair easily from becoming priests appeared one after another. The person who does not have the judgment without having no knowledge, and no training himself behaves like a learned and virtuous priest. Not to speak of such a human being becomes arrogant. There is not even common sense as outlined by Nichiren.

“The Zen sect today generally violates the five constant virtues of benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and faith. To honor the high person of virtue, to respect the elderly, and to love infants are recognized in the Law of Buddhist and non-Buddhist precepts. However, the Zen priests are no more than the uneducated clowns or barbarians, and unable to distinguish black from white, until yesterday or the day before. Now that they have donned priestly robes, they have become so conceited that they belittle the learned and virtuous priests of the Tendai and Shingon sects, observe none of the courtesy and hope they rank higher than all others. These people are arrogant and inferior to an animal.

The Great Teacher Dengyo says in the explanatory note.

'The otter shows an homage to an ancestor by offering up the fish it has caught, and arranging them, the crow in the forest gives food to its parents and grandparents. The dove perches under three branches from its parents, wild goose flies without disarranging the lines formed, and lambs kneel to drink mother's milk'. He asks: even lowly animals conduct themselves with such propriety, why can human beings be lacking in courtesy? (Summarized). It is natural that the Zen priests are confused about Buddhist doctrine. They do not even know the morals of human beings. Is this not the conduct of the devil or monster?" Letter to Niike’.

There is a legend that the otter lines up the fish which they caught for New Year holidays carefully and worships their ancestors. The crow living in the forest sends bait so that the parent and the grandparents who brought them up do not starve and repays affection. It is said that the dove perches on the branch under three more than a parent bird. It is well known that wild gooses fly forming a line. The child of the sheep lowers the head at mother and suckles. They follow etiquette, and even an animal is dutiful in this way. Nichiren said that it was lower than a beast not to maintain this.

Then why did Zen spread at this time?

The reason is quite clear. This was because the powers-that-be believed it.

The powers-that-be is regent Tokiyori Hojo. It may be said that Tokiyori was the emperor who already ruled over Japan. Both the real Emperor and the commander-in-chief of the expeditionary force existed, but samurais prostrated themselves to Tokiyori only.

He invited Doryu Rankei, a Zen priest from Soong. Nichiren was 25 year old at that time. Seven years later, in Kencho 5 (1253), Tokiyori founded Kenchoji Temple and invited Michitaka to join him. Kencho 5 was the year that Nichiren made his declaration of establishment of the sect in Awa. Furthermore, Tokiyori became the lay priest of Doryu three years later and was given the Buddhist name with the Kakuryobo-Dosu. This is such a considerable adoration. The person following Tokiyori made Zen meditation one after another. By doing this, the fame of Doryu became high, too, but Nichiren saw through him.

“I, Nichiren knows this and often says the mistake of both priest and common person of Japan, this is the present evil, but becomes the good fortune of the posterity. But the priest and common people in Japan know his behavior, they respect him for fear of authority and seem to neglect him in their mind”. 'Letter to Yagenta Nyudo'.

 Although it was said that the Zen Buddhism has spread out among samurais, it was in fact such a condition. Nichiren, who lived at the same time, says it again.

“As for breaking the manners and religious precepts of Kenchoji and Engakuji Temple, a big mountain seems to collapse, and the wildness of their behavior resembles a monkey. It is fruitless to think of being helped in the future and give an offering to them”. ‘Letter to Niike’.

Tokiyori built Kenchoji Temple, and Tokimune of the son built Enkakuji. Both temples are still in existence, but Nichiren declared that it would be foolish to make offerings to these two temples and hope for the good of future generations.



Also known as Kāshyapa. A son of Nikuridha of Rich Person. One of the major ten disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha, he was known as the foremost disciple in ascetic practices. At the assembly seat in the 6th Chapter 'the Bestowal of the Future' of the Lotus Sutra, he received a prophecy of the Tathagata of Light. After the death of Shakyamuni Buddha, he received protection from King Ajase and became the chairperson of the people who are collecting Buddhist sutras. And he gathered up sutras together with more than 500 arhats at the Cave of Seven Leaves of the south in the Royal Palace Castle of Magadha country for more than a half year. In addition, he spread Hinayana as the first successors of the Buddha Law for 20 years.

The Great Teacher Dengyo

From 767 to 822. This priest is Saicho who became the initiator of the Japanese Tendai sect early in the Heian era. He became a priest at 12 years old and received complete commandments in the Todaiji Temple in AD 785, and although he came back to the hometown once, he entered Mt. Hiei afterwards built the thatched hut and mastered the Buddhist sutras and theory. He named the thatched hut as the Enryakuji Temple in 788 years and again, he changed this name to the Ichijo-Shikan'in [temple of both concentration and insight to the sole Law] in 793 years. He contended the superiority and inferiority of more than ten denominations and doctrines such as the Kegon sect, the Hosso sect, the Sanron , in the Takao Temple in AD 802. He visited Tang in 804 years and learned the doctrines of Tendai, Zen and Shingon and the next year he went back to Japan and established the Tendai sect in 806 years. He became the protecting priest of the Emperor Saga in 813 years and continued an effort of the realization of the Mahayana precept platform that the old Buddhist sects object to. The Imperial permission of the Mahayana precept platform was granted on June 11 on the seventh day after he died.

 Nichiren Daishonin appreciated this Mahayana precept platform highly. "He could have united all the people of the Law of Buddha into one teaching. This mind surpassed Ryuju and Tenjin and seems superior to Nangaku and Tendai.” (Choices of the times) . His disciples are Gishin, Encho, and Zikaku. There are many of his writings. The 'Excellent Phrases of the Lotus Sutra', the 'About the Religious Precepts', and the 'Regulations for Students of the Mountain School'.

 In addition, Nichiren Daishonin states, “The Great Teacher Tendai long ago was the name calling Medicine King in the Gathering at the Spirit Eagle Mountain, next, he was born in China in the name called Tendai and he appeared again in Japan in the name called Dengyo Daishi. And their propagations in the three exists are all called the excellent Law."‘The Establishing the Correct Method of Contemplation’.

テキスト, 手紙自動的に生成された説明

   ‘The Establishing the Correct Methodof Contemplation.

 The copied by Nichicho (disciple of Nichimoku Shonin) (Owned by Fukyujo-ji Temple, the Nichiren Shoshu sect)


Life of Nichiren. Vol. 1. Contents

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