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2020年 08月 11日

23. Fetal Movement of the Powerful Enemy

                 Japanese edition

Waves come and go on the sandy beach of Awa, Nichiren's hometown, and the workings of nature, unchanged for tens of thousands of years, are repeated.

Here at Kiyosumi-ji Temple, however, the atmosphere was unusually hectic.

Enchi-bo, the noble priest, was just on his deathbed now.

The priests of Dozen-bo, Joken-bo, Gijo-bo and others and supporters of the temple from old times gathered near the floor of Enchi-bo.

Some of the young monks were already in tears.

Enchi-bo could not raise his upper body anymore and he began to say while prostrating himself on the floor.

“For the past several decades, I have been bowing three times to each letter of the Lotus Sutra as I copy it. This good virtue will shine in the next life. I'm going to the Pure Land now. On the other hand, Nichiren interpreted the Lotus Sutra by mistake. Forcible shakubuku will ruin oneself sometime soon. All of you, please keep it in mind very much."

Enchi-bo despised Nichiren until the final stage of death.

There is a person weeping silently and a person putting hands together.

He breathed his last at long last. Enchi-bo's complexion was tinged with a reddish tinge like a peach.

The aged priest of the Seichoji admired it.

"This is a look of attaining Buddhahood!"

The body of Enchi-bo was placed in a coffin at midnight of the next day, and a funeral service was held as being led by priest Dozen-bo at the time of the rat [from 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.].

When the funeral service was finished, his coffin was opened and Enchi-bo's face was covered with white cloth.

Dozen-bo and disciples Gijo-bo and Joken-bo sit down.

Dozen-bo finished a duty and indicated the expression that seemed to be completely absent-minded and thanked two disciples who worked earnestly in preparation for a funeral service.

“Enchi-bo would leave for Hades safely. Well, that's a relief. By the way, Enchi-bo was a distinguished priest who represented successive priests of the Seichoji Temple if we looked back and thought. He was the talented person who collected the respect of the believer.”

Gijo-bo seems to be dissatisfied.

“However, did he not have many mistakes, too?”

Dozen-bo glared.

“Hey, in spite of a just completed funeral service, what do you want to say?"

Gijo-bo looks at a facial expression of Enchi-bo fitting into a coffin.

“This person kept on tormenting the teacher Dozen-bo. He only blamed the priest Nichiren too.”

Dozen-bo soothed them.

“Well, well, but it's already finished. Because I am timid, I cause you trouble."

Joken-bo sidled up to Dozen-bo.

“Teacher, if you are converted to the Lotus Sutra, Priest Nichiren will be surely pleased. It is not unusual for a priest to change faiths. It is not at all shameful. We wish for your early decision in a moment."

Dozen-bo hesitate as always.

After all, is he a coward?

Joken-bo and Gijo-bo gave up, looked at each other, bowed, and left.

Dozen-bo was left in the hall of the temple, then something occurred to him incidentally.

He went to the coffin. He has a bad feeling.

The Dozen-bo took off a cloth covering a countenance of Enchi-bo fearfully.

When he opened it, out of approximately half, he saw that Enchi-bo's face had become coal-black as dyed it with ink.

The one eye of Enchi-bo is open to scowl at Dozen-bo.

Dozen-bo was astonished at this face of death and walked backward.

The complexion of Enchi-bo glistened with pink at first, but had discolored to black with the progress of time.


The lotus flowers. From Wikipedia.

Joken-bo and Gijo-bo chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo of a title aloud towards the moon in the evening. Several believers chant it together at the back. The believers who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which Nichiren preached, have begun to increase in the Seichoji Temple, not Nam-Amidabutsu.

Dozen-bo came over here.

Believers noticed the Dozen-bo and made a place for him in wonder.

Dozen-bo sat down behind two disciples and began to chant the title.

“Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo."

Joken-bo and Gijo-bo recognized the voice of their teacher, Dozen-bo, whom they had heard.

Two people look at each other unintentionally, tears overflow naturally, and each other's faces are seen only vaguely. They had turned to the front and continued chanting to the voice of teacher Dozen-bo this time until late at night.

The voice of the chanting became louder.

The news of the Lotus Sutra faith of Dozen-bo has arrived for Nichiren in Kamakura too. The joy of Nichiren surpasses the ordinary.

Dozen-bo had taken care of Nichiren from 12 ageas a substitute for a parent. Nichiren was able to repay favors to the teacher.

Nichiren thinks.

He ever blamed teacher Doenbo with a strong attitude, but strong words then let Dozen-bo awaken to correct faiths.

He writes down, he thought of this time. In Bun'ei 7 years the next year (1270), 'About Zenmui-Sanzo' which he wrote as follows at the age of 49 to Gijo-bo and Joken-bo.

“Good advice is seldom welcome. Good medicine tastes bitter. Nichiren already repaid favors of the teacher, now. Surely the Buddha and the gods will accept my mind."

On the other hand, the temperature of Nichiren's propagation began to rise remarkably. It seemed 11 missives had been completely ignored in the Shogunate side, but the momentum of shakubuku of the Lotus Sutra continued moreover.

The momentum of the Nembutsu sect stopped by intense propagation of Nichiren's believers. This was the work that strong words could make too.

Around the 7th year of Bun'ei, two years after Nichiren had sent the eleven letters, he realized that the Lotus Sutra was spreading steadily throughout Japan. He writes it down identically in 'About Zenmui-Sanzo' as follows.

“I, Nichiren, am the son of a disreputable family along the shore in Kataumi of Tojo in the country of Awa, and I am a person who has neither authority nor virtue. Because the censures of the Shogunate and the powerful prohibitions of emperors could not put a stop to the teachings of Nembutsu, I wondered what I could do. But, deciding the texts of the sutras to a mirror and grasping the teachings of Tendai and Dengyo, I have attacked these wicked teachings for the seventeen years, from the fifth year of the Kencho era (1253) to the present, the seventh year of the Bun'ei era (1270). And, as may be seen by the evidence before one's eyes, the spread of the Nembutsu in Japan has been largely brought to a halt. Even though there are people who do not cease chanting the Nembutsu with their mouths, I believe they have come to realize in their minds that the Nembutsu is not the teachings by which to free themselves from the sufferings of birth and death.

The Zen sect either is the same. By observing one thing, should surmise ten thousand. I can grasp to the faults of the Shingon and all the other sects at will. [Partially omitted]. Until ten-odd years ago, everyone was a Nembutsu believer. But now, out of ten persons, we will find that one or two persons chant only Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and two or three persons chant it along with the Nembutsu. And even among those who chant the Nembutsu exclusively, there are those who have begun to doubt and so their minds believe in the Lotus Sutra; some person makes paintings of Shakyamuni Buddha or they even create statues of him. This, too, has happened because of Nichiren's strong words. For instance, sandalwood comes up from the eranda tree. A lotus flower grows out of the mud. Thus, at this time when Nichiren declares that chanting the Nembutsu will lead people to the hell of incessant suffering, people who are said to be wise slander Nichiren's doctrines. These people are no wiser than cows or horses. Even if they slander thoughtlessly, they are like lean dogs barking at a lion, or foolish monkeys laughing at the Heaven Teisyaku."

Nichiren began sermon at a hall in Kamakura crowded with an audience.

“It is a thing by a slander of priests of the wicked religion to surround lord Kamakura entirely that there is no answer from lord Kamakura though a calamity is going to happen in the country. I will say to lord Kamakura. Stop offering to Kenchoji and Gokurakuji Temple.

Now, at the beginning of the Latter-Day of the Law, I, Nichiren, am the first to embark on propagating, throughout the whole of the world, the five words of Myoho-renge-kyo which are the essential of the Lotus Sutra and the eye of various Buddhas. My disciples make the second group and third group and follow me, and must surpass even Mahakashyapa or Ananda (note), Tendai or Dengyou! If you shrink before the threats of the ruler of this small island, how could you face the even more terrible anger of Enma, the lord of hell? If, while calling yourselves the Buddha's messengers, you become a coward, you will be a person most despicable!”

A stone was thrown towards Nichiren at this time.

The stones in quick succession hit the shoulder of Nichiren.

Nichiren raises his sleeve and prevents it.

Shijo Kingo bears the brunt of the attack and both Toki Jonin and Ota Jomyo stood up.

"Do what?"

The person who threw a stone runs away to the exit.

Kingo was going to chase him, but he stopped.

Several samurais who are supposedly government officials stand there.

Kingo asks.

"Excuse me, who are you?"

“We are members of the High Court.”

"The courthouse? You are mistaking a place. Here is the residence of monk Nichiren."

The government official said.

“No, we have some urgent business not to the priest Nichiren but believers”

The government official advanced before Nichiren and read a document aloud while standing.

“We have received an inquiry about Shijo Kingo, Toki Jonin and Ota Jomyo of believers. Three people should appear in the Kamakura Court the day after tomorrow. There is a lawsuit about the faiths of the Lotus Sutra of three people. Justify an opinion of the Court the day after tomorrow.How will the three of you respond? ”

Jonin sat straight and brightened eyes.

"I will be there by all means."

Kingo followed.

"I will come there with pleasure"

Ota answers smilingly.

“Thank you for your hard work. I'll come without fail.”

"Alright, the day after tomorrow."

After the government officials left, three people advanced before Nichiren.

Nichiren was surprised at this sudden situation, but his eyes glistened clearly. He felt that a coming thing finally has come over.

On May 9 of the 6th year of the Bun'ei era [in 1269], it was the morning of the day. Shijo Kingo was busy with preparations.

Nichigan-nyo of the wife helps a husband put on hemp clothes.

Kingo became 39 years old. For these ten several years, he spent all his time for a propagation while accompanying teacher Nichiren. Today is the day of the decisive battle for him.

But the wife displayed an anxious face.

Kingo looks in the face of Nichigan-nyo.

“What's going on?”

She smiled to smooth things over.

“Please not mind.”

Kingo was calm now.

“There's nothing to worry about. I'm sure today's trial will go well. Lord Toki and Lord Ota will protect me even if I get emotional. Do not worry about it.”

Nichigan-nyo remained depressed.

“No, it is not about today. It is about the future.”

"The future?"

She watched Kingo.

“You have gotten so much better, you look like a different person after having met the shonin. I did not think that you who were always angry become the person who can control yourself. With that alone, I understand that a Lotus Sutra is amazing. But,”

"But what is it?"

Nichigan-nyo turned to the back.

“I cannot help feeling that you will leave us and go somewhere else."

Kingo put his hand on the shoulder of the wife.

“Do not worry. Where can I go after I ignore a wife and a child? We and the child are always together. The master said that we common mortals are frail like a fly. But if we ride a horseback, which can run 1000 miles, we can go to every world with freedom. We and the child, too, only follow the back of the shonin together."

Nichigan-nyo looked back and watched the eyes of Kingo.

“Can I believe your words?”


テキスト, 手紙自動的に生成された説明

‘The Points to be Careful of in the Trial’. In 1269.’ “To the lay monk Toki. Nichiren. I have received word that both sides are to be summoned for questioning today... Regardless of the merits of the trial, you should first of all address your daily depression.”


Kingo went out of residence gallantly. A vassal follows.

Then he boldly advanced on Wakamiya Street.

Three of Toki Jonin, Ota Jomyo and Shijo Kingo dropped in at the residence of Nichiren all together before appearing in the Law Court. Nichiren had beforehand prepared the missive of detailed instructions in them so that they could appeal in the Court.

“I have received word that both sides are to be summoned for questioning today. If I were to guess all of your mind, it would be as if you had encountered the udumbara flower which blooms and bears fruit only once in three thousand years. And your mind will be similar to that of Tung-fang Shuo who obtained peaches from the garden of the Queen Mother of the West only three times in nine thousand years. What other happiness can you compare to this in life?

First of all, the everyday discontents should be separately dissolved from the problem of the right or wrong of the trial. I know you are well aware of these matters, but sometimes there is a need to apply the whip even to a swift horse. Today, once you have gone to court and appeared at the trial, you must avoid using rough language to your colleagues, even if you are friendly with them. When both sides have been summoned before the court, while the magistrate is reading out the petition of complaint, whatever happens, unless you are questioned by the magistrate, you must not talk even one word. Even if your opponent criticizes you, you should act as if you have heard nothing when it is the first and second of slander. If they still continue a third slander, without changing your complexion or without using rude language, you must answer with gentle words. You should also say, ‘We are colleagues of the same shogunate, and therefore I have no grudge against him on a personal level.’ And I think you should carefully warn them of your retinue to avoid provoking quarrel. It is difficult to explain things such as these adequately in a letter, so I hope that you will give the matter the utmost consideration. Though I was humble to speak out about such things, I offer these foolish words in order that the three elements of the Buddha's sutra, its practitioner, and the supporters work together and attain one purpose.

Sincerely Yours,


 The ninth day of May

 To the three supporters." ‘The Points to be Careful of in the High Court’.

When three people read the letter Nichiren wrote, they felt the mind of the teacher who thought of believers and they put their hand on the floor unintentionally and thanked him. Furthermore, Jonin writes down a note as "the affair having to be careful at the time of trial" into the letter handed by Nichiren. This letter by Nichiren himself exists in the Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple, which Jonin and Jomyo founded.

It is not sure who appealed. But Nichiren is a man of a hundred battles in court. In fact, in the fight for the territory of both Seichoji Temple and Kagenobu Tojo of the land steward, Nichiren becomes the lead and continues appealing and is winning all.

If the sect of the Lotus Sutra confronts each other, they will surely win. Therefore, three people had been learning from Nichiren every day. If the correctness of the Lotus Sutra are handed down to the people of Kamakura by the victory of the trial, Kosen-Rufu, propagation for the whole world, approaches by one step again.



Sanskrit name: Ananda. Also called Ananda Venerable. He is said to be a cousin of the Buddha and a younger brother of Devadatta. He was one of the ten great disciples of the Buddha and was called the most gifted in hearing. At the age of 27, he became a constant attendant of the Buddha, and is said to have attended all of the Buddha's sermons from that time on. After the Buddha's death, he played a central role in the first assembly of the Buddhist scriptures as a reciter. For this reason, all of the sutras that the Buddha preached began with the four words, "This is what I, Ananda, heard from the Buddha. He was the second monk to transmit the Dharma lantern after Makakasho.

Continues to (2)

Life of Nichiren. Vol. 1. Contents

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