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2020年 08月 11日

24. The Wall of Kosen-ruhu

                Japanese edition

Kingo and three others and the three complainants faced off in front of the judge.

The biggest characteristic of the Kamakura era is to have begun a form of trial led by a samurai. The government had changed from a court noble to the samurai family, and the fairness of the trial came to be kept. Therefore, the concept called a right was born up to a farmer and a servant not to mention a samurai family, and insisting on their rights, an act of litigating, so to speak, became increasing drastically. As a result, everyone paid attention to the trend of the trial. This hot air does not compare with modern day.

It is the times that are not the civil law nor the commercial law like now. Speaking of a law, The Goseibai Shikimoku (formulary of adjudications) was just made only 30 years ago. However, the number of trials amounts to an intense number. There were various matters, including criminal cases and civil cases. The form of punishment was open to some extent, and there was a punishment of road repair. Trials between superiors and subordinates, landlords and servants were also common.

In fact, the trial was an event such as modern sports watching games for people of this time. Everyone paid attention to the result of every trial. There is no newspaper nor the media in this era. There is not what's called a so-called public opinion. The people were sensing worldly trends through trial.

Many samurais gathered as an observer in the court of the Shogunate.

The judge declares.

"I will administer justice by the lawsuit of the plaintiff from now. First, let's hear the lawsuit."

The accuser who was a plaintiff came to the front. The accuser was the person who three people had never seen.

“Three people of Shijo Kingo, Toki Jonin and Ota Jomyo, are influential believers of the Lotus Sutra sect. They slander other religions such as Nenbutsu and confuse the city of Kamakura. In addition, it is much unreasonable that they bewilder the mind of the people, though these three people serve the Shogunate in a position of a vassal of the Shogunate, and it deserves punishment. I think that the proper authorities confiscate their territory immediately and should expel them.”

“Then the defendant, please offer a counter argument."

Kingo Shijo stepped forward as if he had been expecting it. His tone is full of self-confidence.

"First of all, there is something that I want to ask you.Who are you who are an accuser? You are persons whom we have never met. Whose errand do you accuse us of?"

"Oh, what a rude thing to say! We are not errand boys."
 Kingo switched with Toki Jonin.
 "Then, I state it. The origin of the Law of Buddha comes from the sacred book of master Shakyamuni. It is multifarious from so-called low teachings to a high thing. The misfortune begins, because all creatures deeply cling to the low teachings among them. Nembutsu sect and Zen sect are lowly teachings preached by the Buddha in the early days of his incarnation."

An accuser has begun to be angry. A voice to criticize from the audience either breaks out.

Then, Ota Jomyo, who was good at Buddhist doctrine, made a speech.

“The best teachings that initiator Buddha preached are Lotus Sutras. Our Nichiren shonin is a practitioner of the Lotus Sutra that knows everything of the Law of Buddha. Reflecting today and the future of Japan in the mirror of all the Buddhist sutras, only he foretold the attack of the foreign enemy alone and it came true. There is not the person that nobody knows this fact. There is nobody other than priest Nichiren to wipe out Mongolia!"

The audience responded with "Yes, that's right!" in favor of Nichiren and "Why is Nembutsu a lowly teaching?," and shouts of criticism.

The judge has begun to be upset here. This official was timid. Three people including Kingo criticize the Shogunate with faiths as a shield indirectly. However, though the courthouse is the place of discussion, the Shogunate criticism is a no-no. This trial was originally quite out of the question.

Kingo pressed them for an answer.

“According to the world, a person who knows an omen is a saint. The Buddhist sutra says, the one who knows the past, present, and future is a saint. If I have faith in the Lotus Sutra and the Nichiren Shonin quickly, there will be peace and security in Japan. How do you like it?”

The accuser objected.

“Why do you trouble the Shogunate while serving the Shogunate? Though there may be an attack from Mongolia to Japan, 'cut off the neck of the Buddhist priest of another religion, burn down a temple'. Nichiren makes noise in this way. Is this not a high crime?”

Kingo answers powerfully.

“Well, well. I am surprised at your remark. In the first place, as for having foretold that a foreign enemy attacked nine years ago, our Nichiren Shonin alone had accomplished it. You should keep this fact in mind. In addition, the Nichiren Shonin never says 'cut off the neck of the Buddhist priest of another religion and burn down a temple'. On the contrary, it is a well-known fact that the priests Ryoukan, Doryu and Nen'a are making a false statement and a false charge to the Shogunate to entrap our sect. The prayer of our Lotus Sutra sect is not other than only the peace of our country and the decline of the enemy country. However, if a priest slandering the Lotus Sutra as of now prays, all gods of justice will leave Japan and the defeat of our country is inevitable!"

The judge was more upset.

(Oh, in this situation it becomes a confrontation in the public place of the Lotus Sutra sect and the other religion!)

The accuser did a face red-hot and argued against the Kingo side.

“We do not slander the Lotus Sutra. The person valuing the Lotus Sutra is not a little. However, why do you attack the other sect so much?"

Toki Jonin, a civil official of the Chiba clan, who had prepared a set of questions and answers in advance, responded immediately.

“This Japan is a country of the Lotus Sutra slander. People pray to Amida and make Zen meditation while saying that the Lotus Sutra is important. Though they treasure a child, they neglect a parent and though they believe in a medicine, they drink poison. Our Nichiren Shonin grieved about this and appealed to everyone including lord Kamakura, but there was no one answering. He would naturally be invited and should give an opinion if it depends on the formulary of adjudications, why did the Shogunate perform a banishment of him without doing it? If I think of the peace of this country; this should be called the fault of politics. The Mongolia extermination cannot come true, except Nichiren shonin. The prayer of the wicked religion destroys Japan early! Do you know that learned and virtuous priests who served the emperor Gotoba in the era of Zyokyu prayed for lord Kamakura extermination and the emperor was destroyed adversely?"

The accuser said it boasting.

“The judge, did you hear what they just said? This is the real shape of the group of Nichiren itself. They are people who deceive the other person and slander the Shogunate!"

The judge wiped the sweat off his face.

“Three of you, have you not lied about what you just said? Otherwise, are you ready to write pledges?"

The pledge is to take oath to all gods of Heaven and ground. Must commit suicide if betrays this.

Ota Jomyo answers.

“Precisely. However, we are also servants of the shogunate. There is not the slightest grudge against our lord and colleague. We only wait for the due consideration of the judge."

The hall became quiet.

Three people, including Kingo, were convinced of victory.

On the contrary, the judge looks down at his eyes and is thoughtful. He cannot give the verdict, as the judge.

In the silence, they heard a noise outdoors. The sound gradually grew big before long.

“Has anything happened?”

There was a crowd in front of the gate of the court.

Retainers of both the defendant and the accuser were quarreling intensely. They each fought back with a sword.

People who were at the trial went outside.

Kingo who rushed there rebuked them.

“Don't disturb! Stop!”

Jonin follows.

“Is the front of the court. Quarrel confusion is no-no!”

Punishment of the bloodshed is the territory confiscation. It becomes a banishment if not having land. In addition, was jailed if the person concerned with the blade wound was not a samurai.

Both sides finally settled down.

The judge entered among them and declared.

"Today's trial is canceled!"

Kingo and others were amazed. Though the victory was near at hand, it became an unexpected situation.

The judge coolly swore.

“A debate of the Law of Buddha is outside the jurisdiction of the court. Should not judge. Everyone, leave for now!”

Three people, including Kingo, protested fiercely, but the judge did not accept. The victory near at hand has disappeared suddenly.


テキスト, 手紙自動的に生成された説明

 ‘Letter to Lord Ota Kingo’. "For the lecture of Tendai Daishi, I received from you the coin of five strings. This lecture of Teacher Tendai started three or four years ago, but I think it is the best this year. This doctrine may spread or may not spread, but in the first place, it depends on the correctness or incorrectness of what I have predicted in my warning documents. Though I wrote to a number of people last year there were no replies either positive or even negative…."

The three people came back to the hall and prostrated themselves to Nichiren. Disciple Hoki-bo and others surrounded them.

Kingo expresses it regretfully.

“It's really too bad."

Jonin was depressed, too.

“We caused such an uproar at an opportunity to speak the justice of the priest, and we are very sorry."

Nichiren cheered them up, but his disappointment was obvious to everyone. In a letter to Ota Jomyo, he wrote about his feelings at those days as follows.

“This dogma may spread or may not spread, but in the first place, it depends on the correctness or incorrectness of what I have predicted in my warning documents. Though I wrote to a number of people last year there were no replies either positive or even negative. But when I wrote to them in November of this year, some wrote back. For the most part, people's attitudes have softened and it seems they thought that perhaps what I have said may be true. Moreover, it is possible that the sovereign also has read this writing. Since what I have said is so terrible, I know that one of two punishments, either banishment or death sentence, is absolutely certain, and hence I think it is strange that nothing has happened to me so far. The claim of Nichiren may be the best and ultimate reason. And surely the prediction of the calamity of rebellion in the sutra will prove correct too.

I heard that the temple on Mount Hiei is experiencing turmoil greater than before. They may have a deeper reason than that. Because China and Korai had already become adherents of the Zen and the Nembutsu sect, the gods to protect them have left away from there, then they have been conquered by the Mongols and forced to submit. In our nation as well, because these erroneous doctrines have spread and people make light of and disregard the Tendai Lotus sect, the temple on Mount Hi’ei can enjoy neither peace nor security. Because it has become a nation where disciples turn against their teacher, it seems to me that it will be conquered without doubt.

I have been fortunate enough to be born as a human being and also have been able to avoid meeting a teacher of misleading doctrines. In Addition, I was banished for the sake of the Lotus Sutra. However, the fact that I do not face the death sentence is unwillingness. Having anticipated that sort of thing would no doubt occur, I have thus far strived and have written to a number of persons by strong words.

Already I am nearly fifty. I cannot live long. Since in any case my body will in the end be abandoned aimlessly into the wilderness, I wish to give my life to the sole teachings of the Lotus Sutra, to follow in the footsteps of the Boy Snow Mountains and the bodhisattva Medicine King, and I wish that own name will be written into the Lotus and Nirvana sutras in the future just like the King Sen'yo and the King Utoku. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

November 28     Nichiren”


I have been reading No. 5 of the Makasikan since January 1 and praying for "This world is peaceful and we will be born in a good place in the next world" . The beginning and end of the Makasikan you sent me were missing, but I had it repaired. I need a lot of books (Makasikan, etc.) for the lecture of Teacher Tendai, so please prepare them. Letter to Lord Ota Kingo.


Nichiren wished he became the capital punishment. The reason is because it was a necessary condition to prove that he is the root Buddha in the Latter-Days of the Law. Though he gave Tokiyori Hojo "the Rissho Ankoku-Ron" at the age of 39 in the Bun'no era first year [1260], he has already written down the object of worship (Gohonzon) of the Latter-Day of the Law, which he should erect to in "About chanting the title of the Lotus Sutra" at the same time.

“Question: For the sake of persons who place their faith in the Lotus Sutra, what is the proper object of devotion, and what rules should be followed in acts of worship and daily religious practice?

Answer: 'The chapter of Law master' and 'the chapter of God and the power' say, first, the believer writes eight scroll's Lotus Sutras or one scroll or one chapter or a title and must establish it as the object of worship, Gohonzon. And those persons who were able to do so further should write the names of the Shakyamuni Nyorai and the Buddha Taho or make the images of them, and they should place these on the left and right of the Lotus Sutra. And if they were further able to do so, they make the ten directions' Buddha and the Fugen Bodhisattva, and others, or they must write their names.

As for the rules to be followed in worship, a believer always either sits or should stand before the Gohonzon. Once the believer leaves the place of religious practice, however, he is free to walk, stand still, sit, or even sleep.

As a daily religious practice, one should chant the title, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, aloud. Those persons who are able to do so should further read a verse or phrase of the Lotus Sutra. As a supplementary practice, if one wishes, one should use freely Shakyamuni Buddha, Many Treasures Buddha, the ten directions' Buddha, all the various Bodhisattvas, the Nizyo, celestial beings, the dragon deities and the eight kinds of nonhuman beings.

Since we live in an age when there are many foolish people, there is no need for believers to attempt at first to practice the meditation on the three thousand realms in a single moment of life [ichinen sanzen], but if there are persons who wish to do so, they learn how to practice this type of meditation and should carry it out.” ‘About Chanting the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra.’

From the description in the "About chanting the title of the Lotus Sutra," it is clear that although Nichiren proclaimed the establishment of his own religion at the age of 32 and spread the "practice" of chanting "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo" in order to become a Buddha in the Latter Day of the Law, there is no doubt that he had in his mind that he should eventually establish the principal image of the Latter Day of the Law.

Then when should he evince it? Shakyamuni attained Buddhahood at 30 years old, and he collected all disciples in the Spirit Eagle Mountain after 42 years, and declared "I have not expressed the truth for more than forty years'' in the chapter of Ten Profits in the second of the Sutra of Muryogi Sutra which is the opening of the Lotus Sutra and he preached the Myoho-renge-kyo (the Lotus Sutra) of the ultimate teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha in the same Spirit Eagle Mountain. The object of worship, namely Gohonzon, is existence to become the chance for all creatures to open up one's Buddha-nature. Therefore, if the Buddha's life was not breathed there, all creatures responding to the Gohonzon, cannot open the Buddha-nature. The Gohonzon needed to be erected by the fundamental Buddha himself, praying for sentient beings to attain Buddhahood.

The Buddha preaches in the last of the Lifespan Chapter of the sixteenth in the Lotus Sutra,

“I am the father of the world too. (Omission) I always think, what should I do in order to let all creatures enter the supreme road and let them become a Buddha smoothly and quickly?”

The purpose of 11 missives Nichiren had addressed to the vassals of the Shogunate and the priests of each denomination was that he would win in "the confrontation of a public place", and let the Shogunate stop an offering to a priest of the other religion, and let them take in the faiths of the Lotus Sutra. However, the true intention was to show to the current and future supporters, disciples and believers that he was the fundamental Buddha in the Latter-Day of the Law .
 This vow by Nichiren will be realized at the persecution of "Tatsunokuchi " [the mouths of the dragon] two years later.

  Nichiren expresses this secret by a letter to Ota Jomyo, it is not Toki Jonin or Shijo Kingo. On April 8 in the 5th year of the Ko'an era, six months before Nichiren passed away, Ota Jomyo was given ‘The Receiving the Law of three great secrets’ which was entrusted with building the precept platform of the fundamental.

“These Three Great Secret Laws are the teachings that were orally inherited to Nichiren unquestionably as the leader of the Bodhisattvas welling up from the ground more than two thousand years ago after the great master Shakyamuni attaining Buddhahood. (Omission). Until now I have kept this doctrine secret within my mind. But if I do not leave behind me a written record, my future disciples will say that I was without pity or compassion and perhaps slander me. And at that time, I would have no way to refute their rebuke and should regret it. Therefore, I send this to you. After you have read this first, you keep it a secret and must not show others this and it is no use telling. The reason that the Lotus Sutra is preached as the sole great matter of various Buddha's appearances is because this sutra includes the Law of three great secrets. Should keep it secret. Must keep this secret!”

'That was orally inherited to Nichiren unquestionably as the leader of the Bodhisattvas welling up from the ground by the great master Shakyamuni attaining Buddhahood.'

These words mean that Nichiren is the reincarnation of Jogyo Bodhisattva. However, it was almost rare to have shown this inner determination. He had said only besides in this way,

"Nichiren did indeed meet Shakyamuni at the Spirit Eagle Mountain and receive the teachings of the law orally. The Gohonzon is the body in itself of the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra."

This is discussed in the twenty-seventh important doctrine of the LifeSpan Chapter of the Lectures on the Orally Transmitted Doctrines, which orally inherited to Nikko of the successor, "The Erection of the Gohonzon.”

This was not an understandable thing for the believers absolutely. If he said it carelessly, it would only arouse suspicion in the followers. On the contrary, this shows how trust in the understanding of Buddhism of Ota Jomyo, who is a layman believer was high for Nichiren. Therefore, he did not speak out a firm belief "am hoping is the capital punishment" to other believers carelessly.

Contrary to this supreme conviction, Nichiren was deadlocked.

Has continued appealing for the justice of the Lotus Sutra for nearly 20 years from 32 years old and spread the title. He trounced various sects and was going to build a country where the Lotus Sutra spread. But, though the title spread, the basis of Japan does not change. The various denominations were still in their original condition and the ruler refused to listen.

The bad reputation of Nichiren who calls Nembutsu the hell of incessant sufferings goes on increasing. Japan straying stays such deep.

The name Nichiren was going to be sunk among the current of history in this way to being ignored.

The people of Kamakura widely talked about him. "An unknown monk defies the ruler of Kamakura or the famous priest Ryoukan of Gokurakuji. He does not know his place too well. He should be more aware of his limitations."

However, a situation surrounding Ryoukan and Nichiren suddenly switches from the unexpected occurrence.


The Life of Nichiren. Vol. 1. Contents

by johsei1129 | 2020-08-11 13:53 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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