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2020年 08月 16日

28. Warning to Yoritsuna Tairano. 1

 Japanese edition

テキスト が含まれている画像自動的に生成された説明

Painting of Ryokan slandering Nichiren to the court. From Nichiren Daishonin's Diary of One Generation.

Ryoukan worked hard to devise a plan to crush Nichiren. When he noticed that Tokimune was reluctant to punish Nichiren, he appealed to women led by the nuns. Nuns believe Ryoukan blindly. It is a mere coincidence for them that Nichiren brought rain and foretold the Mongolia attack. On the contrary, the appeal of tearful Ryoukan had moved women. The nuns who moved in sentiment gave vent to the feelings of Nichiren hatred.

Nichiren attests the intense trap of this Ryoukan as follows in "the Duty of Repaying Favor" which he wrote in the second year of the Kenji era after five years (1276).

“I blamed them for not sparing myself in this way. So, several thousand Nembutsu believers and a hundred or a thousand Shingon priests clung to the influential person, or to their wives or widow nuns, and filled into their ears with endless slanders to trap me. Finally, they said that this was the gravest matter in the entire nation and said I was the priest who prayed for the destruction of Japan and they said I had declared that both late Lord Saimyoji and Lord Gokurakuji had fallen into the hell of incessant suffering. Those widow nuns insisted that an investigation was unnecessary. They said this. Rather, I would have my head cut off at once, and my disciples should likewise be beheaded or exiled to a distant country or imprisoned. They were so infuriated and their demands for punishment were carried out as it is.”

Lord Saimyoji is Hojo Tokiyori, Lord Gokurakuji is Shigetoki, these are each Buddhist names. Nichiren says these two people who had the greatest achievement in the Kamakura Shogunate fell into the hell of incessant sufferings.

Ryoukan and others who hated Nichiren began to strike back.

But Nichiren is not afraid of a person who abominates him, namely three kinds of powerful enemies. Nichiren does not have the compromise. A shakubuku was strengthened more and more. As for the collision of both, it becomes decisive.

Nichiren compares their true character to a woman crazy about jealousy.

 “It is like the case of a woman possessed by jealousy. A great fire burns within her breast, and as a result her whole body turns red. The hair on her body stands upside down, her entire body quivers, and the flames ascend to her face until it has become crimson. Her eyes are as round as those of a cat about to pounce on a mouse, and her hands tremble like oak leaves tossed in the wind. When bystanders observe her, she looks no different than a demon. The ruler, various Buddhist priests, monks, and nun of Japan had been just as same as this jealous woman.

 I, Nichiren, have declared. The Nembutsu of the invocation to Amida which they rely upon is a behavior that will fall into the hell of incessant suffering. Shingon is the doctrine that will ruin the nation and a person who keeps the religious precepts works as the devil in Heaven. When they hear these pronouncements of mine, they knead their prayer beads and grind their teeth in rage, and they ring their little bells of Shingon while shaking their heads in anger. Thus, though outwardly they observe the religious precepts, they hold the minds of evil. So, the saint Ryoukan of Gokurakuji who is called “living Buddha'' hurries with petitions to the government offices to bring charges against me, the saint Doryu of Kenchoji mounts his palanquin and goes down on knees to the magistrates, and the nuns who observe the five hundred religious precepts presented a letter of accusation using a silk to the shogunate.” The Letter to the Nun Myoho Bikuni

Nichiren told the disciples and believers that a summon to the military headquarters had been decided.

There was a person who looked uneasy among the disciples, but Nichiren was unusually in a good mood. For Hoki-bo Nikko, it had been a long time since he watched the teacher with such a smile.

“I have just received a summons from the military headquarters. It is a long-awaited thing. Something may happen. The Buddha writes it down. The person who spreads only the title of the five characters of the Lotus Sutra will appear at the beginning of the latter days of the Law, two thousand years after the Buddha passed away. At that time, evil rulers and bad people abuse, beat, or imprison him, to confiscate his land, to exile or behead him. In spite of such persecutions, he will continue his propagation without retreating. Meanwhile the ruler who persecuted him will be beset by rebellion, and people bearing him a grudge will devour each other like hungry demons. Finally, they will be attacked by a foreign country. The reason for this is that the Bonten, Teisyaku, the sun and moon, and the four kings of Heaven ordain that other countries shall assault a country that is hostile to the Lotus Sutra by all means.”

“No one who calls himself my disciple must be a coward. Must not worry about your parents, wife, children. Must not care about your estate. Since the infinite past, you had been abandoning your life more than the number of dust particles of the land, for the sake of your parents, children and your estate. But you have not abandoned your life for the Lotus Sutra once. You may have tried to perform its teachings to some extent, but whenever the great persecution occurred, you backslid and fell down. That is like pouring cold water into hot water boiled, or like trying to strike fire but giving up halfway. Please each make up your mind! Devoting your life for the Lotus Sutra is that you change the stone to gold or change dung to rice. Are you all right?”

Shijo Kingo braced himself and answered immediately.

The believer stands up tempted by this and gives the words of the oath in sequence.

Was filled with moving elation. Everybody spoke cheerily as if there were no enemies.

“Even if I encounter any persecution, I do not retrogress!”

“I go through with the faiths throughout my lifetime!”

“I am not afraid of authority. I assert with courage that the Lotus Sutra is the supreme!”

The day of a summon has come. It is September 10 in the 8th year of the Bun'ei era (1271).

Nichiren passes through a gate of the military headquarter.

He goes to the dark corridor.

The samurai of the guard stares at Nichiren going through. Nichiren goes straight without changing his face.

There were members of the military headquarters in the room of the investigation. They all are the looks that grew tense and waited for Nichiren to appear.

Yoritsuna Taira is in the center. There was Shoibo of the vassal beside him.

Shoi-bo speaks with a triumphant air.

“First of all, Nichiren would not show his true intentions. It is said that his speech is fluent. Perhaps, he will only avoid direct answers at this place. Because otherwise he will be afraid of us, he cannot say even half of thinking. Sometimes the person who came here cries and apologizes.”

Yoritsuna seemed to be boring. A butler of Hojo managing the administrative power of the whole country must meet with an unnamed Buddhist priest. He muttered while giving no heed to Shoibo's remark.

“How will he react to me? It is good to cringe and crawl like Ryoukan. Otherwise...”

"We'll behead him."

Replied Shoibo joking.

Then Yoritsuna had fearless laughter and warned Shoibo.

“Here, do not say such a silly thing. We will get a scolding from our young lord. Nichiren is the man who only makes a stir. Nichiren wants to gain the favor of the Shogunate like Japanese every Buddhist priest wants to make success in life. If we threaten and give him a sweet thing, he will follow us.”

Yoritsuna is 30 years old at this time. He was 20 years older than Nichiren, but there was the influence, which his clan acted as a butler since the establishment of the Kamakura Shogunate as the first on the list of the direct vassals, and there was the support of regent Tokimune. So, he has a fearless arrogance. Therefore, nobody can give an opinion to Yoritsuna. He indulged in outrageous behavior more and more.

A petty functionary raised a voice.

“Nichiren has come.”

Nichiren manifested himself. He was quieter than ever.

Vassals of Yoritsuna surrounded Nichiren and watched him as like licking. It was the eyes of the wild beast searching for game.

Nichiren sits down on a lower seat.

Shoibo made the first move.

“Are you Nichiren? Let's hear you at once. Your suspicion is an innumerable number. It is said that you gather rioters and store swords and cudgels. Is there anything false about you?”

Nichiren answered immediately.


They were all astonished. They did not expect that Nichiren said the testimony that would become disadvantageous from himself. However, he had said it straight.

Nichiren continues quite casually.

“But the matter of the rioter is a clear falsehood. I return it as it is to the person who calls the believer of the Lotus Sutra a rioter. Next, I answer regarding swords and sticks. The bows and arrows, and cudgel for the Lotus Sutra protection is the Law that the Buddha established. For example, like collecting swords and cudgel for the king's protection."

Words fail him for his answer of surprise.

Shoi-bo, who should be brave, shook a voice.

“If so, 'The late lord Hojo Tokiyori and Lord Shigetoki had fallen into hell. Burn down the Kenchoji and Gokurakuji Temple. Cut off the neck of both the saint Gokurakuji Ryoukan and Doryu’. This will not be the real intention possibly, will not it? It is a falsehood, isn't it?”

There followed a long silence.

Yoritsuna Taira was irritated, and called to him for the first time.

“What's wrong, Nichiren? Why do you not reply it?”

Nichiren fixed the breathing here and exerted a strength of willpower and appealed.

“I certainly said those matters without changing even a word!”

The samurais were amazed again. Some people drop their fans. Yoritsuna is dumbfounded too.

“However, it is a falsehood that I said that Lord Tokiyori and Lord Shigetoki had fallen into hell. My doctrine is because it is what I have already expressed since two people were alive”

Yoritsuna crossed his arms and stood perfectly motionless in front of Nichiren.

"Did you go mad?"

Yoritsuna thinks so. It seems a challenge to the Shogunate. This is like saying that he should be punished.

Nichiren did not take notice of the Shogunate government official who could not hide surprising and continued talking plainly.

 “I have said these things for the sake of this country. If you wish to maintain this world in peace and security, summon the priests of the other sects for a debate and hear. If you ignore this advice and punish me unreasonably, the shogunate will regret. If I am punished, it will be by rejecting Buddha's envoy. And then, you will receive the punishment of Bonten and Teishaku, the sun and moon, and of the four kings of Heaven. Within one hundred days after my banishment or execution, or within one, three, or seven years, there will occur what is called the calamity of internal strife, and an intense sword fight breaks out between the clan.”

All members make noise.

Nichiren, who received a roar of anger, became a loud voice.

“After that, they will be attacked from all directions, especially from the west, due to the calamity of invading other countries. At that time, the Heino Saemon-no-jo, you will regret what you have done!”

Yoritsuna was enraged.

“You must be a fool! What are you saying? I can cut your neck even right now. Who do you think I am?”

Nichiren fixed his eyes on Yoritsuna.

"Your Excellency is the samurai general."

Yoritsuna became even more agitated.

“You think you can make a fool of me? What a rough word to a person controlling a samurai of Japan? I can never forgive you about the erstwhile rude letter and this present violent language. I will have you beheaded!”

テキスト, ホワイトボード が含まれている画像自動的に生成された説明

Reply to Nun Kubo-ama. Hota Myohoji Temple possesses a part of this genuine letter.

Nichiren speaks to Yoritsuna as if admonishing him.

“You are the leader of this world. Why are we trying to undermine the pillars that will save the Japanese nation? You should think of a national crisis above all, and it will be vital to repel a foreign enemy by all means. It is called loyalty that one makes the world peaceful and safe, and it is a filial duty to make a nation peaceful and safe. I do not state for my own sake. I state for the sake of Japan, for the sake of the Shogunate, and for the people.”

The member in the hall was overawed by the spirit of Nichiren, but only Yoritsuna continued booing Nichiren.

“Get out! A beggar monk of Awa! You can say all the bad words you want about Nembutsu being an interminable hell and Zen being the behavior of a heavenly demon, and you are accumulating weapons and disturbing the world. You are the one who will go to hell. I will cut off your neck emphatically!”

by johsei1129 | 2020-08-16 23:46 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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