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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2020年 09月 03日

38. Difficult situation in solitary island Sado.(1)

  Japanese Edition


  ダイアグラム, テキスト自動的に生成された説明

From the Biography of Nichiren Daishonin.


One unreliable boat goes to the sea in a snowstorm.

There were Nichiren, Nikko and disciples wearing the straw raincoat, in the ship. They were covered by snow and became all in white.

The Island of Sado looks big with the eyes of Nichiren.

They departed from Teradomari on October 27, and the ship finally arrived at the port on October 29 on the third day. Being numb with cold, they shook off the snow of the straw raincoat and landed from the boat.

Nichiren who landed ashore went up the long slope. They walked a long distance. A snow storm occasionally blew them.

They saw a mansion before long. It is a mansion of Honma Rokuro-Zaemon Shigetsura, the agent of the land sovereign in Sado.

When a party of Nichiren who became full of white from head to foot arrived, Honma Shigetsura of the master stood on the dirt floor.

"I am Shigetsura".

Nichiren was relieved that he was able to meet the leader of the island at long last.

"I am Nichiren. Came from Kamakura. Though I am afraid I'll be a burden to you, I am counting on you".

Though Nichiren lowers the head, Shigetsura is standing without welcoming them.

"You came well from far away".

Though his words are careful, the behavior to respect a Buddhist priest does not let him feel at all. It may be said that it is the polite patronizing attitude.

When the disciples took down heavy baggage and were going to take a rest, Shigetsura told them.

"The residence of Nichiren shonin is not here unluckily. Because I decide your placement during a few days, all of you will be able to feel relaxed till then in this mansion.”

After a party of Nichiren stayed for two days in a mansion, Shigetsura gave subordinates command.

"Guide the party of the priest to the house of a funeral service".

Nichiren would appear in the snowy field again.

The group was made to walk behind Shigetsura's compound. Shigetsura's men were in front of them.

Disciples' kneecap is buried in snow and while Hoki-bo Nikko is leading, they tread down the snow. Nichiren followed them.

Eventually, they saw a building that looked like an abandoned house out in the wilderness. A graveyard is around. A stupa and a gravestone let a face peep out of snow. The native called this the Tsukahara house for a funeral service.

Piling up the snow under the eaves was making an icicle. The wooden floor of the room is deviating. The wall cracked, and I can see that it begins to snow outside.

They were sent to the house of Tsukahara Funeral on November 1. From the persecution of Tatsunokuchi of 12th September, two months have been passed already. They arrived at Sado on October 28 and got a dwelling at long last, but a new hardship was waiting. Must survive in a place of this severe cold weather.

As the night advances, when a disciple lighted a wick of the oil on the plate, the hall inside became bright although being vague.

Putting the straw raincoat on, Nichiren stared at a ceiling and a wall that had stained with soot.

 

マップ自動的に生成された説明

         Current Map of Sado Island. From Wikipedia

Around the same time, in the residence of Shigetsura Honma, the family was eating around the Irori fireplace.

The wife draws hot soup and serves her master, Shigetsura. Vegetables from Sado and fish from the nearby seas overflowed into the meal.

The agent of the governor, Shigetsuna, grumbled.

"What a nuisance. The Lord has given us such a person. Lord Kamakura is also a troublesome person."

A subordinate says.

"But that monk is said to be the person who predicted the attack of Mongolia. I heard that he was a priest who should not be despised."

Shigetsura pecked the fish.

"That's right. Don't treat him well. We can't treat him badly. It's tricky. Already the people of the island know that Nichiren has come. The people of Sado have believed in Nembutsu since ancient times. However, there came a man who called the Nembutsu the hell of incessant suffering. It's going to get rough."

"However, Nichiren has a reputation as a stout-hearted fellow who remonstrated with the lord Kamakura many times."

Shigetsura uttered words.

"We don't need a stout. It is enough that we samurai protect the land and our descendants prosper. If we follow Lord Kamakura, we can live in peace. If he opposes it, he will fall into a miserable position like Nichiren. Well, I don't care what happens to that priest."

Shigetsura stopped talking and stirred in the brown rice.

Rokuro-Zaemon Shigetsura Honma was a subordinate of Governor of Sado Province, Nobutoki Hojo. He was in charge of Sado, which was Nobutoki's territory, so he was called the agent of the Governor.

The Honma family originally came from Sagami. There is a place called Honma in Echi, Aiko District, Sagami Province, where they came from.

The Honma clan lasted even after the fall of the Hojo Shogunate and ruled Sado until the Warring States period. Therefore, even today Sado has many Honma family names. Incidentally, the author's stepmother was her maiden name Honma and her ancestor was Sado.

At the House of the Funeral, Nichiren recited the Expedient Means chapter No. 2, and the Life Span of Tathagata No. 16 of the Lotus Sutra, and after that, he chanted intently "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo."

All were trembling with cold and were wearing straw raincoats.

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

Even under the harsh conditions, their hearts were filled with emotion.

On this occasion, however, there were people who had axes and sickles in the open air and watched the inside of the temple. They were all gazing at the House of Funeral with "Enemy of Nembutsu, we hate Nichiren" faces.



Continued


Life of Nichiren. Vol. 2. Contents



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