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2022年 05月 18日

57. Nichiren Leaves Kamakura

The midsummer sun was shining.

At the market, the usual hustle and bustle of the streets lined with peddlers had begun.

Both sellers and buyers were covered in sweat.

"It's so hot. It needs rain."

The crops in the fields were dry and wilted.

The farmers put on their shades and looked up at the sky with envy.

The tenth day of the fourth month. It was two days after Nichiren had met Taira no Yoritsuna.

Amidado Hoin, a priest of the Shingon sect, prostrated himself graciously in a room of the government office.

Meeting him is Yasumori Adachi. Yasumori was waving a fan. April was early summer in the lunar calendar.

Amidado Hoin is also called Kaga Hoin. His name was Sadakiyo. He was the founder of the Ono school of Shingon Buddhism. He was the head of the Amida Hall in Kamakura, hence the name.

He was a representative of the Shingon sect of Buddhism in Kamakura at that time. He was born at the prestigious Toji Temple in Kyoto. Toji had reigned as the head temple of the Shingon sect since the Teacher Kobo Kukai received it from Emperor Saga. It is said that it was at this temple that Hoin mastered the secrets of Shingon. He is said to have mirrored the Shingon secrets of the Teacher Kobo, Jikaku, and Chishou, and to have had the Tendai and Kegon sects on his mind. In addition, his appearance was full of grace.

Yasumori welcomed him with a smile.

"Welcome to here. It is a great pleasure for the shogunate to have you here. We have been informed that the Mongols will attack before the end of the year. I would like to request that you pray for us to prepare for it."

The priest nodded and replied in an elegant Kyoto accent.

“There are various types of prayers. Our Shingon sect has a prayer method that has been practiced for 400 years since the Great Teacher Kobo. Other religions are not even close. If you make the necessary arrangements, I can assure you that we will be able to prevent the Mongols."

How confident he was. Yasumori's joy was evident.

"You have said it well. It is true that there has been a lot of trouble recently. Originally, there was another monk to offer prayers."

The Hoin smiled graciously.

"Nichiren, right? It is good that you have decided to cancel him. This man, Nichiren, is only a lowly Dharma master, a man of lowly fanaticism. Compared to our Shingon priest, he is the difference between a heavenly son and a monkey, a nobleman and a barbarian."

Yasumori laughed cheerfully.

”Nichiren is a monkey and a barbarian, that's a funny thing to say, and it's a start. Priest Hoin, the countries of Japan are currently suffering from a lack of rain. If the water shortage continues at this rate, famine is certain to follow. I would like to discuss this with you. Can't you make it rain with your prayers? I would like you to gather the rain clouds with the secret method of the Shingon."

Hoin put his hands together.

"If it's all right with the shogunate."

"Oh, you'll do it?"

"What Nichiren could do, I can do."

"Grateful. I shall make preparations immediately."

In the heat of the day, the doors of Kamakura Amida Hall were all closed.

The Dharma seal started praying in the dark room.

The goma (a Buddhist burning stick) sent up flames.

Covered in sweat, Hoin shook his pestle and rang the bell. He looked just as Teacher Kobo did four hundred years ago.

His appearance appeared in the darkness. He chanted the mantra eerily and powerfully.

In Kamakura, people no longer went outside. Even when they were outside, they rested in the shade of trees. There were water disputes in the fields. Everyone looked up at the sky with a sigh.

We need rain.

The dry sky was fading, but Amidado Hoin did not stop praying. Even at midnight, the mantra continued. His face eventually became like that of a demon.

It was the next day.

Strangely enough, a black cloud appeared over Kamakura and it became darker and darker.

The cloud soon covered the entire sky and brought rain with heavy thunder.

It was a miracle.

People soaked up the rain with joy on their faces. Children went outside and frolicked.

The rain of blessing sprinkled over Kamakura and the rest of the country.

Hojo Tokimune stood on the porch and listened to the sound of the rain with a satisfied look on his face.

Yasumori came over to him, looking pleased with himself. Taira no Yoritsuna followed with a sullen look on his face. Yoritsuna was not amused by Yasumori's success.

"Amidado Hojin did it!"

It was understandable that he was excited. It rained in just one day, and it rained quietly all day and all night.

Tokimune was in an unusually good mood.

"Yasumori, you have done well. I hope the monk Hoin will stay in Kamakura for a long time. Let's give him a gift. Give him thirty ryo of gold and a horse. I will also make a formal request for prayers against the Mongols."

Tokimune looked up at the sky in satisfaction.

A quiet rain fell on the marketplace in Kamakura.

Here, the townspeople laughed together under the eaves of their eaves. They even clapped their hands.

"I'm glad. I'm glad. Thanks to the rain, the farmers can rest easy. Now we can live in peace. Thank goodness."

"By the way, guy Nichiren, he has said a strange thing. I thought he was going to be beheaded, but he is forgiven after a long persecution, and he should be better quiet. In addition, not only did he slander Nembutsu and Zen, he also slandered Shingon."

"And then there was this rain. You should have stopped it. The teachings of the Shingon are truly blessed!"

Townspeople laughed again and clapped their hands.

At Nichiren's house, his disciples were looking up at the sky with upset faces.

They were in the midst of packing for their move, and even they were anxious about where they would be going. Furthermore, the fact that the Shingon priest, whom he had accused of being an evil sect, had caused the rain to fall made his doubts worse.

Nichiren, on the other hand, keeps his eyes closed.

Sanmi-bo and Daishin-bo crept towards him.

"Master, they were able to make it rain even with mantras."

Nichiren said with his eyes still closed.

"The mantra will surely destroy the country. If we pray for the overthrow of the Mongols with the mantra, Japan will quickly fall."

 Sanmi-bo blamed his master.

"Then why did it rain? Isn't it because Amidado Hoin's prayer was in accordance with the law?"

Nichiren's eyes widened.

"Wait for a while. If the wickedness of Kobo had become true and become the prayer of the nation, the Emperor would have won and the Shogunate would have been defeated during the Jokyu era. The reason why Kobo considered the Lotus Sutra inferior to the Kegon Sutra is found in the Ten Summa Theories of Mind. It is in the 'Key to the Treasured Treasure' that the Buddha was described as an ordinary man. The description of the Tendai Master as a thief is found in the Two Treatises. If Kobo's disciple, Amidado Hoin, is superior to Nichiren, then the Dragon King who causes rain is an enemy of the Lotus Sutra. He would be blamed by Brahma, the emperor, and the four heavenly kings. There must be some reasons."

Sanmi-bo and Daishin-bo were clearly scornful of Nichiren. The other disciples also laughed.

“The disciples laughed at him, saying, ‘What reasons do you have for this?’” 'Behaviors of the Buddha'

The disciples ridiculed him. Did they not regard Nichiren as their teacher? Even his direct disciples were in such a state.

But Nichiren continued.

"Zenmui, Kongochi, and Fuku of the Shingon sect in China prayed for rain. The rains came, but the storms increased the damage. After thirty-seven days, Kobo wiped out the rain. This was the same as no rain. How could it not rain for more than a month? Even if it did rain, what would be the wonder? It is noble to sprinkle the rain on the spot like the great teacher Tendai or Sengan did. Something must be going on here."

Just as he said this, a roar began to sound from somewhere, accompanied by the shaking of the earth.

Sanmi-bo's laughter stopped.

The pillars and beams of the house began to shake.

Hoki-bo defended Nichiren.

Everyone screamed. It was a storm. A gust of wind swept over Kamakura.

The crowd that had been laughing in the marketplace screamed. The wind was fierce and accompanied by a tornado. They were blown away, along with their stalls.

The great wind swept the shrines, pagodas, and houses of Kamakura, large and small, up into the sky and down to the ground. It is said that a huge glowing object flew in the sky. People, along with cattle and horses, were lifted up and knocked to the ground.

At the residence of Hojo Tokimune, wooden doors and tatami mats shook, and a violent wind raged.

Tokimune was standing stiffly against the raging wind.

Yoritsuna called out to him.

"My Lord, evacuate quickly."

Tokimune said without listening.

"Call Yasumori."

Yasumori hurriedly came over. Tokimune immediately ordered.

"Stop praying."

Yasumori had no idea what he was talking about.

Tokimune was desperate.

"Don't you understand? This wind is caused by the Dharma seal. I want him to stop praying."

"But please give me a moment, sir."

Tokimune turned into a demon.

"You are a fool. The whole of Kamakura will be blown away!"

Yasumori rushed out. Taira no Yoritsuna stifled a laugh as he caught the wind.

The three founders of the Shingon sect of Buddhism, Zenmui, Kongouchi and Fuku, had all failed in their prayers for rain. At the beginning of their prayers, rain fell, making the Son of Heaven crazy with joy, but soon a storm broke out and the damage was even worse. The three men were chased away from their places, claiming that this storm was caused by their prayers.

Praying with Shingon causes bad winds. Nichiren recorded the incident of Amidado Hoin in an extremely humorous manner, naming the three predecessors.

"The evil winds of these three men are the great winds of all the Shingonists of China and Japan. This would be proof of that. It is the gale of the 12th day of April of the 11th year of Bun'ei (1274), when praying the rain by Amidado Kaga Hoin, the most wise man of the Toji Temple. Is it possible that the evil laws of Zenmui, Kongochi, and Fukuu have been transmitted without any change? It is chic, it's chic.” 'Behaviors of the Buddha'  

The next morning, Kamakura was filled with destroyed houses. The damage was concentrated in Kamakura.

Even Nichiren's brand new house was miserably ruined.

The disciples cleared away the scattered wood.

Sanmi-bo and Daishin-bo hugged each other's shoulders.

“Are you alright? How did you survive?"

"Yes. It was a terrible storm."

Daishin-bo looked around.

"Where is the master?

A traveling Nichiren and his disciples were walking along the streets of Kamakura. They were on their way to Kai Province.

A passerby turned to look at them.

"Isn't that the priest Nichiren?"

Nichiren's group passed through the path. They stood on top of a mountain overlooking the city.

The master and disciple looked down at Kamakura with deep emotion.

Nichiren had given up on Hojo Tokimune. Six years before this, I had already written about it.

"If you do not use it to remonstrate with your lord three times, you should stay in the forest." 'Question and Answer among Sage and Fool. '

When the country is in danger, it is natural for a vassal to remonstrate with his lord. If you do not, you will be disloyal and undutiful. But if he is not adopted after three times of admonition, it is not his sin. This may mean that he should live the rest of his life in a quiet place, away from the hustle and bustle. This was the common sense of the sages of the time. Nichiren had been practicing this creed for six years.

This way of life is derived from the Reijiki, a collection of Confucius' words.

“If you do not listen to him after remonstrating with him three times, you should leave.” (Confucian Etiquette)

As a man's vassal, you should not blatantly reprove your lord for his faults. It means that you should remonstrate with him euphemistically, and if he does not listen to you even after remonstrating three times, you should resign your position.

In the same way, in the "Filial Piety Sutra" of Confucius, there is a saying that means the same thing.

"If, after three times of remonstrance, you are not able to accept the remonstrance, you should submit yourself and leave the position.”

Nichiren explained to his disciples that his reason for leaving the land of Kamakura was based on this ancient saying, but deep in his heart, he was looking forward to the future, far into the future, after his passing away.

When starting a high-rise building, the first step is to drive a number of piles to the underground bedrock, the so-called supporting layer, to support the building.

Nichiren believed that for the future propagation of Buddhism, it was essential to indoctrinate the disciples and believers who would be responsible for such a large project.

To this end, he directly instructed his disciples at his hermitage, and like every day, sent messages to his followers scattered throughout Japan, containing doctrine answers to their questions.

In other words, in order to build a solid foundation for the spread of Myoho-Renge-Kyo, he was able to penetrate into the minds of his disciples and followers the internal evidence of the true Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law.

Incidentally, Nichiren left behind about one hundred and ten writings from the time of his proclamation of the establishment of Buddhism to his exile on Sado Island, about fifty writings from his exile on Sado Island to his entry into Minobu, and about three hundred and thirty writings from his entry into Minobu until his death.

After leaving Kamakura, Nichiren no longer took the brunt of propagation. Instead, he devoted himself to teaching his disciples and followers. He believed that it was now the disciples' turn to take the stage.

Throughout his life, Nichiren had traveled from east to west and exposed himself to many dangers. He had been embarrassed, humiliated, and suffered great hardships, but he had no regrets. The scripture is true. In fact, he felt a deep satisfaction in his heart.

He had accomplished everything he was supposed to do in the real world. Thinking of this, he was satisfied. He admonished the Lord three times. He ended up not being adopted, but It was not because of his own inefficiency. There are always two kinds of kings: wise kings and foolish kings. It means that Tokimune was not a wise king.

Then there is no need for him to stay in the real world any longer. This is what moderation is all about. You should leave the city of kings.


“Although I, Nichiren, do not think that I have done particularly wrong, the people of this country are being deceived by the Nembutsu priests, or by the Zen, religious precepts, or Shingon. They act outwardly as though they revere the Lotus Sutra, but in their minds, they do not believe in it. Thus, when I, Nichiren, assert the supremacy of the Lotus Sutra, they all resent me, just like the people in the latter day of the Law of the Buddha of Dignified Sound King detested the Bodhisattva Fukyo. From the ruler to the common people, they even hate to watch me, let alone hear my name. Therefore, although I was innocent of any wrongdoing, because once I was exiled, I could not possibly be permitted. In addition, I had denounced the Nembutsu which the people of Japan respect more deeply than their own parents and more highly than the sun and moon, and I said it is the cause that leads to the hell of incessant suffering. I attacked them saying that the Zen sect is the acts of the devil and the Shingon is an evil doctrine that will ruin the nation, and I insisted that the Shogunate burn down the temples of the Nembutsu, Zen, and religious precepts priests and should behead the Nembutsu priests and the others. Moreover, I picked Hojo Tokiyori and Shigetoki of the two deceased lay priests and expressed that they had fallen into the Avichi hell. I am such a sinful human being. Because I had voiced such appeals to all people of the high rank and bottom, whether or not I had spoken it in error, I can never again appear to this world. Even worse, I stated such teachings every morning and evening and debated it day and night. Also, I hard informed Heino-Saemon and several hundred shogunate officers that, no matter what punishment I might incur, I would not stop stating these matters. Therefore, even if a grand stone at the bottom of the sea requires a thousand men to move its surface by itself, or even if rain falling from the sky does not reach to the ground, I, Nichiren, will never return to Kamakura.” 'Writing to Kounichi-bo'

Thus, Nichiren left Kamakura, the center of power in Japan. He never returned.

Hojo Tokimune was frustrated.

Yoritsuna, Yasumori and other leading members of the Shogunate could not look up.

"How bad was the storm?"

"Fortunately, in Sagami, only Kamakura suffered damage. In Kamakura, the most severely damaged areas were the general Palace, Wakamiya, Gokurakuji and Kenchoji. Damage is very limited."

Tokimune was stunned.

"What a surprise. These are the most important places in Kamakura. Why did this happen? Whose responsibility is it?"

Yoritsuna glared at Yasumori.

"This is clearly due to the fact that you ordered Amidado Hoin to pray."

Yasumori countered.

"Amidado Hoin was the most appropriate Dharma master for praying for the extermination of the Mongols. I made the best choice I could."

Silence reigned. It was another failure after another failure. Will this be enough to defeat the Mongols in the real battle?

Yadoya Nyudo spoke up.

"My Lord, Nichiren is the best man to defeat the Mongols. As for the prayer for the extermination of the Mongols, since it has come to this, why don't we ask Nichiren to do it again? There is no such high priest in Japan anymore. I know it's a shame, but why don't we save ourselves the shame and ask the Priest Nichiren again?"

Yoritsuna stopped him.

"I don't know about that. It won't be that easy."

Yadoya Nyudo made up his mind.

"How about it? What do you think, Nichiren is right about the shogunate adhering to the Lotus Sutra and abandoning other religions?"

There was an uproar in the hall, but Yadoya Nyudo remained calm.

"If we are to achieve victory over the Mongols, we must obey the saint Nichiren. If we disobey him, the country will surely be in turmoil. He is the person who decides the fortunes of the nation, that he is. If our shogunate unanimously rejects other sects and follows the cause of the Lotus Sutra, saint Nichiren will return. What do you think?”

Everyone looked at Tokimune. Tokimune looked distressed.

“I'm afraid I can't do that, Yadoya. Since the beginning of Japan, Buddhism has been divided into different sects like hemp. If only Nichiren were adopted, there would be confusion and the Shogunate would be blamed. You may be right, Yadoya Nyudo. But I am the regent. Understand that.”

The innkeeper bowed his head indignantly.

This was the limit of Tokimune's power. He could not pick Nichiren to cut off the other sects. Whatever the reason, he lacked the courage.

Today, Japanese people appreciate Hojo Tokimune as a politician who stood up to the Mongols. But that is all.

What would have happened if Tokimune had listened to Nichiren's admonition? A different Japan might have been created.

Incidentally, Tokimune died ten years later. He was only thirty-four years old. After Nichiren left Kamakura, the Hojo Shogunate fell in less than sixty years. It was a tragedy that 500 members of his family committed suicide at Toshoji Temple in Kamakura.

Human fate is unpredictable. If Tokimune had been able to foresee the future of his family and Japan, he would have had the option of taking Nichiren as his teacher.

In the past, King Ajase of India took refuge in Shakyamuni, and Emperor Chen and Sui Dynasty in China believed in Tendai. Emperor Kammu of Japan was a follower of the great teacher Dengyo. All of them are famous as great rulers.

If Tokimune had selected Nichiren, his fame would not have ended with the heroic defeat of the Mongols.

In the midst of the depressing atmosphere, Tokimune stood firm.

"Listen, all of you. We are warriors. We are warriors, and even without the help of the gods and Buddha, we have survived our tribulations with swords, bows and arrows. Just as Yoritomo-sama opened up the world of the samurai, let us continue to open up a new path for ourselves!"

A battle cry rang out in the hall, but it seemed to be in desperation

At this moment, an orderly came and gave Tokimune an earful.

Tokimune turned pale for a moment. Eventually, he quietly began to speak.

"The Mongolian army has begun to move."

There was a stir in the hall.

A large Mongolian army is descending on Goryeo. If things continue at this rate, they will definitely attack within the year.

The audience shouted, "Has it finally come? Once again, Nichiren's prediction had come true.

Tokimune stood up and said,

"Each of you should take his place. Those of you who have been ordered to go to Kyushu must go into battle as soon as you are ready. Do not forget. You must protect Japan from its enemies. Do not let the barbarian step on this land. This is where the Kamakura warriors must show what they can do!"

Everyone rose to their feet at once. In the midst of the commotion, everyone went out in high spirits.

Eventually, a hush fell.

Tokimune went outside alone and looked at the sky.

To be continued.

by johsei1129 | 2022-05-18 19:47 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)

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