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2022年 05月 18日

61. Missionary Work of the Disciples

草, 食品, グループ が含まれている画像自動的に生成された説明

 Warriors preparing for the Mongols. The stone wall is believed to be a fortification.

 Ripples from the Pacific Ocean wash over Kamakura in Soshu.

 Samurai and townspeople crowded into the samurai quarters here in Kamakura. They were shouting angrily at the building. It was a strange sight.

 Not at Tokimune, the Lord. It was because an envoy from Mongolia was staying here.

 The Mongols had just attacked Hakata and burned it to the ground in October of the previous year. This battle, known as the Battle of Bun’ei, caused great damage to Japan in terms of both human and material resources.

 The Mongols dispatched an envoy to Japan. As the victors of the Battle of Bun'ei, they demanded concessions. It was an intimidating visit. It was natural that the people of Kamakura could not forgive the Mongols.

 The Mongolian envoys were five men led by Du Shizhong.

 As soon as they landed at Murozu in Nagato Province (Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture) on April 15 of that year, they were taken captive and sent to Dazaifu. In August, they were escorted from Dazaifu to Kamakura.

 The five men were seated together in a grand drawing room prepared by the shogunate.

 The official envoy, Du Shizhong, was a Mongolian. The deputy envoys were Chinese, a Korean and two Uighurs.

 All five of them were irritated. They were treated as if they were criminals even though they were legitimate envoys.

“What the hell is going on? How many days do we have to wait? We are here as envoys of the Mongol emperor, and all we get is meaningless greetings day after day. Wouldn't it be better to end this quickly?”

 Du Shizhong soothed.

 "Wait a minute. This is the time to be patient. We've already decided that it will take a long time. Will the two kingdoms once again cross blades or end in reconciliation? The decision of the Kamakura Shogunate must be made.”

 In another room, the core of the shogunate was holding a meeting. The meeting went on day after day, night after night.

 As usual, Hojo Tokimune, who was meditating, was at the center of the meeting, as were Adachi Yasumori, Taira Yoritsuna, Hojo Mitsutoki and others.

 A grim atmosphere prevailed.

 Adachi Yasumori, an external relative whose younger sister was Tokimune's wife, spoke up.

“I think we should make peace with Mongolia. The situation surrounding Japan is very tense. The Mongols are on the verge of destroying the Southern Song Dynasty on Han soil, that is. If this continues, it is inevitable that they will attack our country again. I think the best course of action for now is to make peace and bide our time.”

 Taira no Yoritsuna, unusually, concurred.

 “We have no choice but to do so for now. In the war of Bun'ei, the weather was on our side and those guys retreated, but unfortunately, the battle went to the Mongols. The manners of the warfare were different, and the weapons in their hands were completely different. If we fought now, the Kyushu warriors might be annihilated. In order to protect Hojo, it would be appropriate to agree to peace now and start trade.”

 The opinions of these two men were common in Japan. The whole country is frightened. This was because of the unexpected defeat in the Battle of Bun'ei last year. Another battle could lead to the destruction of Japan. In fact, the continent and Korea are on the verge of extinction.

 Nichiren, deep in the mountains of Kai, was aware of this even before the battle. In a letter to Nichimyo, he wrote.

 “As you know, before the Mongol attack, the arrogance of the people of our day had known no bounds. Since the tenth month of last year, however, none of them has dared to assume a haughty attitude, for as you have heard, Nichiren alone predicted this foreign invasion. If the Mongols attack our country again, none of the people will have the courage to make eye contact with me. They will be like a monkey terrified of a dog, or a frog cowering before a snake.

 This is solely because it is a country that, by allowing the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra, who is an emissary of Shakyamuni Buddha, to be hated by all the priests of the True Word, Nembutsu, Precepts, and other schools, has harmed itself and incurred the particular wrath of the heavenly gods. Thus all its people have become cowards. They are like fire, fearful of water, or a tree dreading the ax, or a pheasant which lost its soul at the sight of a hawk, or a mouse attacked by a cat. No one of them will be saved. Such times, what will they do? In battles, soldiers regard the generalissimo as their soul. If the generalissimo was a coward, soldiers become timid. ‘Writings to the lady Oto’

 At the summit meeting of the Shogunate, Tokimune's movements were attracting attention.

 When the discussion among the senior officials had died down, Tokimune stood up and became angry.

 "You have been blown about by a cowardly wind. Are you still Kamakura warriors? Last year's attack on Tsukushi was a national disgrace. Have you seen the letter of offer from the Mongols? They say they will attack us if we do not show them the courtesy of a vassal. Is that your attitude toward the Lord of Japan? Each of you should prepare yourselves. Confront rude people with impolite. And if they come with force, we will respond with force.”

 Yasumori listened with trepidation.

 "And the five messengers?”

 "They will be beheaded."

 Yasumori's expression was gloomy, as if this would be the end of Hojo. On the other hand, Yoritsuna, who was well aware of Tokimune's character, smiled as he had expected.

 Tokimune gave orders in rapid succession, as if he had already entered the fray.

 “The Mongols will again attack Tsukushi. Give orders to the guardians of Kyushu to re-establish the defenses. Have all the shrines and temples in the country pray for the extermination of the Mongols. The Hojo clan should take up positions in Dazaifu. The vassals should mobilize their soldiers and head for Hakata.”

 With a brave reply, the retinue dispersed.

 Du Shizhong and five others were condemned to death.

 A crowd of people gathered at the place of execution and cheered. It was time for the resentment of the Battle of Bun'ei to be settled.

 Five Mongolian envoys sat on the ground. An intercessor stood behind them.

 The official envoy, Du Shizhong, looked up at the sky and lamented.

 “When I left the country, I told my wife and children that I would fulfill my great duty and decorate my hometown with brocade. But that has come to nothing. The Mongols and the Japanese will now engage in war. I would have liked to have seen how this country would have deserved it, though.”

 He sang his resignation with a sorrowful heart.

 When I left the house, my wife and son gave me a robe.

And said to me, " When will you be back?

When you return, if you are wearing the golden seal,

 I will not continue to weave the loom like Su Qin's wife."

 Su Qin was a diplomat from China's Warring States Period. He was an incomparable orator. When he was a nobody, he traveled around the country stumping against the great power of the Qin Dynasty. But when he returned home, his wife continued to weave and ignored him.

 Du Shizhong wanted to use Su-qin's eloquence to persuade the Kamakura shogunate at all costs. However, it was in vain.

 As if to cut off Du Shizhong's desire, the sword of the sword-bearer was unsheathed.

 Soldiers exterminating the Mongolian army advance along the Kamakura main street. The cavalry troops were followed by their attendants.

 Their destination was Dazaifu in Kyushu, about 1,000 kilometers away from Kamakura.

 Along the route, wives and children wept as they watched the march off. Some of the soldiers could not stand it and embraced their wives and children. They looked at each other face to face, eye to eye, and sobbed.

The armored warriors forcibly pulled them apart.

 Nichiren wrote a letter describing this unbearable scene. The letter was addressed to the wife of Jonin Toki. jonin's wife was ill. Nichiren encourages her not to grieve when she is suffering from illness, thinking of the hardships of the people heading for Tsukushi. He also preached her that this country was reaping the rewards of Nichiren's suffering.

“First of all, your illness is the most uncertain now. You should continue the moxibustion treatment for three years, as regularly as you had just begun. Even those who are free from illness cannot escape the uncertainty of life, but you are not yet old, and because you are a practitioner of the Lotus Sutra, you will not meet an untimely death surely. Your illness is surely not the incurable disease from the past lives, but even if it were, you can rely on the power of the Lotus Sutra.

King Ajase has extended his life by forty years by embracing the Lotus Sutra. Ch'en Chen, who is Tendai's elder brother, could add fifteen years to his life. You are a practitioner of the Lotus Sutra, and your faiths are like the bright moon or the falling tide.

Be firmly convinced, then, that your illness does not persist, and that your own life cannot fail to be prolonged. Take care of yourself, and do not burden your mind with grief. When sorrow arises, think of Iki and Tsushima, and of the Dazaifu. Though the people of Kamakura were enjoying life as if in heaven, when the soldiers left for Tsukushi, parting with their wives and children who stayed behind were like bark being ripped from a tree. They press their faces together and lament while gazing into each other's eyes. Now the men gradually were far away and passed through Yui Beach, Inamura, Koshigoe, Sakawa, and Hakone Hill. And so, as one day passes and then another day goes by, they march farther and farther away, and rivers, mountains, and clouds separate them and their families. Tears accompany them, and grief is their companion. How sorrowful they must be! If the Mongol armies should come and attack them while they are thus lamenting, they will be taken prisoner, whether in the mountains or on the sea, and will suffer misery in ships or in Korea.

This reason is because the people have persecuted Nichiren who is a practitioner of the Lotus Sutra and is a father and mother to all the living beings of Japan without reason. They reviled and beat me and forced me through the street on the horse. The ten demon’s daughter has blamed them for the sake of such insanity, causing the present situation to arise. In addition, a hundred million times more unbearable happenings than this will occur in the future. You will see such a hateful event unfold before your eyes.

However, there is nothing to lament when we consider that we will surely become Buddhas. Even if become an emperor's consort, what can she do? Even if reborn in heaven, does she have any purpose there? Instead, you follow the achievement of the dragon king's daughter and should enter the row of the nun Makahajahadai. How wonderful! Oh, pleased! Please chant aloud Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Respectfully yours,

 ‘The Writings to the lady nun Toki’

 The Kamakura Shogunate ordered temples and shrines across the country to pray for the surrender of the enemy.

 In January of the first year of Kenji (1275), the chief priest of Toji Temple, Dohou, prayed at the Ise Grand Shrine for the surrender of the enemy. Toji is the head temple of the Shingon sect. In October of the same year, twelve shrines across Japan prayed for the surrender of the enemy. At all the temples, high priests clad in ornate robes gathered the followers and prayed for the surrender of the foreign nation.

 However, Nichiren said that the Japanese nation was instead facing a desperate situation. In a letter to Munenaga Ikegami, a believer living in Musashi Province whose father was a magistrate in the Shogunate, Nichiren wrote.

 “This special prayer will be the third. My disciples who have already passed away are probably now observing this with their Buddha's eyes. And those whose lives have been prolonged, watch with your own eyes! The ruler and other high-ranking officials will be captured and carried off to a foreign country, and those who conducted the ritual of prayer will either die out of madness, or die out in a foreign land, or hide themselves in the mountains and forests. The messenger of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, has twice been forced to parade through the streets, and his disciples and other supporters have been thrown into prison, killed, injured, or banished from the provinces where they were dwelling. Therefore, these offenses will inevitably fall to each one of the inhabitants of this country.

 Also, many people will be afflicted with white leprosy, black leprosy, or all kinds of other terribly grave illnesses. My disciples should know this matter.

Sincerely yours,


 The ninth day of September. 

 Although this letter is specifically intended for you, lord Munenaga Ikegami, it should in general be shown to all my supporters. Do not tell others about it.” ‘Writings to Munenaga Ikegami’ 1278.

 The first prayer was the battle of Genpei and the second was the battle of Jokyu. In both cases, the Heike clan and Emperor Go-Toba were defeated because they relied on pagan religions, especially Shingon prayers. Prayers for the subjugation of the Mongols were also going to be performed by the Shingon sect. The downfall was clear.

 Incidentally, the battle of Genpei was fought between samurai. The battle of Jokyu was between warriors and the Imperial Court. The third battle was a struggle with the country and country. As the scale of the conflict grows, the devastation becomes more and more unbearable.

 “Do not tell others about it " means that they should not openly tell others that Japan will become a destroyed country. Telling the truth to those who slander the Lotus Sutra would be meaningless now. Instead, he urges his disciples to be prepared for the destruction of Japan. In Hakata Bay, soldiers were rallying the people under the blazing sun. The purpose was to build fortifications along the coastline. The tallest of these masonry walls was three meters high and stretched for 20 kilometers.

 During the Battle of Bunei, Mongolian soldiers landed on this harbor and the Japanese were defeated. Based on this bitter experience, they tried to prevent the Mongols from reaching the land.

 The soldiers, dressed in loincloths, hauled rocks and stones, but their fatigue was deep. More soldiers were arriving in Hakata in rapid succession.

 On the other hand, the hustle and bustle did not reach Minobu in Kai, where Nichiren lived with his disciples.

 The land of Minobu was surrounded by high mountains. To the west was the mountain of Shichimen, to the east the mountain of Tenko, to the north the mountain of Minobu, and to the south the mountain of Takatori. Four rivers flow here. Fuji River, Hayakawa River, Ohshirakawa River, and Minobu River.

 Nichiren's hermitage was located on a piece of land about 100 meters in circumference halfway up Mount Minobu.

 There is a letter that was written by Nichiren about the situation at Minobu Mountain. It was addressed to Lieutenant Niike Saemon. Niike lived in Niike, Iwata District, Totomi Province, in present-day Fukuroi City, Shizuoka Prefecture. He was a direct attendant of the Kamakura Shogunate and took refuge in Nichiren through the advocacy of Hoki-bo.

 Niike sent three stones of rice all the way to the mountain of Minobu. Nichiren wrote about the hardships in the mountains.

 “In addition, your journey from the province of Totomi to Mount Minobu here in the district of Hakiri in Kai Province is over three hundred ri, and the lodgings along the way must have been wretched. Ascending the ridges is as if hugging the sun or the moon, descending into the ravines is as though you were entering a pit. The currents in the rivers are as swift as an arrow, and the large stones carried along in them prevent men and horses from crossing. Boats are as a paper cast on the water. The men one encounters on such a journey are rough woodcutters, and the women are like female mountain demons. The trail is as narrow as a rope, and the trees are as dense as grass. What ties from past existences could have led you to pay me a visit in such a place as this? Shakyamuni Buddha must have led you by his hand, with the Teishaku as your horse you rode on, with the Bonten as your companion, and by the sun and the moon as your eyes along the way. Thank you, this is a very rare, precious thing!”

 In the forest, the laughter of the local peasants rang out.

 They were sitting in a circle, talking to each other.

 "Mongolian invasion? No way they would come this deep into the mountains."

 "No, I don't know. In Kamakura, the rumor is that if they attack again, they won't stand a chance. I saw many soldiers going to Tsukushi, and they were all looking around the town as if it was the last time they would ever see it. When I think of their wives and children who are left behind, I cannot help but feel pity for them.”

 “If they attacked, this mountain would be filled with people fleeing.”

 "What about that monk, by the way?”

 “Are you talking about the priest Nichiren? How dare he come so far into the mountains? I hear he's having trouble even finding food. Is he really a great monk?”

 The peasant nodded.

 "It is said that he turned down lord Kamakura's offer to build him a big temple and came to these mountains.”

 “Lord Kamakura and he didn't see eye to eye, did they?”

 “But he is a friendly man. The other day, he wandered over to my house and asked me what the name of that mountain was, what that river was, and how this year's crop was doing. He talked so frankly that I couldn't help but prolong the conversation.”

 “But I wondered how long the monk would last. Even though Hakiri is under the care of the lord Sanenaga, it is overgrown in summer and snowy in winter. I'm sure he's going to feel terrible. I'm sure he's going to start running away soon.”

 The sound of chanting echoed through the old hall. Nichiren and his disciples were chanting the titles.”

 After the chanting was over, Nichiren began his lecture.

 The room was already filled with young disciples. Some of them were in traveling clothes.

 Nichiren's head had turned completely white. His tone of voice was stronger than ever.

 “Two thousand years have passed since Shakyamuni Buddha attained nirvana, and we are now in the Latter Day of the Law. It is now two hundred years since we entered the Latter Day of the Law. If the Buddha's prophecy is true, the time will come when there will be a conflict within the Buddha's Dharma and the Dharma of the Buddha will be destroyed. If the Buddha's prediction is true, there will definitely be a conflict in this world.

 It is said that In the China Dynasty, 360 countries and 260 provinces have already been defeated by the Mongols. The capital has already been defeated, and the two emperors, Hui-tsung and Qin-tsung, have been captured alive by the barbarians of the north and passed away. Emperor Gaozong, grandson of King Huijong, was forced to fall into the countryside of Lin'an after their invasion of Chang'an, and has not seen the capital for several years. The six hundred-odd nations of Goryeo, Silla and Baekje were all attacked and defeated by the Mongol emperor. Just like Iki, Tsushima, and Tsukushi this time. The Buddha's prophecy has not fallen to the ground. It is as if the ocean never gets the tide wrong.

 There is no doubt that the Shakyamuni's Law will hide and that the great Law of the Lotus Sutra will be spread throughout Japan and the world. Whether the earth dances up, whether the high mountains crumble, whether summer becomes spring, whether the sun returns to the east, or the moon falls to the earth, this has already been determined.”

The disciples of Hoki-bo listened intently, while Sanmi-bo and Daishin-bo stared blankly at the ceiling.

 “I blamed the evil sects of Nembutsu, Zen and Shingon, and appealed to the Lord of the Land, but I was not heeded even after three times of remonstrance. As a wise man is wont to say, ‘If you are not adopted after three times of correction, join the forest.’ In the end, therefore, I was forced to stay in the mountains. Nichiren would never leave the mountain of Minobu. If I was to leave the mountain, future generations would laugh at me for being a man who does not pass to the end. Therefore, even if a boulder at the bottom of the sea that requires a thousand men to move it were to surface by itself, I would never leave this place. I have taught you all with great care. Whether or not Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, the heart of the Lotus Sutra, will spread depends on each one of you.”

 Hoki-bo swore to Nichiren.

 "The saint, I will certainly propagate the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, the heart of the Lotus Sutra.”

 Nichiren nodded and directed his disciples to the propagation sites.

 "Then I will tell you where each of you will be assigned. Hoki-bo goes to Suruga Province.”

 "Yes, I will be based at Iwamoto Jisso-ji and Atushara Ryusen-sen-ji Temple. I will sow the seeds of the excellent Law without fail.”

 “Nichiro will go to Kamakura.”

 “Yes, master. In Kamakura, there are many strong believers, including Kingo-dono Shijo and the Ikegami brothers, who are my relatives. I will work with them to spread the teachings of the excellent law.”

 "Gakujo-bo is going to Sado.”

 “Yes, I will spread the title of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in Sado under the guidance of lords Abutsu-bo and Kou Nyudo. I will also ask for the cooperation of the acting governor Honma.”

 The disciples departed in their traveling clothes.

 Nichiren called out to Hoki-bo, who was tying the straps of his straw sandals.

 “Suruga province is home to many of the Shogunate's territories. Do you understand?”


 "In addition, the area around Fuji is the land of the Hojo family's nun widows. Be careful. Even if you come and go, do not go near Fuji-Kashima.”

 Hoki-bo smiled with clear eyes.

 “Please do not worry."

 He sashayed off. From this first step, Hoki-bo Nikko's fierce propagation began. Hori Nichikou, the 59th generation of the Taiseki-ji Temple, makes a special mention of this. 

“In June of Bun'ei 11, Hokibo Nikko followed the Daishonin's relocation from Kamakura to Mount Minobu, and when the Daishonin's hermitage was established, he took charge of the leadership of the Fuji region. In the Kai region, he brought other members of the Hakii family to take refuge in the Daishonin. Among the Hakii clan, he converted Lord Harima and Lord Echizen, and from the Kai Genji clan, priests Nikka (Akiyama clan), Nissen (Ogasawara clan), Nichiden (Oi clan), and Himyo (Oi clan) gradually became converts.

 As a result of his missionary work, Rencho of Kashiwao entered the faith in the center of Kai Province. In Izu, the Niida family and Tosabusa in the same area joined the faith. In Suruga, Nanjo Shichiro-jiro of Ueno, and Matsuno and Okitsu of Kasai became followers. In addition, the Matsuno family's Nichiji and the Nanjo family's Nichi'i joined the Daishonin's lineage. Other disciples of the Daishonin included Chikuzen-bo and Buzen-bo of Jissoji Temple, Nichigen of Shiju-kuin Temple, and Nisshu, Niben, and Nichizen of Ryusenji Temple. His missionary work extended as far as Toutoumi Province, where he taught the warriors Niike, Sagara, and others.

The places where Hoki-bo Nikko spent the most time during these activities included Shiju-kuin Temple, Jisso-ji Temple, and the Nanjo Family in Ueno. He devoted most of his efforts to this missionary work in teaching the monks of Ryusenji Temple in the Atsuhara area, and in compassionate guidance to the believers." 'Introduction of his Disciples and Supporters.'

To be continued.

by johsei1129 | 2022-05-18 20:21 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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