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2022年 05月 19日

68, The Infinite Compassion for Kingo

Kingo, despondent, rode his horse westward. This was the road to Kai Province.

Kingo had miraculously regained his master's trust, but the territory he had been given was less than before. This was not worth risking his life to be loyal. His temper flared up again. He was chagrined.

Why can't things go as he wants them to? He wants his saint to hear his thoughts. For that purpose, he went to Kai Minobu, but it was not a good idea. His footsteps were heavy.

On the road, surprisingly Yamashiro and Shimada Nyudo were following Kingo. Theirs were the eyes of their prey.

They were planning to assassinate Kingo. Even though he had done his best to keep Kingo away, his success in curing his master's illness had brought them back to the fold. The hindrance to their career came back to haunt them. They can't stand it. They both hated Kingo to that extent.

At a hermitage in Minobu, Nichiren and Kingo met face to face.

Kingo explained to Nichiren in detail what had happened at the magistrate's office and how he had nursed Mitsutoki. After the explanation, Kingo kept his head turned to the side.

Nichiren, on the other hand, said with a smile.

“You were grieving over your lord's illness more than anything else. Heavenly devils have been following the people in your household for some time, and they have known about this matter for a long time, so they have made up all sorts of plans to stop the lord Kingo from making offerings to the Lotus Sutra. The sovereign did not consider lord Kingo to be his enemy, but once he used what they told him, his illness became more severe. Next, I am afraid that lord Kingo is in danger as well. You will surely be hunted by your enemies.”

Nichiren could see the anger in Kingo's face.

"The lord Kingo is showing his temper. You must know that the heavens will not protect those with rough temperaments, no matter how important they are to you. While the enemies are striving to destroy lord Kingo, the master is more concerned about lord Kingo than in the past, so that even though the enemies' outward appearance is quiet, their inner hearts are burning up. If anything were to happen to my master, those people would not hesitate to become strangers, and when they saw lord Kingo coming, they would surely fan the flames in their hearts and gasp for breath. If you receive a room from your master, even if nothing happens there, your enemies will surely attack you on your way in and out at sunset and dawn. Also, be sure to keep in mind the side of your gable, the hall of the Buddha, and the ceiling or under the wooden floor inside the house.”

Kingo's frustrated face did not change.

Nichiren said firmly.

"A short temper is called a bad temper. You are a man with a bad temper, and you will never use my words.”

Kingo finally opened his mouth.

“I intend to leave my master's house and establish myself on my own. I have grown tired of my husband. I've put so much effort into taking care of him every day, and he's given me so little. I have been patient and patient, but this is the limit, that it is. I think this is the time for me to retire from the service..."

Kingo's loyalty to his saint and the master was second to none, but when it came to other things, he was a perfect spoiled child.

Nichiren's words were like a scolding.

"Why do you disobey the heart of Heaven? Even if you are full of wealth, what is the point of being abandoned by your master? Your master already thinks of you as a parent, as if you were a vessel of water, as if you were a sheep's mother, as if you were an old man's staff. Is it not with the help of the Lotus Sutra that your lord thinks of lord Kingo in this way? I'm sure the people in your household are envious.”

As Kingo shook his head and burst into tears, Nichiren grasped his hand. Kingo looked into Nichiren's eyes in surprise. The tears welled up in Nichiren's eyes as well.

“When I was about to be beheaded, you accompanied him to the horse's mouth and wept over him. If your sins are so deep that he falls into hell, no matter how much Shakyamuni Buddha tries to make Nichiren become a Buddha, Nichiren will not receive it. We are together in hell. If Nichiren and you were to enter hell together, then Shakyamuni Buddha and the Lotus Sutra would also be in hell. If you have made any mistake in what I have just said, you must not hold a grudge against Nichiren. Please stay in the world for a while and watch what happens. Human life is hard to receive like a soil on the fingernails; human life is hard to hold like a dew on the grass. It is more important to live and make a fame for yourself, even if it is only for a day, than to live to 120 and die with a fame rotting away. Please you should be told from the people of Kamakura, "For the sake of the Lord, for the sake of Buddhism, and for the sake of the world, Shijo Kingo is good-hearted, tender-hearted."

The heart of the Buddha’s lifetime of teachings is the Lotus Sutra, and the heart of the practice of the Lotus Sutra is found in the “Fukyo” chapter. What does Bodhisattva Fukyo’s profound respect for people signify? The purpose of the appearance in this world of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, lies in his behavior as a human being. The wise may be called human, but the thoughtless are no more than animals.

The sage Confucius said, "Nine thoughts, one word," meaning that he thought nine thoughts and said them once. When the sage Zhou Gongtan (Note) took a bath, if there was a guest coming, he would grab his hair three times, and when he ate, he would vomit three times. That's how much he was looking for talent. Please hear what I say! Don't let them hold a grudge against me alone. This is what I call Buddha Law. Why did the Bodhisattva Fukyo have so much respect for others? The true purpose of the Buddha's ascendancy is the behavior of people. The wise may be called human, but the thoughtless are no more than animals.”

The sun was setting and Kingo was on his way home. Nichiren grabbed the horse by the mouth and worried. He has a bad feeling about this. Nichiren saw Kingo off, far and wide.

On his way home, Kingo noticed that he felt much lighter than when he had arrived. Kingo knew that this was because he had been able to speak his mind to Nichiren, and he felt it deeply.

Kingo slowly made his way to Kamakura.

He reached the road to Hakone-yumoto.

Shimada and Yamashiro hid behind a tree. There was no traffic and it was the perfect place to attack.

They picked up their swords, but quickly stopped. An unknown farmer greeted Kingo, wondering where he had come from.

As soon as he finished talking to the farmer, Kingo slowly started to walk away.

Kingo went down the road to Kouzu. This was now Odawara City.

The two men were about to rush off with their swords and run, but stopped when they saw a peddler coming from the other side. They gnashed their teeth.

The peddler called out to Kingo.

“It's been a long time, sir.”

"Well, well. Where are you going?”

“We are going around Kai and then to Suwa.”

"That is a difficult way. Take care of yourself.”

At that time, in Minobu, Nichiren was giving a lecture on the Lotus Sutra to his disciples.

The disciples noticed that Nichiren was acting strangely tonight. The saint was unusually uncomfortable. In fact, he was so worried about Kingo that he could not stand still.

The Hoki-bo were puzzled by the unusual appearance of Nichiren.

Nichiren ended his lecture early. It had never happened before.

“This is the end of the day.”

As soon as he said this, Nichiren stood up and walked out.

The disciples were getting anxious.

Nichiren hurried out of the house and onto the street. He sat down on a stone beside him.

Hoki-bo and Nichimoku followed him because he was acting strangely, but they looked at each other, not knowing what each other was doing.

There was no one walking on the street in front of Nichiren.

The sun was beginning to set.

Eventually, he saw a farmer coming from the other side of the street.

Nichiren started to run.

When the farmer saw Nichiren, he smiled.

“It's a rare thing, saint. It's unusual for you to come down to this place. Is there something wrong?”

Nichiren asked nervously.

"You know the lord Kingo. Have you seen lord Kingo of Shijo in Kamakura? He is a tall, strong warrior, riding a horse, and I think he was wearing a black coat.”

The peasant, despite Nichiren's concern, said with a dumbfounded expression.

"Lord Kingo. Oh, he is the warrior of Kamakura with the scary face, isn't he? Yes, I saw him in Yumoto.”

Nichiren was delighted.

“Oh, I see. Thank you for your trouble. You may go now.”

The peasant walked away with a puzzled look on his face.

Nichiren sat down on the stone again and stared across the road where Kingo had left off.

The sky was getting darker and darker. 

A peddler walked toward him. Nichiren stopped him.

"Excuse me.”

“What is it?”

“Have you seen Kingo Shijo? He rides a horse, is tall and strong, and wears a black coat.”

After a while, the peddler remembered.

“Oh, I've seen him in Kouzu. Did something happen to you, monk?”

Nichiren was pleased again. Kingo seems to have survived the journey to Kouzu.

“Oh, yes, I see. I'm glad you remembered. I'm sorry.”

The peddler left with a strange look on his face.

Even after the sun had set, Nichiren continued to sit on the stone and repeatedly inquired about Kingo's well-being from people coming from Kamakura.

A warrior came slowly on horseback.

Nichiren stopped the horse.

That samurai braced themselves for a moment, wondering what was going on.

Nichiren asked him carefully.

“Sorry, you seem to have come from Kamakura. I have something to ask you.”

The samurai braced themselves for a moment, wondering what was going on.

"How very true, I came from Kamakura."

"My lord, have you seen Hojo Mitsutoki's retainer, the lord Shijo Kingo, in Kamakura?

The warrior smiled, perhaps because the mention of an old acquaintance had broken his tension.

“Oh, lord Kingo Shijo, I know him well. Yes, I saw you on Omachi Street this afternoon, didn't you? That man is now very popular in Kamakura. I heard that he was so devoted to a monk named Nichiren that he would give up his own domain for the sake of faith. When the world is in its last days, there will be people who are different. Is this good? I'll leave you to it.”

The samurai did not know that it was Nichiren who was speaking to him and left with a smile.

“Good. Lord Kingo seems to have arrived in Kamakura. I'm glad, I'm glad."

Hoki-bo and Nichimoku looked at their master. It had been a long time since they had seen such a smile.

Eventually, Nichiren returned to the mansion in a languid state of relief.

Nichiren had gone to a lot of trouble for Kingo. Perhaps chastened by this, he writes to Kingo and gives him detailed instructions. Although Nichiren did not have any children, we can see that he loved Kingo as if he were his own child.

“So much for that. I was extremely concerned about your journey home last time, and I am overjoyed to hear that you have arrived safely in Kamakura. Such was my anxiety that I asked everyone who came here from Kamakura about you. One said that he had met you at Yumoto, another that he had encountered you farther on at Kōzu, and when a third told me that he had seen you in Kamakura, I felt greatly relieved. From now on, you must not come to visit me in person unless absolutely necessary. When you have something urgent to tell me, send a messenger. Indeed, I was deeply worried about your last trip. An enemy will try to make you forget the danger so that he can attack. If you should have to travel, do not begrudge the cost of a horse. Please make sure that you ride a good horse. Bring along your best men to defend you against a surprise attack, and ride a horse that can easily carry you in your armor.” ‘General Stone Tiger’

His deep concern for Kingo's safety is palpable. In addition, he was particularly concerned about Kingo's tendency to become passionate. In particular, Kingo was always happy to go to meetings where he could talk about Buddhism. This was also the case with the meeting with Ryuzo-bo.

However, Nichiren said that he should not go to the meetings lightly. If one were to be tempted to listen with pleasure, the enemy would take advantage of it and lie in wait. In a letter to Kingo, he admonished him that he would lose his life and everything would be ruined.

“Even if your lord should ask to hear the teachings of Buddhism, do not heedlessly rejoice and rush off to see him. You must be flexible and answer. "I shall perhaps consult the disciples of the saint" etc. If you have great joy and allow yourself to be drawn in by desire to hear, you will bring everything to ruin as surely as fire consumes whatever will burn, or as rain falls from heaven.” ‘Hero of the world.’

To be continued.


Zhou Gongdan

Date of birth and death unknown. A politician of the Zhou dynasty. His family name was Hui. Son of King Wen (Seibaku). He helped his brother, King Wu, to destroy King Jun of the Shang dynasty. After the death of King Wu, he took over the government of his son, King Cheng, who was too young to rule, and personally led an expeditionary force when the remnants of the Shang rebelled in the east. The politics of the Duke of Zhou was based on the customary social morality of "Etiquette," which was deeply respected by Confucius and other Confucian scholars in later times.

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