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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2022年 05月 21日

85. Mongolia attacked Japan at the Ko'an War again.


布, テーブル, 敷物, ベッド が含まれている画像自動的に生成された説明
                

Mongolian invasion pictorial from Wikipedia


Nichiren predicted that the Mongolian attack would destroy the Japanese nation. If it is not for the military strategy of the Lotus Sutra, the nation will surely be defeated. He said that the Lotus Sutra would be spread after the nation was destroyed. He said that the excellent Law would flourish under a new ruler. Nichiren said that even if the country is destroyed, it is good if the excellent Law remains. He repeatedly taught this in his letters to his disciples.

“All of you have been wondering whether the Mongols will attack again, but I believe that it is now imminent. Though the ruin of our country would be deplorable, if the invasion does not take place, the Japanese people will slander the Lotus Sutra more than ever, and all of them will fall into the hell of incessant suffering. Although the nation may be ruined by the strength of the Mongols, the slander of the correct teachings will weaken. For instance, it is the same as a moxibustion or an acupuncture. Though it was anguished at that time, these bring happiness later. Nichiren is the emissary of the Lotus Sutra; Japanese people look like King Mihirakula, who destroyed Buddhism of the whole world. The Mongol empire looks like King Himatala, they seem to penalize enemies of the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra as a messenger from the heavens. Also, if the Japanese confess their sins now, they will look like King Ajatashatru, who became a follower of the Buddha, cured his white leprosy, and prolonged his life forty years; though he had no roots of faiths, he could reach the first stage of faiths by the power of Buddha, and he himself gained the realization that phenomena neither bears nor perish.

Respectfully yours,

Nichiren.

August sixth” ‘About Mongolia.’

The King Mihirakula was the king of Takuka in ancient India. According to the Tang Dynasty Chronicle of the Western Regions, when he attacked Makada, he was captured and nearly killed by King Gen’nichi, who was a Buddhist, but was saved by the wish of King Gen’nichi's mother and escaped to Kashmir. He then rebelled there against the king, killed him, and attacked Gandhara, destroying its temples and stupas, killing the majority of its people because they were Buddhists, and drowning them in the Hindu River. The king, however, died within the year and fell into hell.

Nichiren says that the people of Japan are the king Mihirakula. In spite of their earnest efforts to spread, the people of Japan do not believe in the Lotus Sutra. The country is filled with those who adhere to the evil doctrines of Nembutsu, Zen, and Shingon. Of course, even the lord of the land does not understand it.

Nichiren also compares Mongolia to the king Himatala. A long time ago, King Kirita who became the king of Kashmira persecuted monks and nuns and suppressed Buddhism. Hearing of this, King recruited 3,000 of the bravest men in the land, and they were scattered in a convoy and entered the land of Kashmira. King Himatala sent 500 of his best men from among the 3,000 to the palace, where they offered him a treasure trove of gold and killed King Kirita with a sword hidden in their sleeves. Buddhism once again flourished in Kashmira. In this way, the Mongols will defeat Japan, which is steeped in the evil ways of Buddhism, and create a new country.

The Hojo Shogunate did not heed his admonition and exiled him twice, humiliating him and exposing him to the public.

On the other hand, what would happen to his disciples when Japan was destroyed?

Nichiren replied that those who follow the Myoho would surely be saved even in the midst of a national crisis. A letter to a young believer, Nanjo Tokimitsu, who was only sixteen years old, states.

“People in society, whether they be the rulers or the general public, find much to grieve about. Those within the place in society peer at people of low rank as if they were pheasants peering at a hawk or hungry spirits admiring the god Vaishravana. But the hawk is snatched up by the eagle, and Vaishravana is harassed by Ashura. So now when prosperous people in Japan hear about the Mongols it is as if sheep were hearing a tiger’s roar. And for those who are dispatched to Tsukushi, separated from their beloved wives and unable to see their children, it may seem to them as if their skin were being peeled away or their flesh were being pierced. How much more so, then, if that foreign country attacks, will people feel as if they were a frog caught up in the mouth of a snake, or a carp laid out on the cutting board. But let us set aside matters of this lifetime. If they lose their lives, they will certainly fall into the 136 hells and remain there for countless years.

However, because we are depending on the Lotus Sutra, it will be as if fish living in a shallow pool are rejoying when the heavens cloud over and rain falls. Though we may suffer for a while, ultimately delight awaits us. It is like the case of a crown prince, the only son of the king. Consider this: Is there any chance that he will not be on the throne?

Respectfully,

Nichiren

The second day of the seventh month in the third year of Kōan [1280].

Reply to Lord Ueno.

You should not tell others about this. Please speak in secret to the shrine priest and others.”About the Protection of the Atsuhara Believers’

Hakata Bay was clear. Fishermen were leisurely fishing.

A bearded soldier stood at his yagura, staring at the horizon. His chapped cheeks and burnt black face revealed his long service. He yawned at the peaceful scenery.

In Kamakura, Tokimune, Taira no Yoritsuna, Adachi Yasumori, and other leaders of the shogunate were drinking.

Tokimune's mood did not improve. The Mongolian invasion was now or never. The Mongols had already destroyed the Southern Song Dynasty two years earlier. Now it was Japan's turn.

However, despite Tokimune's concern, his men were laughing at each other. Yoritsuna and Yasumori were getting drunk.

Yasumori was in a good mood.

“Mongolian, they will not attack us again, will they? They have just conquered the Han Dynasty. They cannot afford to come to Japan.”

Hojo Nobutoki concurred.

“This time, Nichiren's prophecy has not come true. He is in the mountains of Kai, spreading a rumor of the coming of the Mongolian invasion. Someday I'm going to beat him.”

Yoritsuna was not amused.

"Even if the enemy outside is quiet, we cannot rest easy," he said. We have enemies on the inside as well.”

Yasumori was annoyed by every word Yoritsuna said.

”You, too, must be quiet, Saemon-no-jo Yoritsuna. The blunder in Atsuhara was shameful. It will be your fault for cutting off the head of an innocent peasant. Be careful."

Yoritsuna responded.

“Be careful too, lord Yasumori. I hear that you have recently been trying to take the family name of Minamoto. What is the meaning of this?”

Yasumori was caught off guard and annoyed.

“What nonsense! All you have to do is to serve as Hojo's gatekeeper.”

Yoritsuna was also drunk.

“What do you want me to say? You are an upstart, too. Your wife was only our lord's nanny, and you have only risen through the vassals' infighting.”

Yasumori threw his sake cup at Yoritsuna's feet.

“Yoritsuna, remember this. You'll pay for this someday!”

Yoritsuna, too, stared back at him drunkenly.

“You're the one! Be on your guard!”

Young lord Tokimune sounded disgusted.

“I hope you will not be both. Save your enthusiasm for the Mongols.”

At that moment, Yoritsuna's followers suddenly jumped in.

“A message has arrived from Tsukushi. A large fleet of ships has gathered offshore. They are flying the banner of the Mongols.”

“What, the Mongolian banner?”

Yoritsuna shouted loudly and placed the sake cup in his hand as if to slam it down on the table in front of him.

“By the way, how many warriors do they have?”

“About 40,000."

Everyone stood up.

"It's finally here.”

Yoritsuna told Tokimune.

“My lord, according to the report, the battle will take place within a month. Let’s prepare your troops at once.”

Tokimune put away the sake he had been carrying and poured it into the bowl.

Yoritsuna nodded and ordered his followers.

“Send word to all the troops. Tell the whole army that we are going to Kyushu. Also, immediately inspect the stone walls assigned to its harbor to see if there are any defects, and if so, repair them immediately!”

Everyone left, and silence fell.

Tokimune stared into the air and said in a whispered voice.

“I wonder how the priest Nichiren is doing?”

The Hojo shogunate under Tokimune could not bow down to Nichiren. They are unable to do anything in the face of the national crisis that lies ahead of them. They could not accept Nichiren who predicted the invasion of other countries, the invasion of the Mongolian invaders within the year, and who predicted the February Disturbance. They did not only accept Nichiren, but responded with persecution. Nichiren is looking into the minds of Tokimune and others.

“Now the people of Japan, without a single exception, are like those who slandered Bodhisattva Fukyo, or like the slandering monks Kugan and Shoi; everyone in the country is destined to fall into the hell of incessant suffering. Hence it is that in the Nirvana Sutra the Buddha prophesied that in the Latter Day of the Law, those who slander the Lotus Sutra will be more numerous than the dust particles of the land.

If now the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra should appear in the world and all these people throughout the country should serve him, like the Great Teacher Kichizo who ceased reading and reciting the Lotus Sutra and instead became a follower of the Great Teacher Tendai, offering his own body as a living bridge to his teacher; or like those who had earlier abused Bodhisattva Fukyo but who later turned about and became his attendants and believers in his teachings; and if they served the votary of the Lotus Sutra for the space of one day or two, one month or two, one year or two, or even one lifetime or two, it would still be difficult for them to expiate the grave fault they had committed earlier by slandering the Lotus Sutra. But they show no sign of doing any such thing. On the contrary, the people of our time, all four categories of them, priests, nuns, laymen, and laywomen, give themselves up to arrogance.

These people say, ’The Nembutsu believers cast aside the Lotus Sutra and simply recite the Nembutsu. Nichiren upholds the Lotus Sutra but does not approve of the Nembutsu. We, on the other hand, practice the Nembutsu and also put faith in the Lotus Sutra, observe the precepts and carry out all kinds of good actions.’

Such persons are like wild rabbits who try to hide their traces by running in a circle, or pheasants who try to hide by sticking their heads in a hole. They are no different from the people of the state of Lu who reviled Confucius, a native of Lu, without being aware of his greatness, or the monk Zensho, who threatened the Buddha.

Deer and horses can easily get lost, and hawks cannot transform into doves. How pitiful these people are! How pitiful!

At present, the events that I predicted in the past are now little by little coming true, and as a result these people are beginning to wonder in their hearts just what they should do. But for so many years now they have slandered and reviled me in such an excessive manner that it is difficult for them to suddenly turn around and put their faith in my teaching. Moreover, the threat of Mongol invasion becomes ever more pressing until, like Taira no Munemori or Minamoto no Yoshitomo, they are filled with despair.

How vital it is that people should think about what they are doing! Confucius thought nine times before he spoke one word, and Tan, the Duke of Chou, would interrupt his hair-washing three times or spit out his food three times in the course of one meal in order not to keep visitors waiting. Such is the care and caution with which worthies such as these conduct their affairs. It is also customary in the world to harbor doubts about anything excessive. When persons are in the position of governing a nation, if someone offers them advice, they should investigate the matter thoroughly and with care. Yet in my case, they summarily assumed I must be at fault and sent me into exile. They must have deeply regretted this error.

When King Chieh of the Hsia dynasty was hard pressed by King T’ang the founder of the Yin dynasty, or when the king of Wu was taken prisoner by the king of Yüeh, they regretted then that they had not heeded the words of warning that had been given them by worthies earlier. When King Ajase’s body broke out in virulent sores and he faced attack from abroad, he swore he would no longer permit Devadatta into his sight or listen to Devadatta’s advice. And when Taira no Munemori, defeated in battle and taken prisoner by Minamoto no Yoshitsune, was being escorted to Kamakura to expose the shame of execution, he bewailed his earlier actions in setting fire to Todai-ji temple and shooting arrows that struck the sacred carriage of Mountain King, the god of Mount Hiei.

And the people in the world today act in precisely the same fashion as these men did. Because they look with contempt on Nichiren and pay honor to the priests of the other teachings, they are automatically acting as the mortal enemies of the Lotus Sutra, yet they fail to understand this. Actions such as theirs, which go against the proper methods of government, are viewed with wrath and enmity by Brahm, Teishaku, the gods of the sun and moon, the four heavenly kings, and the dragon kings. Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions, who are emanations of Shakyamuni, the bodhisattvas as numerous as the dust particles of a thousand worlds who emerged from the earth, the bodhisattvas of the theoretical teaching and those from other lands, the two sages, the two heavenly deities, the ten demon daughters, and the goddess Mother of Demon Children—all these beings who guard and protect the Lotus Sutra will take possession of the worthy rulers of other nations and in that guise will punish the sovereign of our nation and bring about the downfall of the country, yet they fail to realize this.

If Heaven is truly intent upon meting out punishment, it is impossible protecting even one were to surround this country of Japan with the Iron Encircling Mountains, cover it over with Mount Sumeru, and gather together the four heavenly kings from all the worlds in the ten directions and station them everywhere along our shores, so long as one acts as the enemy of the Lotus Sutra and commits fearful outrages such as taking the fifth scroll of the Lotus Sutra and striking Nichiren on the head with it—Nichiren, the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra who is more precious than Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings—and unrolling and scattering all ten scrolls of the Lotus Sutra and trampling all over them, one can hardly hope to escape punishment either in this present life or in lives to come.

How can the Sun Goddess, Great Bodhisattva Hachiman, and the other deities who guard and protect Japan be expected to aid a country such as this? On the contrary, they will most likely make haste to inflict punishment upon it as quickly as possible so that they themselves will not be held guilty of a fault. Or are these guardian deities of Japan perhaps even at this moment being upbraided by the four heavenly kings for delaying their punishment? It is hard to know which is the case.” ‘Letter to Shimoyama.’

The drafted soldiers marched on Kamakura Street. Along the way, wives and children wept.

At large temples, crowds of priests in colorful vestments prayed for the surrender of the enemy. Behind them, believers gathered closely to pray.

Meanwhile, Mongolian battalions gathered along the coast of Joseon. It was a combined force of Mongolian and Goryeo forces. It was the largest fleet in the history of the world, unparalleled before the Genko invasion. A huge fleet of warships, said to be up to 9,000 ships, carrying a full load of soldiers, surged through the waves of the Genkai Sea.

What was even more astonishing was that although the Hojo Shogunate was not aware of it, a large fleet of 100,000 soldiers had sailed to Japan from the Chinese mainland. They were soldiers from the Southern Song Dynasty who had been defeated by the Mongols. The emperor Fubirai ordered the remnants of the defeated army to go to Japan. Together with 40,000 soldiers from the Goryeo Dynasty, it was a total of 140,000 soldiers. This was a rare dispatch of troops in history.

On May 21, Koan 4 (1281), the Mongolian army arrived off the coast of Tsushima and landed at the shore of O’ake in Sekai Village. The battle between the Mongolian and Japanese forces began.

The war continued to go back and forth, and was not settled until June.

On June 16, Nichiren sent a letter to all his followers. He told them not to be proud to tell people that the invasion of another country had come true. He warned his disciples against rash and delusional actions.

“Regarding the fact that the men of the little Mongol state have come to attack the great nation of Japan, no one among my disciples or lay supporters should speak to others or offer any comments on this matter. If anyone should disobey these instructions, it should be understood that that person is to be removed from my disciples. These instructions should be made known to all persons.

Nichiren

The sixteenth day of the sixth month in the fourth year of Kōan [1281]

To my supporters” ‘Regarding the Little Mongol State.’

マップ自動的に生成された説明

Mongol invasions of Japan 1274, 1281. From Wikipedia.

It was a clear and sunny day.

In Hakata Bay, soldiers in the watchtowers came rushing out in a panic.

Enemy ships were swarming the sea.

The Japanese army responded by setting out with its cavalry at the head of the line.

Shijo Kingo's master, Hojo Mitsutoki, was at the head of the cavalry. He stood aghast at the sight of the Mongolian fleet that covered the sea.

The Japanese forces were attached to defenses that had been built over a distance of 20 kilometers on land, and they held longbows in their hands.

The Mongolian troops on the sea were also astonished to see the stone fortifications.

Mitsutoki announced to all the Japanese troops.

“All Japanese forces defend this position to the death. If this position is breached, there will be no future for our country!”

At this time, explosives flew from a Mongolian ship and exploded in the Japanese camp. Men and horses screamed. At this moment, the Mongolian army disembarked and charged.

The Japanese fired their longbows all at once. This was a tactic developed from their previous defeat. Japan's signature single combat cannot be understood by the Mongolian soldiers. The Japanese were trying to defeat the Mongols on the beach and to avoid a physical battle.

The killing power of a longbow is immeasurable. They could pierce the enemy from far away. In "The Tale of the Heike," Nasu Yoichi hit a target from a distance of 40 ken (about 72 meters). The shogunate had a lineup of warriors with strong bows.

Amidst the smoke of explosives, a large number of bows were fired. One after another, Mongolian soldiers charging at the Shogunate were knocked down. The Japanese forces were pulling their bows as hard as they could.

Hojo Mitsutoki also issued a proclamation.

“Shoot, shoot. Keep shooting as long as you live!”

An explosive charge exploded very close to Mitsutoki and blew up his bowman. Mitsutoki took his place and drew the bow. The arrow pierced the Mongolian soldiers in the distance.

Soon, the Mongolian soldiers rushed forward and attached themselves to the fortifications. Mitsutoki cut down the Mongolian soldiers trying to overcome them. Tens of thousands of Mongolian soldiers were clinging to the two-meter-high, 20-kilometer-long fortification. The fierce battle continued until the sun was setting. The Japanese held out for a while, but finally broke through. The Mongolian troops surmounted the defensive fortifications and attacked the Japanese troops. A fierce battle ensued, but the Japanese forces were gradually pushed back.

Mitsutoki fought hard on horseback with his followers, but he was growing weary.

“What about the reinforcements?”

“All reinforcements have arrived. Our forces are at their limit!”

A follower was cut down.

Mongolian soldiers attacked Mitsutoki at once, but he narrowly escaped.

The defeat of the Japanese army had been decisive following the Bun’ei War.

The Mongolian army was all at once determined to win the war. After a short time, however, the Mongolian general ordered his troops to return to the offshore ships. This was to prepare for a night attack.

The general declared.

“Tomorrow, the Mongolian flag will be flying in this harbor!”

The Mongolian army was once again on the verge of victory.





by johsei1129 | 2022-05-21 11:06 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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