Glossary (Phrase list) >> Nichiren

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Nichiren 日蓮

  Reading the introduction on the signboard at each temple in Kamakura, the name of Nichiren 日蓮 is often found.  Old roads, water wells and bridges have also some episodes related to Nichiren.


Exhibit at

Kamakura Museum of History and Culture


  Nichiren is a Buddhist priest who opened Nichiren sect in the 13th century.   He preached Hokke-kyo (法華経, Lotus Sutra) as the only-one teaching by walking around Kamakura, then submitted his writing named Risho-Ankoku-Ron 立正安国論 to the former regent Tokiyori Hojo of the Kamakura Shogunate.


  However, his theory was not accepted because it was a radical criticism of the other Buddhist sects and the government.  His cottage was soon attacked by thousands of people and burned down.


  He escaped to a cave in the backyard and survived the rush.  That cave can be seen in Ankokuronji Temple, Omachi even now.


  Nichiren continued to propaganda after he had gained a narrow escape, but was finally caught by the Shogunate.

  Although Nichiren was sentenced to death and taken to the execution place that was near the current Enoshima, it was canceled just before the execution.  He was sent away to the far place instead of the death penalty.


  There are some lore about the cancelation of the execution;

1) An intense light fell from the direction of Enoshima and the sword in the executioner's hand was broken.

2) A nun gave some rice cakes to Nichiren on the way he was taken to the execution place and it called that miracle. Her house was remodeled later as Joeiji Temple called the Rice Cake Temple, Omachi.


  His disciples also suffered persecution such as torture and confinement. There are also some temples related to them, such as Myoryuji, Komachi and Kosokuji, Hase etc.








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