Nichiren was a priest from Awa-no-kuni
(the southern Chiba prefecture
) in Kamakura period
, he found the Nichren Sect.
He entered Seiryo-ji Temple when he was twelve years old, then he studied Tendai Sect. At sixteen years old, he became a priest and, first he was named Rencho.
After he studied a lot at Mt.Hiei in Shiga Prefecture, Kyoto and Kamakura
in Kanagawa Prefecture
, he has some questions of traditional faith and study on Buddhism. He
went back to his hometown, he was convinced that everybody could know the
real teaching of Buddha when they would study along to Lotus Sutra, so
he recited the chant in Lotus Sutra of Buddhism, 'Nam-myo-ho-ren-ge-kyo'
to preach the faith in Hokekyo (Lotus Sutra), and he named 'Nichiren' himself
in 1253. However, Nichiren was pressed by the government at Kamakura since
he aggressively criticized Jodo Sect, Zen Sect and other Buddhism sects
at his street preaching. He wrote 'Rissho-ankoku-ron
' and offered it to Tokiyori Hojo the Shikken (the regent) at the Kamakura Bakufu
, but Tokiyori ignored him. But he continued his preaching with the severe
critics to the others, finally he exiled to Ito
)in 1261. After he was freed in 1263, he continued to criticize others
again, then he was attacked that they are known as 'Komatsubara-no-honan'
in 1264 (at that time, he escaped to Nakayama
)and 'Takiguchi-no-honan' in 1271. Then he exiled to Sado island (Niigata
prefecture). After he freed in 1274, he went back to Kamakura. Even though
he went to Minobu to seclude and stayed there, he continued his missionary
works. He guided many disciples, the six great disciples Nissho', 'Nichiro',
'Nikko of Minobu', 'Nikko of Fuji', 'Niccho
' and 'Nichiji' were famous and very important. He was died at Ikegami
). His works are 'Kaimoku-sho' 'Shugo-kokka-ron' and 'Kanjin-honzon-sho
'. His chokushi-go (a name granted by Imperial Court) was Rissho-Daishi.
Nichiren Sect / Nichiren Shu
Nichiren Sect was one of the Buddhism Sects in Japan that Nichiren
founded. Teachings of the sect based on 'Hokekyo' (Lotus Stra) first,
then it also studied 'Muryo-gi-kyo' and 'Kan-fugen-kyo'.and it emphasized
to chant 'Nam-myo-ho-ren-ge-kyo'. The Nichiren Sects built the Sandaihiho
(the Three Great Secret Dharmas) comprises the fundamental dharmas in Buddhism
by Nichiren and consists of Honmon no Honzon (the Object of Veneration
of the Essential Teachings of the Lotus Sutra), Honmon no Kaidan (the Platform
for the Receipt of the Precepts and Place of Practice of the Essential
Teachings of the Lotus Sutra) and Honmon no Daimoku (the Sacred Title of
the Essential Teachings of the Lotus Sutra). However, only reciting the
Nichiren chant ‘Nam-myo-ho-ren-ge-kyo’ is the principal practice. The founder
Nichiren raised many disciples, especially, the six great disciples, 'Nissho',
'Nichiro', 'Nikko of Minobu', 'Nikko of Fuji', 'Niccho
' and 'Nichiji' were the famous and important.
Rissho-Ankoku-Ron / The Establishment Of Righteousness And The Security
Of The Country
Rissyo-Ankoku-Ron is a Buddhism text written by Nichiren
in 1260, was given to Tokiyori Hojo, the Sikken (the regent) in Kamakura.
In Rissho-Ankoku-ron, Nichren stressed that the reasons they had got the
natural desasters at that time should be the result that had had violated
the teachings of 'Hokekyo' (Lotus Sutra), to believe 'Hokekyo' faithfully
would be the only way to keep the country peaceful. Rissho-Ankoku-Ron is
one of the masterpieces of Nichiren, and it is designated as a Nationa
Treasure of Japan. Nakayama Hokekyo-ji Temple
keeps it under strict surveillance.
Kanjin-Honzon-Sho is the most important book written by Nichiren
in 1273 at Sado island as he had exiled. The 'Nyorai Metsu-go Gohyakusai
Hajime Kanjin-Honzon-Sho' ( After five hundred years have passed since
Buddha passed away, the favourable principal of Buddha starts) is the official
name of it, and it called dividedly 'Kajin-sho' and 'Honzon-sho'. According
to the book, Nichiren stressed that the 'Kanjin'such as Honzon (the principal
imege of Buddha) are realized by 'Hokekyo', to recite the chant 'Nam-myo-ho-ren-ge-kyo'
is the way to atttain Buddhahood, and it is designated as a Nationa Treasure
of Japan. Nakayama Hokekyo-ji Temple
keeps it under strict surveillance.