Politics and Doctrine of Nichiren Buddhism#001【ミステリーな日蓮 〈番外編〉「日蓮と政治」英訳版】

Politics and Doctrine of Nichiren Buddhism #001

Hiroto Ema



Basically, the studies of Nichiren Buddhism in the Kamakura era can be classified into two categories. One is the studies of his religion and idea, which mainly focus on his dogma and doctrine. The other is the historical and political studies of him which focus on the political movement and action of his sect.


Nichiren presented “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the peace of the Land” to the shogunate to remonstrate the regent politics of those days. On the other hand, he was politically oppressed by the shogunate, as symbolized by the fact that he was transported twice. Thus, to study Nichiren Buddhism, it is essential to look at him in relation with the politics of the shogunate. In this regard, “Nichiren to sono montei” (Kōbundō, 1965) by Yutaka Takagi, which discusses the relationship between the shogunate and Nichiren and his sect, from the viewpoint of personal relationships and religious consciousness of him and his disciples, is a precious literature, and I would recommend referring to it about former studies of Nichiren.


Afterwards, such works as “Nichiren”(Yoshikawa Kōbun-kan, 2001) by Akira Nakao, “Nichiren”(Minerva Syobō, 2003) by Hiroo Satō, and “Series Nichiren”(Syunjyu Sya, 2014, 15) written and edited by Kuniaki Komatu et al. have been published as a result of the recent studies of Nichiren Buddhism, though they don’t focus on the political movement of him and his sect. And, as the discussions on the political history, there are such works as “Shin Tyusei Ōken Ron”(Shin Jinbutsu Ōrai Sya, 2004) by Kazuto Hongō and “Hōjō shi to Kamakura Bakufu” (Kōdansya Sensyo Metier, 2011) by Shigeo Hosokawa. But they don’t follow the action of Nichiren.


Therefore, we will discuss here the move of Nichiren and his sect from the viewpoint of his politics and doctrine. In other words, we will analyze the political position of the sect and the political meanings the doctrine of Nichiren Buddhism had, then look at the relationship between the sect and the regent politics. By holding these two viewpoints, I hope to examine the relationship between Nichiren and the policies of the shogunate more thoroughly, and present a new image of him.

April 1st 2020


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ミステリーな日蓮 〈番外編〉「日 蓮 と 政 治」 #001