The Nichiren Buddhism【ミステリーな日蓮 英訳版】19. No prayer other than mine has power!

19. No prayer other than mine has power!

Hiroto Ema


 In the fifth year of Bun-ei (1268) , when the official letter from Mongolia arrived and the invasion threatened Japan, Nichiren sent a letter to Hōjō Tokimune, the then regent. The content of it was as follows.


“This accords precisely and without the slightest deviation with the prediction I made in my On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land, the work that I, Nichiren, compiled some years ago on the basis of key passages from the various sutras. Nichiren is thus in some sense a sage, for a sage is one who knows those things that have not yet made their appearance.

Accordingly, I take this opportunity once more to deliver a respectful warning. You must cease at once to lend your support to Kenchō-ji・Jufuku-ji (Zen sect), Gokuraku-ji (Shingon-Ritsu esoteric sect), Tahō-ji, Jōkōmyō-ji・Daibutsu-den (Pure Land sect), and other temples. If you do not do so, you will assuredly invite attack not only from the Mongols but from lands in all the four directions. You must pray quickly to overcome and subdue the men of the Mongol nation and bring peace and security to our land. And the task of subduing them cannot be accomplished by anyone but Nichiren.……If you fail to heed the warnings of Nichiren, you will surely regret it later.……I have sent letters of warning to various other officials of the shogunate, and it is my hope that you may summon them all, discuss the matter, and let me know your judgment on it.

In effect, the different types of prayers that are being offered up should be suspended, and the representatives of the various schools should be summoned into your presence so that they may debate with me to decide what is correct and what is incorrect in matters of Buddhist doctrine.……In the three countries of India, China, and Japan, the question of correctness in matters of Buddhist doctrine was decided by the ruler, that is, by King Ajātashatru in the case of India, by the rulers of the Ch’en and Sui dynasties in the case of China, and by Emperor Kammu in the case of Japan.

I am not urging any private or prejudiced view of my own; I speak solely out of my intense loyalty. I do not speak out for my own sake, but for the sake of the gods, for the sake of the ruler, for the sake of the nation, and for the sake of all living beings” (Letter to Hōjō Tokimune)


 I think in no other letter is the true aim and intention of Nichiren expressed so clearly. The letter above was written before he was transported to Sado Island, so he hadn’t had the preparedness as the true follower of the Lotus Sutra yet. Nevertheless, he insisted that by holding public debate, the shogunate and its regent should decide whose doctrine of Buddhism was right. Furthermore, he threatened the regent that any prayer which didn’t regard him as a Master of State would invite further invasions and they would regret it.


Similar letters were sent to the key persons of the shogunate and the high priests of various sects which were respected highly by those in power. And also in them, the true intention of Nichiren was clearly expressed. How was it spoken out? We will discuss it in the next section.

January 1st 2020


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