Nichiren Buddhism

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An Illustrated image of the Lotus Sūtra, which is highly revered in Nichiren Buddhism. From the Kamakura period, circa 1257. Ink, color, and gold leaf on paper.

Nichiren Buddhism is a branch of Mahayana Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th century Japanese Buddhist priest Nichiren (1222–1282) and is one of the "Kamakura Buddhism" schools.[1][2] Its teachings derive from the 300 extant letters and treatises written by Nichiren.[3][4] It is practiced worldwide[5], with practitioners throughout the United States, Brazil and Europe, as well as in South Korea and southeast Asia.[6] The largest sects are the Soka Gakkai (International), Nichiren Shu and Nichiren Shoshu.[7]

Within Nichiren Buddhism there are two major divisions which fundamentally differ over whether Nichiren should be regarded as a bodhisattva of the earth, a saint, great teacher--or the actual Buddha of a new era.[8][9][10] Several of Japan's New Religious Movements are Nichiren-inspired lay groups.[11]

Nichiren Buddhism focuses on the Lotus Sutra doctrine that all people have an innate Buddha-nature and are therefore inherently capable of attaining enlightenment in their current form and present lifetime. Nichiren proposed a classification system that ranks the quality of religions[12] and various Nichiren schools can be either accommodating or vigorously opposed to any other forms of Buddhism or religious beliefs.

There are three essential aspects to Nichiren Buddhism: faith, or the determination to achieve one's ultimate potential through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to the Gohonzon; practice, chanting to the Gohonzon and reciting portions of the Lotus Sutra for oneself and others; and study, to grasp the profundity of Nichiren Buddhism.[13] The Gohonzon is a calligraphic image which is prominently displayed in the home or temple buildings of its believers. The Gohonzon used in Nichiren Buddhism is composed of the names of key bodhisattvas and Buddhas in the Lotus Sutra as well as Namu-Myoho-Renge-Kyo written in large characters down the center.[9]:225

Nichiren left to his followers the mandate to widely propagate the Gohonzon and Daimoku in order to secure the peace and prosperity of society.[14]

Traditional Nichiren Buddhist temple groups are commonly associated with Nichiren Shoshu and varying Nichiren Shu schools, while modern 21st century lay groups vary such as Soka Gakkai, Kenshokai, Shoshinkai, Risshō Kōsei Kai, Honmon Butsuryū-shū are also known.

Founding of Nichiren Buddhism[edit]

Nichiren and his time[edit]

What is now known as Nichiren Buddhism originated in 13th century Japan. It is one of the new forms of Buddhism that appeared at this time and falls within the category of “Kamakura Buddhism”. Nichiren was born during a time of great political, social, religious, and moral upheaval in Japan. In the political realm, power had passed from the nobility to a military dictatorship of first the Minamoto clan then Hōjō clan. Furthermore, people believed that the feared apocalyptic Age of the Latter Day of the Law had arrived. Although Buddhism had become the exclusive religion of Japan, it became characterized by collusion with the state as well as clerical corruption.[15]

During this period there was a history of new forms of Buddhism appearing while the more established schools adapted themselves to new circumstances.[16]

Nichiren's Life[edit]

From the age of 16 until 32, Nichiren, originally a monk of Tendai Buddhism, studied in numerous temples in Japan, especially Mt. Hiei (Enryaku-ji) and Mt. Kōya, in his day the major centers of Buddhist study, in the KyotoNara area. He eventually concluded that the highest teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha (563?–483?BC) were to be found in the Lotus Sutra. The mantra he expounded on 28 April 1253, known as the Daimoku or Odaimoku, Namu-Myōhō-Renge-Kyō, expresses his devotion to that body of teachings.[17] During his lifetime, Nichiren stridently maintained that the contemporary teachings of Buddhism taught by other sects, (particularly the Nembutsu, Zen, Shingon, and Ritsu sects[18]) were, to his mind, mistaken in their interpretations of the correct path to enlightenment, and therefore refuted them publicly and vociferously. In doing so, he provoked the ire of the country's rulers and of the priests of the sects he criticized; he was subjected to persecution which included an attempted beheading and at least two exiles.

Some Nichiren schools see the attempted beheading incident as marking a turning point in Nichiren's teaching, since Nichiren began inscribing the Gohonzon and wrote a number of major doctrinal treatises during his subsequent three-year exile on Sado Island in the Japan Sea. After a pardon and his return from exile, Nichiren moved to Mt. Minobu in today's Yamanashi Prefecture, where he and his disciples built a temple, Kuon-ji. Nichiren spent most of the rest of his life here training disciples.

Basic teachings[edit]

The basic practice of Nichiren Buddhism is chanting the invocation Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to a mandala inscribed by Nichiren, called Gohonzon.[19][20] Both the invocation and the Gohonzon, as taught by Nichiren, embody the title and essence of the Lotus Sutra,[21] which he taught as the only valid scripture for The Latter Day of the Law,[22] as well as the life state of Buddhahood inherent in all life.[23]

Nichiren considered that in the Latter Day of the Law -- a time of human strife and confusion when Buddhism would be in decline -- Buddhism had to be more than the theoretical or meditative practice it had become, but was meant to be practiced “with the body,” that is, in one’s actions and the consequent results that are manifested.[24] More important than the formality of ritual, he claimed, was the substance of the practitioner’s life[25] in which the spiritual and material aspects are interrelated.[26] He considered conditions in the world to be a reflection of the conditions of the inner lives of people; the premise of his first major remonstrance, Rissho Ankoku Ron (Establishing The Correct Teaching for the Peace of The Land), is that if a nation abandons heretical forms of Buddhism and adopts faith in the Lotus Sutra, the nation will know peace and security. He considered his disciples the “Bodhisattvas of the Earth” who appeared in the Lotus Sutra with the vow to spread the correct teaching and thereby establish a peaceful and just society.[27]

The specific task to be pursued by Nichiren’s disciples was the widespread propagation of his teachings (the invocation and the Gohonzon) in a way that would effect actual change in the world’s societies[28] so that the sanctuary, or seat, of Buddhism could be built.[29] Nichiren saw this sanctuary as a specific seat of his Buddhism, but there is thought that he also meant it in a more general sense, that is, wherever his Buddhism would be practiced.[30][31] This sanctuary, along with the invocation and Gohonzon, comprise “the three great secret laws (or dharmas)” found in the Lotus Sutra.[32]

Nichiren's writings[edit]

A prolific writer, Nichiren's personal communiques among his followers as well as numerous treatises detail his view of the correct form of practice for the Latter Day of the Law (mappō); lay out his views on other Buddhist schools, particularly those of influence during his lifetime; and elucidate his interpretations of Buddhist teachings that preceded his. These writings are collectively known as Gosho (go is an honorific prefix designating respect) or Goibun. Which of these writings, including the Ongi Kuden (orally transmitted teachings), are deemed authentic or apocryphal is a matter of debate within the various schools of today's Nichiren Buddhism.[33][34][35] One of his most important writings the Rissho Ankoku Ron, preserved at Shochuzan Hokekyo-ji, is one of the National Treasures of Japan.[36][37]

Development of Nichiren Buddhism and its major lineages[edit]

Nichiren Buddhism is not a single denomination (see following lists). Nichiren was originally an ordained Tendai priest and is not known to have established a separate Buddhist school. Nevertheless, his teachings led to the formation of different schools within several years after his passing. Before his death Nichiren had named "six senior priests" (rokurōsō) whom he wanted to transmit his teachings to future generations: Nisshō (日昭), Nichirō (日朗), Nikō (日向), Nitchō (日頂), Nichiji (日持), and Nikkō (日興). Each started a lineage of schools, but Nichiji eventually travelled to the Asian continent (ca. 1295) and was never heard from again, and Nitchō later in life (1302) rejoined and became a follower of Nikkō.[38]

Separation of various Nichiren schools and lineages[edit]

Different interpretations of Nichiren's teachings had led to the establishment of various temples and schools, which however have in common reverence to the two basic doctrines of the chanting and the object of devotion. Although the former five disciples remained loosely affiliated to varying degrees, the last—Nikkō—made a clean break by leaving Kuon-ji in 1289.

The disciple Nikko had come to the conclusion that the remaining five disciples were embarking on heresy and syncretism of various Buddhist practices that he could no longer accept.

Accordingly, Nikkō's own converted shakubuku, the steward of the temple district, Hagiri Sanenaga, also began to commit practices deemed to be heretical such as the following:

  • The donation of noren shrine curtains and horses to the Mishima Taisha Shinto shrine
  • The procurement of bamboo lumber for the Shinto Gassan Shrine
  • The erection of a private temple dedicated to the Amida Buddha along with giving monetary donations to its Nembutsu priests.

These acts received assurances from another senior disciple, Mimbu Nikō (民部日向, 1253–1314) to be acceptable due to having been done ordinarily with the knowledge of Nichiren while he was alive.

Nikko then went to the base of Mount Fuji where he would be offered a piece of land by Nanjo Tokimitsu where he would ultimately establish his own school based on orthodoxy, which would later be known as the Taisekiji temple of Nichiren Shoshu. In addition, he is also believed to have erected a Buddhist seminary at Omosu, Suruga province which later affiliated with the Nichiren Shu sect but would continue to retain the circular Crane bird used by Nikko Shonin. Pious legends also recount his journey with the Dai-Gohonzon as he left Mount Minobu, never to return.[39] Consequently, the disciple Nitcho began to share the same complaints and grievances and would later join him in later years.[40]

After the passing of Nichiren, practical differences between the various Nichiren schools were relatively minor; nevertheless, the following schools formed around Nichiren's disciples:

  • The Minobu school — Mimbu Nikō
  • The Fuji school — Nikkō Shonin, co-joined later with the disciple Nitcho Shonin.[41]
  • The Hama school — Nisshō
  • The Ikegami school — Nichirō
  • The Nakayama school — Toki Jonin (Stepfather of Nitchō)

In the years following Nichiren's death, his and the temples founded by his disciples remained to a varying degree affiliated. By the 14th century a certain split within the Nichiren Schools occurred though. One differentiates between the so-called Ichi lineage (meaning unity or harmony) and Shoretsu lineage (a contraction of two words meaning superior/inferior).[42][43]

  • The Ichi lineage today comprises most of the traditional schools within Nichiren Buddhism, including some Nikkō temples, of which the Nichiren Shū is the biggest representative. In this lineage the whole of the Lotus Sutra, both the so-called essential and theoretical parts, also referred to as the Imprinted Gate, are venerated. While great attention is given to the 2nd and 16th chapter of the Lotus Sutra other parts of the sutra, or even the whole sutra, are recited.
  • The Shoretsu lineage comprises most, not all, temples of the Nikkō lineage. Today those are most notably Nichiren Shōshū and Sōka Gakkai. This lineage underline the supremacy of the essential over the theoretical part of the Lotus Sutra, also referred to as the "Original Gate". Therefore, almost solely the 2nd and 16th chapters of the Lotus Sutra are recited.

The Itchi–Soretsu controversy was of no interest to outsiders, but it kept Nichiren theologians on their toes and forced them to define their positions with more clarity. It did result in the formation of new sub-sects, but these gave impetus to missionary enterprises which expanded Nichiren Buddhism and helped spread it throughout the country.[44]

The number of adherents to Nichiren's teachings grew steadily during the 14th and 15th century to the extent that whole communities became followers.[45] By 1400, and only being outnumbered by Zen, Nichiren temples had been founded all over Kyoto and although the various sects of Nichiren Buddhism were administratively independent they met in a council to resolve common problems.[46]

By the 16th century Nichiren Buddhism was no longer on the fringe of religious life and a vast number of Kyoto's inhabitants adhered to Nichiren's teachings. The anarchy resulting from the conflict between the shoguns and the emperor resulted in the attacks by the so-called warrior monks from Mount Hiei. In its aftermath "twenty-one Nichiren temples were destroyed by fire … It was estimated that tens of thousands of Nichiren Buddhists lost their lives".[47]

Some researchers compare early Nichiren Buddhism with early Christianity: "Tamura finds Nichiren’s Buddhism to be broadly comparable with Christianity 'as a religion of prophecy, in its spirit of martyrdom, in its apostolic consciousness, and additionally, in its emphasis upon history'".[48]

Based on the tradition set by Nichiren the relationship between the government, other major Buddhist schools and Nichiren temples remained ambiguous though. The adherents of Nichiren Buddhism who made this aspect of Nichiren teachings a central pillar of their belief were the followers of the so-called Fuju-fuse lineage. Their services were partly held in secret and culminated in the persecution and partly even the execution of its believers in 1668. The majority of official Nichiren temples were "tamed" during the Edo period to the effect that they were subsumed "into a nationwide Buddhist parish system designed to ensure religious peace and eradicate the common enemy, Christianity".[45] In this process, also known as the Danka system, Buddhist temples were generally not only a centre of Buddhist practice and learning, but were forced to carry out administrative functions, thereby also being controlled by the government taming any missionary activities.

During the Meiji Restoration from 1868 onwards and in an attempt to eradicate Buddhism[49] Nichiren temples were forced, just like any other Buddhist school, to focus on funeral and memorial services as their main activity. Therefore, Nichiren-Buddhism remained mainly temple-based. Most Nichiren schools, referring to their establishment, state the founding of their respective head or main temple, for example, Nichiren Shū the year 1281, Nichiren Shōshū the year 1288, and Kempon Hokke Shu the year 1384. However, most of today's Nichren schools did not form until the late 19th and early 20th century as, also legal, religious bodies. A last wave of merges took place in the 1950s. Following the above-mentioned divide between the Ichi lineage and Shoretsu lineage, the most notable division is the one between Nichiren Shū and Nichiren Shōshū. Documents first mentioned and discovered by Taiseki-ji priest Nikkyo in 1488 claimed that Nichiren passed full authority "to Nikkō alone. The original documents have disappeared, but 'true copies' are preserved at Taiseki-ji. Other Nichiren bodies ignore them as forgeries."[50]

At the time the documents may have served to underline Taiseki-ji's supposed superiority amongst Nikkō temples, especially in respect to Ikegami Honmon-ji the site of Nikkō's tomb. In the later context of developments the above-mentioned claims served as a reason on which, what would later become, Nichiren Shōshū based its orthodoxy on Nichiren-Buddhism in general. Even though there had been efforts by temples of the Nikkō lineage in the late 19th century to unify into one single separate Nichiren school the Kommon-ha, today's Nichiren Shōshū comprises only the Taiseki-ji temple and its dependent temples. It is not identical to the historical Nikkō or Fuji lineage. Parts of the Kommon-ha, the Honmon-Shu, eventually became part of Nichren Shu in the 1950s. New religions[51][52] like Sōka Gakkai, Shōshinkai, and Kenshōkai trace their origins to the Nichiren Shōshū school, most notably among those is Sōka Gakkai, which due to its steady growth is regarded today as Japan's largest lay Buddhist organization.

Kuon-ji eventually became the head temple of today's Nichiren Shū, today the largest branch among traditional schools, encompassing the schools and temples tracing their origins to Nikō, Nisshō, Nichirō, Nichiji and Nikkō. The Reiyūkai, Risshō Kōsei Kai, and Nipponzan-Myōhōji-Daisanga stem, in one form or another, from the Kuon-ji lineage.

The Fuji-lineage[edit]

Several temples located near Mount Fuji continue to follow Nichiren Buddhism, commonly referred to as Fuji-Fusē. The Fuji-lineage is often associated with Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism or organisations formally affiliated with it but is not limited to.

The Fuji-lineage includes the following temples:

  • Taisekiji — the Head temple of Nichiren Shoshu (from this temple were derived: the Shoshinkai, Kenshokai (Myoshinko), and Soka Gakkai International.
  • Kitayama Honmonji — Nichiren Shu
  • Koizumi Kuonji — Nichiren Shu
  • Hota Myohonji — Independent temple
  • Shimojo Myorenji — Nichiren Shoshu
  • Nishiyama Honmonji — Independent temple
  • Kyoto Yoboji — the Head Temple of Nichiren Honshu
  • Izu Jitsujoji — Nichiren Shu

Major Nichiren Buddhist schools and organisations[edit]

The following lists are based on the Japanese Wikipedia article on Nichiren Buddhism.

Major Nichiren Buddhist schools and their head temples[edit]

In alphabetical order (Japanese characters preceded by "ja:" link to articles in the Japanese Wikipedia).

Name in English Japanese
Fuju-fuse Nichiren Kōmon Shū 不受不施日蓮講門宗 本山本覚寺
Hokke Nichiren Shū 法華日蓮宗 総本山 ja:宝龍寺
Hokkeshū, Honmon Ryū 法華宗(本門流)大本山光長寺・鷲山寺・本興寺・本能寺
Hokkeshū, Jinmon Ryū 法華宗(陣門流)総本山本成寺
Hokkeshū, Shinmon Ryū 法華宗(真門流)総本山本隆寺
Hompa Nichiren Shū 本派日蓮宗 総本山宗祖寺
Honke Nichiren Shū (Hyōgo) 本化日蓮宗(兵庫) 総本山妙見寺
Honke Nichiren Shū (Kyōto) ja:本化日蓮宗(京都)本山石塔寺
Honmon Butsuryū Shū ja:本門佛立宗 大本山宥清寺
Honmon Hokke Shū: Daihonzan Myōren-ji 本門法華宗 大本山妙蓮寺
Honmon Kyōō Shū ja:本門経王宗 本山日宏寺
Kempon Hokke Shu: Sōhonzan Myōman-ji 総本山妙満寺
Nichiren Hokke Shū ja:日蓮法華宗 大本山正福寺
Nichiren Honshū: Honzan Yōbō-ji ja:日蓮本宗 本山 ja:要法寺
Nichiren Kōmon Shū 日蓮講門宗
Nichiren Shōshū:Sōhonzan Taiseki-ji 日蓮正宗 総本山 大石寺
Nichiren Shū Fuju-fuse-ha: Sozan Myōkaku-ji 日蓮宗不受不施派 祖山妙覚寺
Nichiren Shū: Sozan Minobuzan Kuon-ji 日蓮宗 祖山身延山 ja:久遠寺
Nichirenshū Fuju-fuse-ha 日蓮宗不受不施派
Shōbō Hokke Shū 正法法華宗 本山 ja:大教寺

Other Nichiren Buddhist 20th century movements and lay organisations[edit]

In alphabetical order (Japanese characters preceded by "ja:" link to articles in the Japanese Wikipedia):

Nationalistic interpretations[edit]

Both Nichiren and his followers have been associated with fervent Japanese nationalism known as Nichirenism not least between the Meiji period and the conclusion of World War II.[58][59]

The nationalistic interpretation of Nichiren's teachings are to be found mainly within lay Buddhist movements like Kokuchūkai or Kenshōkai, most notable in this context however are the May 15 Incident, the League of Blood Incident and Tanaka Chigaku's Kokuchūkai.[60] [61][62]

Bibliography[edit]

Translations of Nichiren's writings[edit]

  • The Gosho Translation Committee: The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Volume I, Soka Gakkai, 2006. ISBN 4-412-01024-4
  • The Gosho Translation Committee: The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Volume II, Soka Gakkai, 2006. ISBN 4-412-01350-2
  • Kyotsu Hori (transl.); Sakashita, Jay (ed.): Writings of Nichiren Shonin, Doctrine 1, University of Hawai'i Press, 2003, ISBN 0-8248-2733-3
  • Tanabe Jr., George (ed.), Hori, Kyotsu: Writings of Nichiren Shonin, Doctrine 2, University of Hawai'i Press, 2002, ISBN 0-8248-2551-9
  • Kyotsu Hori (transl.), Sakashita, Jay (ed.): Writings of Nichiren Shonin, Doctrine 3, University of Hawai'i Press, 2004, ISBN 0-8248-2931-X
  • Kyotsu Hori (transl.), Jay Sakashita (ed.): Writings of Nichiren Shonin, Doctrine 4, University of Hawai'i Press, 2007, ISBN 0-8248-3180-2
  • Kyotsu Hori (transl.), Sakashita, Jay (ed.): Writings of Nichiren Shonin, Doctrine 5, University of Hawai'i Press, 2008, ISBN 0-8248-3301-5
  • Kyotsu Hori (transl.), Sakashita, Jay (ed.): Writings of Nichiren Shonin, Doctrine 6, University of Hawai'i Press, 2010, ISBN 0-8248-3455-0
  • Selected Writings of Nichiren. Burton Watson et al., trans.; Philip B. Yampolsky, ed. Columbia University Press, 1990
  • Letters of Nichiren. Burton Watson et al., trans.; Philip B. Yampolsky, ed. Columbia University Press, 1996
    Full disclosure statement: Although Soka Gakkai retains the copyrights on the foregoing two works and financed their publication, they show some deviation from similar works published under Soka Gakkai's own name.
  • Website for English-language translations of works essential to the study of Nichiren Buddhism (Soka Gakkai) Nichiren Buddhism Library
  • Die Schriften Nichiren Daishonins, Helwig Schmidt-Glintzer, trans., Verlag Herder, 2014, ISBN 978-3451334542

English[edit]

  • Montgomery, Daniel B., Fire In The Lotus - The Dynamic Buddhism of Nichiren. Mandala - HarperCollins, 1991. ISBN 1-85274-091-4
  • Bowring, Paul. Kornicki, Peter, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Japan. eds. Cambridge University Press, 1993. ISBN 0-521-40352-9 (Referred to in text as Cambridge.)
  • Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Kondansha, 1993, ISBN 4-06-205938-X; CD-ROM version, 1999. (Referred to in text as Illustrated.)
  • Causton, Richard, "Buddha in Daily Life, An Introduction to the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin", 1995. ISBN 071267456X
  • Matsunaga, Daigan, Matsunaga, Alicia (1996), Foundation of Japanese buddhism, Vol. 2: The Mass Movement (Kamakura and Muromachi Periods), Los Angeles; Tokyo: Buddhist Books International, 1996. ISBN 0-914910-28-0
  • Lotus Seeds - The Essence of Nichiren Shu Buddhism. Nichiren Buddhist Temple of San Jose, 2000. ISBN 0-9705920-0-0
  • The Doctrines and Practice of Nichiren Shoshu. Nichiren Shoshu Overseas Bureau, 2002
  • The Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism. Soka Gakkai, 2002, ISBN 4-412-01205-0 online
  • Stone, Jacqueline I., Original Enlightenment and the Transformation of Medieval Japanese Buddhism (Studies in East Asian Buddhism), University of Hawaii Press 2003, ISBN 978-0824827717

Japanese[edit]

  • Nichiren Shōshū yōgi (日蓮正宗要義; "The essential tenets of Nichiren Shoshu"). Taiseki-ji, 1978, rev. ed. 1999
  • Shimpan Bukkyō Tetsugaku Daijiten (新版 仏教哲学大辞典: "Grand dictionary of Buddhist philosophy, rev. ed."). Seikyo Shimbunsha, 1985. No ISBN.
  • Nichiren Shōshū-shi no kisoteki kenkyū (日蓮正宗史の基礎的研究; "A study of fundaments of Nichiren Shoshu history"). (Rev.) Yamaguchi Handō. Sankibo Bussho-rin, 1993. ISBN 4-7963-0763-X
  • Iwanami Nihonshi Jiten (岩波 日本史辞典: "Iwanami dictionary of Japanese history"). Iwanami Shoten, 1999. ISBN 4-00-080093-0 (Referred to in text as Iwanami.)
  • Nichiren Shōshū Nyūmon (日蓮正宗入門; "Introduction to Nichiren Shoshu"). Taiseki-ji, 2002
  • Kyōgaku Yōgo Kaisetsu Shū (教学解説用語集; "Glossary of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist terms"). (Rev.) Kyōdō Enoki, comp. Watō Henshūshitsu, 2006.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jacqueline I. Stone , Original Enlightenment and the Transformation of Medieval Japanese Buddhism (Studies in East Asian Buddhism), University of Hawaii Press 2003, ISBN 978-0824827717, pp 239
  2. ^ Richard K. Payne, Re-Visioning Kamakura Buddhism (Studies in East Asian Buddhism) (Studies in East Asian Buddhism, 11), University of Hawaii Press, ISBN 978-0824820787, pp 24
  3. ^ Iida, Shotaro (1987). "Chapter 5: 700 Years After Nichiren". In Nicholls, William. Modernity and Religion. Wilfrid Laurier University Press. pp. 98–105. ISBN 0-88920-154-4. 
  4. ^ Arai, Nissatsu (1893). Outlines of the Doctrine of the Nichiren Sect, Submitted to the Parliament of the World's Religions. Tokyo, Japan: Central Office of the Nichiren Sect. p. vi. One who wants to know how high was his virtue, how profound and extensive was his learning, how heroic and grand was his character, and how gigantic and epoch-making was his mission, needs only to read his works. 
  5. ^ Hammond, Phillip. "Foreward". In Macacheck and Wilson. Global Citizens. 2000: Oxford University Press. p. v. ISBN 0-19-924039-6. 
  6. ^ Dobbelaere, Karel (1998). Soka Gakkai. Signature Books. p. 17. ISBN 1-56085-153-8. 
  7. ^ "Nichiren: Fast Facts and INtroduction". Religion Facts. Retrieved 14 December 2017. 
  8. ^ Hein, Patrick (2014). The Goddess and the Dragon: A Study on Identity Strength and Psychosocial Resilience in Japan. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 67. ISBN 9781443868723. 
  9. ^ a b Ellwood, Robert S.; Csikszentmihalyi, Mark A. (2003). "Chapter 12: East Asian Religions in Today's America". In Neusner, Jacob. World Religions in America: An Introduction. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 225. ISBN 9780664224752. 
  10. ^ Cornille, Catherine (1998). "Canon formation in new religious movements: The case of the Japanese new religions". In Debeek, A. Van; Van der Toorn, Karel. Canonization and Decanonization. Brill. p. 284. ISBN 9004112464. 
  11. ^ Shimazono, Susumu (2004). "Daimoku (Invocation)". In Clarke, Peter. Encyclopedia of new religious movements. Routledge. p. 151. ISBN 9781134499700. Moreover, many Nichiren-inspired new religions (see New Religious Movement) are lay Buddhist movements. The training and practices do not require advanced scholarly knowledge. They offer a type of Buddhism that ordinary people preoccupied with their families and occupations can practice without becoming priests and having to dedicate themselves exclusively to spiritual matters. 
  12. ^ Petzold, Bruno (1995). Ichimura, Shohei, ed. The classification of Buddhism : comprising the classification of Buddhist doctrines in India, China and Japan = Bukkyō-kyōhan. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 627. ISBN 9783447033732. 
  13. ^ Fowler, Jeaneane and Merv (2009). Chanting in the Hillsides. Portland, Oregon: Sussex Academic Press. p. 141. 
  14. ^ Anesaki, Masaharu (1916). Nichiren, the Buddhist Prophet. Harvard University Press. p. 99. 
  15. ^ Anesaki, Masaharu (1916). Nichiren, the Buddhist Prophet. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. pp. 1–5. ISBN 9781498186582. 
  16. ^ Payne, Richard K. (1998). "Introduction". Re-visioning "Kamakura" Buddhism. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. pp. 1–2. ISBN 0824820789. 
  17. ^ Anesaki, Masaharu, Nichiren, the Buddhist prophet, Cambridge : Harvard University Press (1916), p. 34
  18. ^ cf. "four dictums" (四箇の格言 shika no kakugen) entries in The Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism, p. 215, and Kyōgaku Yōgo Kaisetsu Shū, p. 54
  19. ^ SGDB 2002, Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law
  20. ^ Kenkyusha 1991
  21. ^ Nichiren (1990). Yampolsky, Philip B, ed. Selected writings of Nichiren. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 148. ISBN 9780231072601. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo appears in the center of the Treasure Tower with the Buddhas Shakyamuni and Taho seated to the right and left and the four Bodhisattvas of the Earth, led by Jogyo, flank them. 
  22. ^ Metraux, Daniel (1996). King, Sallie; Queen, Christopher, eds. Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Liberation Movements In Asia. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. pp. 366–367. ISBN 0-7914-2844-3. 
  23. ^ Metraux. Engaged Buddhism. p. 368. 
  24. ^ Anesaki, Masaharu (1916). Nichiren, the Buddhist Prophet. Harvard University Press. p. 25. 
  25. ^ Anesaki. Nichi ren, the Buddhist Prophet. p. 107. 
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