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Who was Nichiren Shu?

Nichiren was the thirteenth-century Buddhist priest who based the Nichiren Shu sect. He was later exiled for preaching that dangerous authorities and misguided non secular teachings had been to blame for a sequence of plagues, famines, and pure disasters. After his loss of life, Nichiren turned the topic of many Buddhist legends that describe him defeating dragons, calming the seas, and performing different miracles.

Born in 1222, the actual Nichiren Shonin lived during a time of social chaos. As a younger boy, he studied Buddhism at Seichoji Temple, turning into a priest on the age of 15. He quickly turned a spiritual reformer. Nichiren believed there have been too many various faculties of Buddhism. He additionally thought an excessive amount of consideration was paid to Buddhist saints and devils and demons as opposed to direct prayer to the historic Buddha (ShĀka).

He believed in simplifying the religious apply by utilizing the Lotus sutra as the premise of his teachings. While touring to Japan’s capital, Nichiren made many enemies when he wrote a pamphlet accusing the federal government of mismanagement and different non secular leaders of educating Buddhism incorrectly. The authorities despatched Nichiren to jail and exile, together with three years on Sado Island.

However, Nichiren used his time in jail to write two influential books: Senji Sho, or Selection of Time, and Hoon Jo, or Recompense of Indebtedness. These books helped unfold his concepts all through Japan even after his loss of life in 1282 at age 60. There are many Nichiren temples in Japan and different nations, together with the Minobusan Kuonji Temple close to Mt. Minobu, the place Nichiren is buried.

Many legends about Nichiren claimed that he had supernatural powers. Several of these have to do with dragon legends and happen in Sado Island and different places the place he was exiled or the place he preached. According to the tales, these locations had been full of demons and legendary beings, in addition to barbaric human beings.

One story tells how Nichiren helped the native people, who had been being terrorized by a bunch of trolls and form shifters led by a seven-headed dragon. Nichiren went into the dragon’s cave and was ready to change the dragon from evil to good by calling on the powers of the troll’s saintly mom and her 10 daughters. With their good affect, the dragon turned the champion of the village, conserving the people from hurt.

An identical story takes place on the boat trip out of exile from Sado Island, when Nichiren saves his boat from a storm attributable to the kami Susano-Wo and a seven-headed dragon. At the peak of the storm, Nichiren stood up within the boat and raised his hand in opposition to the seas. Then he chanted a Buddhist sutra to calm the storm. Utagawa Kuniyoshi immortalized this legend in his well-known 19th-century portray entitled Nichiren Calms a Storm.

Nichiren was a favourite topic of many Japanese artists within the Edo interval. Tsukioka Yoshitoshi painted the priest saving the soul of a cormorant fisherman, whereas Kuniyoshi painted Nichiren praying beneath a torrential storm and being saved from the executioner’s sword by the interference of Buddhist saints, who precipitated the sword to break because it struck Nichiren’s neck.