BEING REVISED


On the Events After Nichiren’s Passing
The Succession Issue

======================================================================================================
Ikegami Transfer Document, The (Jpn.: Ikegami-sojo-sho)
“Also known as The Document for Entrusting Minobu-san. A document that Nichiren wrote at the residence of Ikegami Munenaka at Ikegami in Musashi Province (present-day Tokyo) on the thirteenth day of the tenth month, 1282, the day of his death. In it, he names Nikko as his successor and chief priest of Minobu-san Kuon-ji temple. It also declares that those priests and lay believers who disregard its contents are acting in defiance of Nichiren’s teachings. It is one of the two transfer documents defining the transmission of Nichiren’s teachings, the other being The Minobu Transfer Document, written in the ninth month of 1282.”
From source: The Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism
======================================================================================================
This document is widely considered a forgery, since:
*No known originals exist.
*The earliest specific references to it are nearly 200 years after it was allegedly written.
*It contradicts other authenticated documents.
*It contradicts actual events.
See Also:
Ikegami Transfer Document? Part Two
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Comments: The Ikegami Transfer Document/Responses to Hirahara
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Also, with the eventual change in leadership of these two schools, do you believe that they (especially the SGI) will use this opportunity to distance themselves from historically dubious myths that now have them bound at the hip, like fighting Siamese twins? ”
I think Ikeda would like to do that now. We seem to see SGI taking the 2 steps/1 step approach to distancing from NSS. Hirahara’s responce to Ryuei was the one step back.
Side note: Nichiren Shu/Rissho U has known for more than a decade that the ‘Distribution of Mementoes’ is dubious. But it is still used as a defence of Nissho & Nichiro. It takes time for info to trickle down.
Posted by robin at October 16, 2005 04:31 PM
““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““
Robin:
Based on your research into the succession of Nichiren’s teachings, what parallels do you see (if any) with contemporary issues as manifest in Nichiren Shoshu, the SGI, and perhaps, other sects? In other words, are these two schools repeating some mistakes of the past?
The reason that I ask this is that there are unsubstantiated rumors of Hiromasa Ikeda possibly taking over the leadership of the SGI one day. We also have unsubstantiated rumors that Nikken Abe never actually received kechimyaku from Nittasu, but instead siezed the opportunity.
Also, with the eventual change in leadership of these two schools, do you believe that they (especially the SGI) will use this opportunity to distance themselves from historically dubious myths that now have them bound at the hip, like fighting Siamese twins?
Charles
Posted by Charles at October 16, 2005 03:37 PM
““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““
“3. Revising and revisiting the myths about the succession would require too much thinking about why Nichiren felt it important for his disciples to serve at Minobu with no rank and why they should have alternated tending his grave. It also might offend those people who believe passionately in the narrative they’ve already been told.”
““““““““““““““““““““`
Interesting point. It seems like a bad idea; or it looks like he was reining them in.
BTW, I am going to keep updating these.
Posted by robin at October 16, 2005 11:37 AM
““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““
I know you are fighting a brave fight. The fight for at least a glancing nod to the actual truth of what happened in the past is always worth doing. But the supporters of the myth of Nikko’s suggestion aren’t willing to advance another basis for the reality of that succession. They are mired in their fixation on Nichiren Shoshu.
The reality is that:
1 Nikko outlived all of the other five priests. This in itself should have been cause for the other priests to rally around him once the elder priests had passed — but they all were too ambitious. And let’s face it Nikko had a curmudgeon’s reputation by that time. He was the spoil sport. Raining on the “propagation” parade. Insisting on strict master/disciple and discipline. Why it probably sounded down right “hinayana” to the others. Who throws someone out of his school for watching a leaf fall?
2 Nikko’s critique that the disciples should have followed the will exactly would be a better basis for claims of succession by his school than any forged document. But since his own disciples fell pray to the same tendancies, it is unlikely that any school even understood what he was saying. The urge to become a big fish in a small aquarium was too powerful for all of them.
3. Revising and revisiting the myths about the succession would require too much thinking about why Nichiren felt it important for his disciples to serve at Minobu with no rank and why they should have alternated tending his grave. It also might offend those people who believe passionately in the narrative they’ve already been told. All that flys in the face of notions of hierarchy and “wagoso” that are engrained in that culture. It’s just not going to happen. The one school that might have been able to understand this notion wants it’s chief priest to act like a Pope. Not going to happen. The other school isn’t going to be willing to admit that Nikko was right and their records wrong. Not fundamentally. Too much invested.
4. E. Hirohara is a nice guy, but ultimately a flunky. He isn’t going to argue with you honestly. I don’t know if he can. He’s more likely to take it as a personal affront that you even try to argue with him. After all he’s a big cheese now and chief of the study department and what are you? Why risk his “face?”
5. The only person who could challenge that myth in the hierarchical bureaucracy that is the Gakkai is Ikeda himself — and he doesn’t even know you are arguing about this. If he did he’d support his personal friend and flunky over you by instinct.
Why argue with him?
All that being said I pretty much agree with you on the merits of what you are saying given what we know and assuming (which is dangerous with these people) that we have been given good information.
Chris
Posted by Chris at October 15, 2005 11:34 PM
************************************************************************************************************************************