The Succession Issue Controversy
Nichiren Shoshu is a small, fairly new sect that broke off from the Nikko lineage about 100 years ago. They seem to primarily base their teachings on those of two Chief Priests of Taisekiji; Nichiu {1402-1482} and Nichikan {1665-1726}. The teachings of those two were aberrations within the Nikko Lineage, even within Taisekiji Temple, that were almost universally rejected.
In 1899, the “Komon Ha” {Nikko Faction} of Nichiren Shu, based at Kitayama Honmonji officially became Honmon Shu. In 1900, Taisekiji Temple withdrew from the Honmon Shu and became the Nichiren Shu Fuji-ha. Then, in 1912, Nichiren Shu Fuji-ha became Nichiren Shoshu. That is when Nichiren Shoshu’s history began.
Unfortunately, as I have mentioned previously, most of our information about Nichiren Buddhism has come from Nichiren Shoshu. Meanwhile, one of the primary sources of alternative information, in English, has been another small
School, one known as Kempon Hokke International. The latter has been basically anti-NST/SGI, and includes as much, if not more, misinformation as NST.
There have also been some truly honest efforts to sort out either the history and teachings, or both; each doing it in their own unique way. Some do/did research and wrote, others had the courage to speak out in support and challenge the powers that be. There are/were Reverend Ryuei, Dr. Stone, the late Bishop Murano, Peter Johnson, HG Lamont, Reverend Tarabini, Charles Atklins, the Maltzes, and Daniel Montgomery. Also, Don Ross, Chris Holte, David Johnson, Brian Holly, Andy Hanlen, Dharmajim Wilson, Chikusan, Tai Chi Dee, John Petry, Myokei & Engyo, Byrd, the Ankers, Ernesto, the Millars, John Nicks, P. Jones, Richard Torgerson, Carmen, Chanter/Betty, Taidancer, Lotuslover, Mark, Joe, Chris M., Kazuo, Mick, Norm, Jerry N., Peter K., Patty, Mulcogi, Greg, Eddy, Jim W., Rocky, Pam, Jeff, Marc Strumpf, and many others {in no particular order}.
Some of these good works have had significant errors, some that became urban myths in Independent & SGI Reform circles. I want to stress that these errors were honest ones, based on the best information available at the time. I am talking with some of those who are still active on line. I have even had friendly private conversations with a few Hokkeko Members, but I best not mention names. We all have differences, but there is little or no acrimony with all of the above, unlike the mostly hostile reaction from the Party Line Nichiren Shoshu & Hokkeko folks. Most are interested in honestly sorting it out too. And we have to know that there are no 100% right answers. We can determine that some are wrong answers, and others are extremely unlikely.
I do not wish to pick on Taisejiki/NST/Hokkeko, but that is the main source of hostility I presently encounter.
I concur Robin that you have not set out to attack Taisekiji but simply to report the truth. In fact you even undermined a couple assertions I made about the disposition of Nichiren’s belongings that I made based on info that was not up to date. So you are not forwarding any particular sectarian agenda. It just so happens that it is Taisekiji that has the most to lose when people start objectively investigating these things.” — Ryuei
I have recently gleaned a lot by patiently listening to the Honmon Shoshu perspective. While we may not agree, they are very nice, helpful, patient, and civil folks with some well documented sourcing. More recently, I got more of the real story about the Nikko lineage from the Kitayama Web site and some other sources. I am still trying to figure out how to present it. To sort it out, one has to use inference to reconcile a lot of conflicting data. And we have little or nothing from Hota, Koizumi, Nishiyama, and Yoho-Ji — all important Nikko Lineage Temples.
In 100 years or so, we should have a clearer picture. But we shall never have it if there is no informed demand for better information that holds up to honest peer review.
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