Updated 06-05-2006

Statues, Drawings, & Paintings of Nichiren


Recently at irgosho, KK presented us with the first full translation of Hara Dono Gohenji. You can find it: The translation of The Reply to Hara dono. There are two lines that caught my eye.; that I had not seen before. It appears other translators glossed them over.
First, keep in mind that this is a letter written by Nikko to “Hara” and dated 12-16-1288. It is thought this was soon after Nikko departed Minobu. As an aside, this seems to indicate that Nikko was maybe still there when Nissho, Nichiro, & Nichiji arrived for the 7 year anniversary of Nichiren’s passing.
In the letter, Nikko was explaining to Hara his reasons for leaving. Most likely Hara was a son of Hakiri. Here Nikko is relating a conversation he had with Nichien Nyudo [Lay Priest Nichien] aka Hakiri {Hakii} Rokuro Sanenaga aka Nambu Sanenaga. Nikko indicates he had told Hakiri:
“You should write a letter to promise sincerely to come back to the right teachings and should offer it to the Sage’s statue.”
This appears to indicate that a statue of Nichiren was enshrined at Minobu, prior to Nikko leaving. There are several stories about this. Some accounts have it being one of a set of three. According to some of these accounts, Nikko took it with him. Unfortunately, I can not find any reliable information about an old statue of Nichiren at Minobusan Kuon-ji. Here are some links:
Minobu-San Kuonji Temple
Minobusan Kuonji Official Home Page in Japanese
Links > E. Mt. Fuji Minobu Izu Area > Minobusan Kuonji
An Image Hall of Nichiren apparently was one of the first three buldings completed at Omosu {Kitayama} Honmonji in 1298. {Click Here } appears to list the treasures kept at Kitayama Honmonji, but it is in Japanese, and I can make out some of it, but do not have a good translation.
Honmon Shoshu at Yokohama has an interesting take on this. They have a life like statue of Nichiren, which they say Nikko had made by mixing Nichiren’s ashes with clay. They believe this was enshrined at Minobu, and Nikko took
it with him when he departed.
Posted by rbeck at December 31, 2005 09:59 PM