Rikkyo Kaishu or Risshu-e of 1253
Life and legends of Nichiren

Rencho [Nichiren] had remained in the western Kansai region from 1242 until early 1253.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting During that time he had studied at Heiezan Enryaku-ji and Miidera Onjoji; which were the Head Temples of the two main branches of Tendai Shu. He also toured major centers of learning and culture at Kyoto City, Nara, Mt. Koya, and Osaka.


While there, he strengthened his conviction that the Lotus Sutra; not the Pure Land Sutras, nor ‘Mind to Mind Transmissions’, nor the esotericism of the Dainichi Sutras, nor the Discipline of the Agamas; was the correct teaching for the Latter Days. It also appears that he had politically aligned himself with what would become known as the Mountain Gate Faction of the Tendai Shu; centered at Heiezan Enryaku-ji
In addition, he was evidently convinced that mantra chanting {shodai} was the best way of practice for the common people of his time. In that sense, he agreed with the Pure Land followers of Honen. However, he had concluded that the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra, rather than the popular Nembutsu of the Pure Land Sutras, was the superior practice.
The question was, how and where to propagate the teaching? It appears he decided that Kamakura City, and his home Province of Awa, were the places to start. Under the Kamakura Shogunate, controlled by the Hojo Regency, Kamakura, rather than Kyoto or Nara, was the center of political power. As to method, it seems he to have settled on Shakubuku:
A method of expounding Buddhism, the aim of which is to suppress others’ illusions and to subdue their attachment to error or evil. This refers to the Buddhist method of leading people, particularly its opponents, to the correct Buddhist teaching by refuting their erroneous views and eliminating their attachment to opinions they have formed. The practice of shakubuku thus means to correct another’s false views and awaken that person to the truth of Buddhism.” — From source: The Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism
In early 1253, Rencho returned home. According to one account, he stopped in Kamakura, at the Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine-Temple, and made a vow to propagate the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra. Meanwhile, the political climate in Kamakura had changed:
In 1246 Hojo Tokiyori (1227-1263) (r. 1246-1256) became the fifth {5th} Kamakura Regent, replacing his brother, the late Hojo Tsunetoki (1224-1246) (r. 1242-1246). Most likely, it was around this time that Tojo Kagenobu tried, but failed, to take over Seichoji Temple from the Nun Oama, who was the widow of Hojo Tomotoki {1193-1245}.
In 1247, Hojo invited Dogen to head up what would become Kencho-ji Rinzai. Dogen said, “no thanks.” The same year, Tokiyori appointed Hojo Shigetoki (1198-1261), (r. 1247–1256) as assistant to the Regent. Then, in late 1247, Rankei Doryu moved to Jufukuji Temple in Kamakura, at the invitation of the Zen monk Daiketsu Ryoshin.
1251 Jokomyoji, a Sen’nyuji-Ritsu Temple, was founded under the sponsorship of Nagatoki Hojo (1230-1264). The Founding priest was a Reverend Shina. At the time, Nagatoki was stationed in Kyoto. He returned to Kamakura in 1252. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
In 1252, Prince Munetaka (1242-1274) (r. 1252-1266), age ten {10}, first son of the former Emperor Go-Saga (1220 – 1272) (r. 1242-1246) became fifth {5th} the Kamakura Shogun, replacing the deposed Kujo Yoritsugu {1239 –1256, r. 1244–1252). Munetaka was not interested in affairs of state; he devoted his time to Waka poetry.
Hojo Sanetoki 1224-1276), nephew of the third Regent, Hojo Yasutoki (1183-1242) (r. 1224-1242), became Hikitsukeshu in 1252 and Hyojoshu in 1253. See Hikitsuke While attending to government affairs, was also dedicated to arts and academic studies, under Kiyohara no Noritaka, who came to Kamakura as part of Prince Munetaka’s retinue.
The Great Buddha Hall {Daibutsuden} of Kamakura was completed in 1252.
In 1253 Tokiyori Hojo established Kenchoji Rinzai Zen, with Reverend Doryu Rankei (1213-1278), a Chinese Sung Dynasty Zen master from Zhejiang Province, as the Chief Cleric.
Posted by rbeck at October 23, 2006 03:53 AM