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The Birth of Tsukimaro

I received the message that your baby was born. Congratulations! It is especially significant that today is the eighth day of the month. Not only have you had your baby, but on such an auspicious day! The fulfillment of your wish is now complete, just like the tide at the high water mark or the blossoming of flowers in a spring meadow. Thus, I have wasted no time in giving her a name. Please call her Tsukimaro.

The Great Bodhisattva Hachiman, the sovereign deity of this country, was born on the eighth day of the fourth month. Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of this saha world, was also born on the eighth day of the fourth month. Your baby girl was born on the eighth day, though in a different month. She could well be the reincarnation of Shakyamuni or Hachiman. Ordinary man that I am, I, Nichiren, have no way to tell for certain, but I am convinced that this auspicious birth is attributable to the mystic agent1 I gave you. How happy you both must be! In celebration, you have kindly sent me rice cakes, sake and one string of coins.2 I also reported this to the Gohonzon and the Ten Goddesses.

When the Buddha was born, there were thirty-two auspicious phenomena,3 as is recorded in a book called Shusho no Iki.4 Shakyamuni Buddha took seven steps immediately following his birth, opened his mouth and uttered the words, expressed in sixteen Chinese characters: "Throughout heaven and earth, I alone am worthy of respect. The threefold world is a place of suffering from which I shall save all people." Tsukimaro must have chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with her very first cry at birth. The Lotus Sutra speaks of "the true entity of all phenomena."5 T’ien-t’ai says, "Voices do the Buddha’s work."6 The deaf cannot hear the thunder, and the blind cannot see the light of the sun and moon. But I, Nichiren, am quite certain that the Ten Goddesses must be together side by side, giving the baby her first bath and watching over her growth.

Let me heartily congratulate you. I can imagine your joy. I have respectfully reported this to the Ten Goddesses and to the Sun Goddess. I am too excited to write any more. I shall be writing you again.



  1. Mystic agent: Gohifu, a specially prescribed agent of protection in Buddhism. In the Gosho "Easy Delivery of a Fortune Child," dated May 7,1271, Nichiren Daishonin refers to it as "this medicine."
  2. One string of coins: One thousand coins bound together by a string. At this time, coins had a square hole in the center and were usually strung together in hundreds or thousands to form larger monetary units. The string, or kan of coins formed the basic exchange rate for rice.
  3. Thirty-two auspicious phenomena: Good omens, mentioned in the Zuio Honqi Sutra, which occurred when Shakyamuni Buddha made his appearance in this world.
  4. Shwho no Iki: "Record of Wonders in the Book of Chou." The original has been lost and details are unknown. It is usually attributed to the end h Six Dynasties period (222-589). The book, according to other works which quote it, seems to have placed Shakyamuni Buddha's birth in the twenty-fourth year of the reign of King Chao (1028 B.C.) of the Chou dynasty. There have been and still are controversies regarding the dates of Shakyamuni's birth and death, but adopted the account given Nichiren Daishonin's contemporaries generally in this book.
  5. Lotus Sutra, chap. 2. This means that phenomena and the ultimate reality are mutually inclusive; all phenomena are manifestations of the Mystic Law.
  6. Hokke Gengi, vol. I.

Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 3, page 39.

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