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The Eight Winds


In 1276, Shijo Kingo's lord had ordered him to move from his estate near Kamakura to the distant province of Echigo. Kingo, however, remained in Kamakura, as this Gosho, written in 1277, notes.

The Daishonin saw straight to the heart of the matter and gave Kingo the guidance he needed to change his attitude and reinstate himself in Lord Ema's good graces. First of all, he tells Kingo that Lord Ema actually deserves his gratitude, not his rancor. He points out that Lord Ema protected Kingo at a time when the whole nation was persecuting the Daishonin and his disciples. Then he tells Kingo not to let himself be influenced by life's vicissitudes. Only by putting his faith first and repressing his feelings of resentment against his lord can he expect to resolve his impasse. The Daishonin tells him that courts of law and similar expedients are secondary to faith and that, if he is to win, he must practice exactly as the Daishonin teaches.

The believers in the Shingon sect currently enjoyed government recognition and were widely respected in society. The Daishonin gives Kingo a few historical examples of that doctrine's negative influence to show him that the righteousness of the Lotus Sutra will surely be proven in the long run. He points out that the Kamakura government is repeating its mistake despite an impending Mongol invasion. Finally, Shijo Kingo is told to maintain a confident state of mind, neither hating nor kowtowing to his lord, and to be prudent until the situation turns in his favor.

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