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The Birth of Tsukimaro


This Gosho was sent to Shijo Kingo, a leading follower of Nichiren Daishonin, and his wife, Nichigen-nyo, on May 8, 1271, when their first child was born. On the preceding day Nichigen-nyo, had received from Nichiren Daishonin a mystic agent (gohifu) to ensure safe delivery, along with a short letter of encouragement. That letter is usually referred to as "Easy Delivery of a Fortune Child."

Quite naturally, Nichigen-nyo had grown uneasy and nervous as the birth drew near. She asked Nichiren Daishonin to bestow on her a mystic agent, called gohifu in Buddhism, so that her labor would be easy. In this letter Nichiren Daishonin enjoined her to take the gohifu he had specially prepared for her with firm faith in the Lotus Sutra. At the same time, he assured her of an easy delivery, saying that sincere believers in the sutra are always protected by the Buddhist gods. Nichiren Daishonin closed the letter by expressing his great joy at the approaching birth of Nichigen-nyo's baby.

The day after receiving the letter, Nichigen-nyo gave birth to a baby girl. The couple had wanted a child for a long time but had been unable to have one. Shijo Kingo relayed the news to the Daishonin, who immediately sent this congratulatory letter. Along with the news of the birth, Nichigen-nyo asked the Daishonin to give the baby a name, and the Daishonin happily named her Tsukimaro, or "full moon girl." He was as pleased as if she were his own child, since he had prayed for Nichigen-nyo. The couple's second daughter, Kyo-o, was born in the autumn of 1272.

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