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Easy Delivery of a Fortune Child


This letter is dated May 7,1271, and was addressed to Nichigen-nyo, the wife of Shijo Kingo, in Kamakura. It is the earliest of the many extant writings that Nichiren Daishonin sent to the Shijo family. The Daishonin was living at Matsubagayatsu, Kamakura, at the time of its writing.

Quite naturally, Nichigen-nyo had grown uneasy and nervous as the birth of her first child drew near. She asked the Daishonin to bestow on her a mystic agent, called gohifu, so that she could have an easy delivery. He sent it to her immediately via Byakuren Ajari Nissho, his first convert among the priesthood, along with this letter of encouragement. In it, the Daishonin enjoins Nichigen-nyo to take the gohifu he had specially prepared for her with firm faith in the Lotus Sutra. At the same time, he assures her of an easy delivery, saying that the coming child will inherit the seed of the propagation of the Lotus Sutra. He closes by expressing his great joy at the approaching birth of Nichigen-nyo's baby.

On May 8, 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 was already forty when this first daughter was born (the second, Kyo'o, was born a year later), and for that reason, the child must have been especially precious to the couple. Shijo Kingo relayed the news of the safe delivery to the Daishonin, who immediately sent a congratulatory letter, "The Birth of Tsukimaro" (The Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 3, p. 39).

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