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General Stone Tiger


This letter was written in October (intercalary) 1278 when the Daishonin was suffering from some illness. Shijo Kingo had evidently called on the Daishonin to treat him. The Daishonin vividly describes the difficulties of living at his isolated retreat and expresses his gratitude for various gifts of food, clothing and medicine.

In the fall of 1277, a virulent epidemic was sweeping through Japan and, just when things looked their worst for Kingo, Lord Ema contracted the disease and was near death. Lord Ema had earlier deprived Kingo of his estate; now in critical condition, he had no recourse but to ask Kingo for treatment. Lord Ema quickly recovered and the next year, he rewarded Kingo handsomely, returning the lands he had confiscated. He again displayed deep trust in Kingo by assigning him three new tracts of land.

However, Kingo's life was still in danger, because his fellow samurai were now intensely jealous of the favors he was receiving, and the Daishonin advises him to avoid the dangerous trip to Mount Minobu in the future. Kingo is warned to be careful while traveling and to keep faith strong so he can continue to enjoy the protection of the Buddhist gods.

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