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New Year's Gosho


The "New Year's Gosho" was written to the wife of Lord Omosu on January 5 in acknowledgment of offerings which Nichiren Daishonin had received from her at the beginning of the year. Precisely what year remains a mystery.

Lord Omosu was known by this name because he ruled an area called Omosu, situated near Taiseki-ji, the present head temple of Nichiren Shoshu. His full name was Ishikawa Shimbei Sanetada. His wife was the elder sister of Nanjo Tokimitsu. Converted to true Buddhism by Nikko Shonin, she remained a devout believer throughout her life.

In this letter, Nichiren Daishonin praises her genuine expression of faith, stating that her sincerity in making offerings will definitely bring her good fortune and cause her to be loved by others. He also explains the Ten Worlds to her in a simple poetic way, revealing that both Buddhahood and hell exist within the life of each individual. A person with a heart full of hatred experiences the condition of Hell, while a person with faith in the Lotus Sutra experiences the condition of Buddhahood. Bad fortune comes from slander of the Lotus Sutra, and good fortune, from belief in it. Ultimately the responsibility for one's destiny rests totally with the individual himself.

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