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Propagation by the Wise


The time came when Shijo Kingo became the target of abuse from the other soldiers in Lord Ema's employ. The majority were followers of the Nembutsu sect and persuaded their lord, also of the same faith, to punish Kingo in some way or other. Ema decided to deprive Kingo of the estate that had been entrusted to him and transfer him to a rural province if he refused to renounce his faith.

Shijo Kingo was thus forced to choose between two alternatives: to accept transfer to Echigo or forsake his allegiance to Nichiren Daishonin. "Propagation by the Wise" was the Daishonin's answer to his request for guidance. It is dated September 6, 1276.

The letter opens with a clarification of two necessary elements for the propagation of Buddhism: a person of wisdom, and supporters to aid him. Examples from the time of Shakyamuni are cited, as are details of King Ajatashatru's ruinous opposition to Buddhism and the subsequent disasters that befell India. The Daishonin then draws on predictions from the sutras to show the parallel between the ancient persecutions and those of his own times. Then he says that any attack on Shijo Kingo is an implied attack on the Daishonin himself because of Kingo's staunch support of his teachings.

In the conclusion we find yet another prediction of a Mongol invasion and a note of caution to Shijo Kingo to be prudent. The Daishonin then suggests the wording for a letter to Lord Ema that will resolve Kingo's dilemma.

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