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The Receipt of New Fiefs


This letter was written at Monut Minobu to Shijo Kingo in the tenth month of 1278. For some time, Lord Ema, whom Shijo Kingo served, had opposed his retainer's belief in the Lotus Sutra and harassed him in various ways, for example, by threatening to transfer him to a remote province unless he abandoned his faith. Kingo's fellow samurai also treated him with hostility, and for a time it appeared that he might be ousted by the clan and lose his livelihood altogether. Kingo endured several years of adversity until 1277 when his circumstances changed for the better, owing to the fact that, in his capacity as a physician, he had been able to cure Lord Ema of a serious illness. Around the first month of 1278 he was permitted to accompany the lord on official errands. In the tenth month, he was given three new fiefs.

However, from the content of this Gosho, in appears that he was not altogether pleased with the enfiefment. The estates he received are thought to have been located on Sado Island or, in any event, in a remote area, which may have given him cause for discontent. In this letter, the Daishonin admonishes him against any feeling of complaint and urges him rather to appreciate the fact that circumstances are now starting to turn in his favor.

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