This letter was written on the eleventh day of the fifth month in 1279, when the Daishonin was fifty-eight years old. It was sent in response to a gift of bamboo shoots received from a follower named Nishiyama Nyudo, a lay priest who lived in the village of Nishiyama in Fuji District of Suruga Province. It appears that Nishiyama occasionally visited the Daishonin at Minobu, bringing gifts with him. A total of six extant Gosho are addressed to him, including this letter, "Three Tripitaka Masters Pray for Rain" and "The Mongol Envoys." It is generally thought that Nishiyama Nyudo was the same person as Buchi Tasaburo Taira no Yasukiyo, the steward of Nishiyama Village, but another explanation holds that he was in fact a relative of this man.
Though this letter is quite short, it contains some important teachings. First, the Daishonin extols the benefits to be gained by upholding just one verse of the Lotus Sutra, explaining that they are superior even to those that accrue to one who presents the Buddha with enough of the seven kinds of treasures to fill up an entire major world system. He then notes that he is propagating an unsurpassed Law that no one before him has spread. The Daishonin also hints at the inscription of the Dai-Gohonzon, which he would accomplish about five months later, when he mentions that the "Image of Shakyarnuni Buddha of the Juryo chapter of the Lotus Sutra," heretofore yet to be revealed, will appear soon.
Designed by Will Kallander