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Winter Always Turns to Spring


One year after Nichiren Daishonin returned from Sado Island and retired to Mount Minobu, he wrote to Myoichi-ama, a woman believer related to Nissho, one of the six elder priest-disciples of the Daishonin. He sent her several letters, and from them we can tell that she was an earnest believer and fairly well educated, and that, moreover, she had a weak physical constitution. This particular letter is dated May 1275.

Having lost her husband, she found it very difficult to raise her two children alone. Nichiren Daishonin worried about Myoichi-ama and encouraged her not to grieve over her husband's death. In an often-cited passage, he tells her that the believers of the Lotus Sutra are as if in winter which never fails to turn into spring. That is to say, through faith in the Gohonzon, all sufferings can inevitably be transformed into happiness, and its believers are certain to enjoy a springtime in their lives.

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