The DaiGohonzon is Fake

The DaiGohonzon is Fake

Postby illarraza » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:17 pm

The arguments put forth by Nittatsu and Toda for the authenticity of the DaiGohonzon are very weak. Although hardly a learned man, I would like to take the opportunity to scrutinize their refutation of Bentetsu Yasui’s book, The Wooden Gohonzon is a Fabrication.

Nittatsu/Toda:

Allegation 1: Mandalas written on boards of this type are typical of the Hokke fraternities and Hokke Halls of the Muromachi Period (post 1333).

Rebuttal: In _What Fuji School Believers Should Know_ (Fuji isseki monto zonchi no koto), Nikko Shonin writes: “I hear from various people that some disciples of Nichiren Shonin slight his Gohonzons by carving some of them into wooden ones and confer them upon those with no faith. They are Niko, Nitcho, Nisshun and other’s.”

Bentetsu Yasui, the author of The Wooden Gohonzon Is a Fabrication (Ita Honzon Gisaku Ron), who claims the Dai-Gohonzon is counterfeit, uses the above statement of Nikko’s to point out that the second high priest was strict about creating a wooden Gohonzon.

However, in the above quotation, we find that Nikko Shonin was strict about conferring the Gohonzon upon non-believers and also that the Daishonin’s immediate disciples such as Niko, Nitcho, Nisshun and others employed the method of engraving the Daishonin’s original Gohonzons onto wood. This fact indicates that wooden Gohonzons were common during the time of Nikko Shonin long before the Muromachi period, which invalidates the point that the wooden Gohonzon couldn’t have existed before the Muromachi period.

Kempon Hokke:

The view put forth by Bentetsu is an “and/or” proposition: Both converting Gohonzon to wooden objects and/or bestowing Gohonzon to believers who lack sufficient faith, are to be frowned upon. There is absolutely no support that this statement of Nikko confirms that converting scroll Gohonzons to wooden ones was a common practice during this time period.

Where are the many other wooden Gohonzons from this time period? Nittatsu has utilized the word “fact” above where no fact exists. Taisekaji is famous for stating “fact” when no fact exists. It is more likely that Niko, Nitchu, and Nisshun began this erroneous practice. Good thing for Nichiren Shoshu that you can not accurately scrutinize the writing on a wooden Gohonzon or everyone would know that no wooden Gohonzon was inscribed by Nikko.

Nittatsu/Toda:

Allegation 2: Nikko never mentions this so-called Supreme Mandala.

Rebuttal: In his _Transfer Document to Nichimoku_ (Nikko ato jojo no koto), the original of which exists at Taiseki-ji, Nikko Shonin states: “I transfer to Nichimoku the great Gohonzon of the second year of Koan that was entrusted upon myself, Nikko. It should be enshrined at the Honmon-ji temple. “The great Gohonzon of the second year of Koan that was entrusted upon myself, Nikko” obviously signifies the “Wooden Gohonzon Inscribed on October 12, 1279, for All Humanity (Dai-Gohonzon)”. The “Honmon-ji temple” in this quote means a building where this particular Gohonzon should be enshrined at the time of kosen-rufu.

Kempon Hokke::

This document, contrary to Taisekaji’s assertation of its originality is not in Nikko’s hand. If there existed something in Nikko’s hand that mentions the DaiGohonzon the Nichiren Shoshu would have made it widely available. The FACT IS, they have rarely let anything purportedly written by Nikko, Nichimoku, Nichido or others (up to Nichiu) that supposedly supports the existence of the DaiGohonzon, to be seen by anyone and those rare times they have, the writings were proven to be copies or forgeries.

Since it is a Taisekaji document and not in Nikko’s hand, it can in no way be cited as an independent source of verification. None of the other Nikko schools believe it is authentic, not one. Nikko has written hundreds of documents, preserved and in his hand. Where are any other citations, to this, “the prime point of the Daishonin’s advent”. Certainly, no DaiGohonzon is mentioned in the Daishonin’s writings nor is it mentioned by Niko, Nitcho, Nishun, Nissho’s or by anybody else.

Nikko never mentions this so-called “dai gohonzon” in any of his authenticated writings. The first mention of the details about the so-called “dai gohonzon” was recorded in the “Kechu Sho” which dates from 1662. Even there, the reference has been tampered with. There are no reliable historical documents that mention the so-called “dai gohonzon”. Nichiren never mentions it, Nikko never mentions it. The first word of it is in 1488, when Nichi-u announces it to the world. This “ita mandara” was attacked by Nichijo, head priest of Kitayama Hommonji, a contemporary of Nichi-u. Nichijo reports that Nichi-u had become a leper, a severe retribution for “having gone against the fundamental intention of the founder of the temple, and the carving the ita mandara, which had never been seen or heard of; he also produced forged books adorned with his own doctrines” (from the “Taisekiji Kyowaku Kempon Sho” or “The Insane Revelation of the Original Buddha at Taisekiji”, written by Nichijo.) Note that Nikko spent the last 36 years of his life at this Kitayamam Hommonji and his grave (which faces Minobusan, not Taisekiji) is there. This Hommonji was probably the best candidate for the “Hommonji” that is mentioned in the forged “transfer document” cited above by Nittatsu.

The name, “Taisekiji” cannot be mistaken for “Hommonji”. Nikko left four authentic mandalas by Nichiren at Kitayama Hommonji. He added, in his own handwriting, the following inscriptions , “Hanging it up in the Hommonji, one should make it the esteemed jewel of the Latter Age”. Each of these four mandalas has such an inscription from Nikko. These mandalas ended up at several other Nikko temples, but the reference to “Hommonji” at Kitayama is irrefutable. Of the eight Nikko temples, four received authentic Nichiren Gohonzons. Taisekiji did not receive such a prize from Nikko at all. Nikko never mentions a supreme board mandala. If he left this supreme treasure at Taisekiji, then he NEVER again returned to Taisekiji to see it, nor did he orient his grave toward it. His instructions regarding his grave, in his own handwriting, is that it face Minobusan. This would be an unthinkable breech of etiquette if a “Supreme- gohonzon” was left at Taisekiji. Nikko left Taisekiji after only 18 months there, and he spent the rest of life at Kitayama Hommonji, never returning to Taisekiji again.”

Nittatsu/Toda:

Allegation 3: The so-called “Ita Mandara” is allegedly inscribed by Nippo. But he never worked on Minobusan (Mt. Minobu). He only carved a posthumous statue of Nichiren. It is inscribed in camphor wood, which would not have been readily available in the climate of Minobusan.

Rebuttal: A detailed record of how Nichiren Daishonin lived on Mt. Minobu does not exist. We can only know about it through whatever is mentioned in the Gosho and Nikko Shonin’s writings. It is commonly acknowledged that Nippo carved a posthumous statue of Nichiren Daishonin. Nikko Shonin chose to leave Mt. Minobu due to his confrontation with Lord Hakiri, which was caused by the lord’s four major slanderous acts. The most significant issue must have been which object of worship should be enshrined at the main hall in the temple on Minobu. Lord Hakiri, while attached to the statue of Shakyamuni, did not regard the Wooden Gohonzon as the true object of worship. He attempted to build a new statute of Shakyamuni and enshrine it as the key object of worship in the main hall. From this we can infer that the Wooden Gohonzon had been enshrined there and also that Lord Hakiri wanted to replace it with a statue of Shakyamuni. After Nikko Shonin sadly left Mt. Minobu with his disciple, Hyakkan-bo, carrying the Wooden Gohonzon on his back, Shakyamuni’s statue was enshrined in the main hall at the Minobu temple. Former High Priest Nittatsu states in his lecture on “Letter to Jakunichi,” which he presented at Hokei-ji temple on September 16, 1972:

“Some say that the camphor wood did not grow in Minobu alleging that the weather in Minobu is too cold for this wood to correct. They claim that the camphor corrects only in warm areas such as Fuji or Suruga. It is not true, however. There is a temple of the Minobu sect named Ho’on-ji and situated on the road that is close to Mt. Minobu. And even today, a huge camphor tree, which is about 1200 or 1300 years old, is correcting in its correct. From this we can safely infer that there could have been a similar 600- or 700-year-old camphor tree on Mt. Minobu during the time of Nichiren Daishonin.” (Complete Works of Nittatsu Shonin, Volume 3, No. 2, p. 475)

A Nichiren Shoshu member added (PLEASE READ CAREFULLY):

In the Jogyo Shoden-sho, written by Nichiren in 1282, Nichiren describes the three statues, and the one plank mandala called the Kaidan-in Honzon (Honmon Kaidan DaiGohonzon) that Nippo engraved from a log he found in a river. This Gohonzon was based on the Kaidan-in Honzon that Nichiren inscribed. The Kaidan-in Honzon is referred to in NichirenShoshu as the DaiGohonzon.

The Biography of Nippo states:

“It says in the Jogyo Shoden-sho (written in 1282) ‘Nippo wanted to carve a statue of Nichiren. He prayed to Shichimen Daimyojin. Was it a response (kannou) to his prayers? He found a log floating in the river. He used it to engrave the Kaidan-in Honzon. Next, he made statues of Nichiren. Altogether, three statues. One of the statues is just 3 su-n (9 centimeters) tall.’ The Daishou (Buddha, ie., Nichiren) inscribed the Kaidan-in Honzon (DaiGohonzon) and Nippo engraved it. This is the present plank Honzon. That is, it is the Gohonzon that was in the Grand Hall at Minobu. Because of Nippo’s long and masterful expertise as an artisan, he made one statue of the Daishou 3 su-n (9 cm.) tall….The plank Honzon and statues are now at Fuji…. When Nikko left Minobu, Nippo left with him.” Nippo Den/Biography of Nippo, Fuji Seiten, pgs. 731-732

Kempon Hokke:

Why would the DaiGohonzon be at Fuji while Nichiren were still alive? This would change all the history SGI and Nichiren Shoshu have been spouting since we were members and probably for centuries [that Nikko took the DaiGohonzon with him after the Daishonin had died].

Which is it? This Gosho is a forgery? Their history was a lie or they rewrote history, or both?

Rev. Yasahara, a Nichiren priest in Japan added:

Question: John Ayres, a Taisekiji Believer quotes from the “Jogyo Shoden-sho” using it as a tool to support their case that the DaiGohzonon is authentic. We in America have no access to such a document.

Answer by Rev. Yasuhara: John Ayres mentions the “Jogyo Shoden-sho’. I think it is also called Matsunodono Gosho”. This Gosho is also a down-right forgery. Indeed this Gosho is included in the Fuji Seiten but they themselves state in the Fuji Seiten that this Gosho should not be trusted because it is a forgery for it differs from the historical fact.

One reason they themselves have had to admit that it is a forgery is because it says ‘Nippo wanted to carve a statue of Nichiren. He Prayed to Shichimen Daimyojiu. Was it a response to his prayers? He found a log floating in the river…. If they insist that it is true, they must admit that he was allowed to pray to Shichimen Daimyojin (a goddess dragon with seven faces) which is not only a a heresy but actually, the faith in Shichimen Daimyojin arose among the people during the ages considerably after the extinction of Nichiren Daishonin.

And another reason is that this Gosho praises Nippo excessively:

“To have faith in only Nippo means to have faith in Nichiren”.

If they admit this, they have to rank Nippo above Nikko, that is inconvenient for them. The course of events was that they forged this Gosho in order to demonstrate that Ita-Mandara was not forged by Nichi-u but was carved by Nippo, in opposition to the attack (Taisekiji-Ouwaka-Kempon-Show, etc.) by Nichi-jo. head priest of Kitayama Hommonji. However, they were so attached to making a lie about Nippo at that time that they unknowingly forged a Gosho which embarrassed themselves later.

Nittatsu/Toda:

Allegation 4: Even Hori Nichiko, the most learned Taisekiji priest of this century with access to all the resources of Taisekiji, could not come up with any historical source for “Yashiro Kunishige,” the recipient of the Ita Mandara. He writes in his Selected Works of the Fuji School (Fuji shugaku yoshu): “I do not know the basis for the matter of Yashiro Kunishige.”

Rebuttal: In his “Refuting ‘The Wooden Gohonzon Is a Fabrication,’” the former high priest, Nittatsu, states: “As long as it is a historical fact that Nichiren Daishonin inscribed this Gohonzon in October 1279, in conjunction with the Atsuhara Incident, there is no doubt that the Daishonin has Atsuhara martyrs in mind as the recipients of this Gohonzon. If we seek to find the name of Yashiro among the Atsuhara farmers in historical records, we can come across several Yashiros among the believers of the Daishonin’s time. And Jinshiro and his younger brother Yagoro played a major role in the Atsuhara Incident. In this regard, we can assert that Jinshiro was exactly the very person Nichiren Daishonin meant by Yashiro.” (p. 19) According to Nittatsu, the character jin can be construed to have been used as an honorific expression on behalf of the character ya.

Kempon Hokke:

Nittatsu begins by postulating as fact that which has been proven to be false. Then, he states, “the character jin could have been construed to have been used as an honorific expression on behalf of the character ya.” Construed by whom?

The most learned Taisekaji High Priest of the 20th Century stated: “I do not know the basis for the matter of Yashiro Kunishage.” Obviously Hori Nichiko didn’t construe that. Why should he have? Never before and never after had Nichiren used the honorific title “jin.” On the other hand, he used other honorific titles with regularity.

Toda:

“Some slanderous people say: ‘The recipient of the Dai-Gohonzon is Yashiro Kunishige. But such a person did not exist among the Hokke fraternities.’ Some regard him as one of the three Atsuhara martyrs, while others assert that he is a son of Lord Nanjo. However, many agree that it is a fictitious name, which makes sense to me.

“The question is why Nichiren Daishonin chose Yashiro Kunishige as the recipient of the Dai-Gohonzon. You cannot uderstand this question unless you are deeply versed in Buddhism. It does not make sense to those who have not mastered Buddhist views. However, once you fully understand the essence of Buddhism, this riddle becomes an easy question.

“Some wonder: ‘Since the Daishonin entrusted the Dai-Gohonzon upon Nikko Shonin, why didn’t he choose Nikko Shonin as its recipient?’ It is because if Nichiren Daishonin had chosen Nikko Shonin, the Dai-Gohonzon could not be said to have been inscribed for all humanity. The ‘Gohonzon for All Humanity’ is something that should be conferred upon the person who propagates Nam-myoho-renge-kyo throughout the world and builds a high sanctuary in the future by spreading it first in Japan….

Kempon Hokke:

This makes absolutely no sense. Think about it, the Gohonzon for the Transmission of the Law in 1281 was conferred to Nissho but the Gohonzon For All Humanity was not conferred to Nikko? The statement, “The Gohonzon for All Humanity “, referring to the DaiGohonzon, is a ridiculous statement that demonstrates either Toda’s ignorance or deisengenuousness since 93 of the extant 128 Gohonzons have similar inscriptions.

Then, going on to say it was conferred on Kunishige, “the person who propagates Namu Myoho renge kyo throughout the world” is just more of the same wild conjecture as postulated by Nittatsu only Toda didn’t even have the honesty to say “could have been construed”. Furthermore, the histories of Nichiren’s great lay disciples have been handed down to posterity in the Gosho. Not Yashiro’s, however. The person who “propagates Namu Myoho renge kyo to the world.” and not a mention of his great deeds. That is impossible for so considerate a Master as Nichiren.

Nittatsu/Toda

Toda:

“In the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni talks to Shariputra who is already deceased. He could do so because he was talking to Shariputra within his own life….

Kempon Hokke:

Shariputra was known to have existed during the last years of the Buddha’s lifetime. According to the Pali Canon, he died a few months before the Buddha. The analogy is baseless.

Toda:

“In a like manner, Yashiro Kunishige represents all those who propagate the Lotus Sutra. In other words, he is Yashiro Kunishige within the life of Nichiren Daishonin. Yashiro Kunishige does not have to denote a historical figure. There is no problem at all even if he did not exist historically.

Kempon Hokke:

More conjecture, Why is Toda trying so hard to sell this point to his disciples when Hori Nichiko merely stated: “I do not know the basis for the matter of Yashiro Kunishige.” Why didn’t Hori conjecture or make up stories? Why did Toda feel the need to do so? One reason is that Toda never had the humility to say, I don’t know about anything. The other reason is that Bentetsu’s book had not yet been published.

Toda:

“It is a scientific approach to examine the matter historically and conclude that things should be this way or that. From a Buddhist perspective, however, since Nichiren Daishonin dedicated the Dai-Gohonzon to Yashiro Kunishige within his own life, Yashiro signifies an ideal individual, an ideal votary of the Lotus Sutra.

Kempon Hokke:

Nichiren said it was Shakyamuni who entered his head, not Yashiro Kunishage. By Toda’s insipid reasoning, Nichiren should have dedicated the DaiGohonzon to Shakyamuni. More conjecture, more construing.

Toda:

In this regard, whether he actually existed in the past or not does not matter (Complete Works of Josei Toda, Volume 2, pp. 15-19).

Kempon Hokke:

For something that does not matter, Toda sure has done a lot of conjecturing and construing. A simple, “I do not know the basis for the matter of Yashiro Kunishige.”, would have sufficed.

The Nichiren Shoshu’s and SGI’s lies beget lies and invariably they are revealed as we have done above with rebuttals to rebuttals of allegations # 1, # 2, #3 and # 4 Why do you have lies and forgeries in your corpus [canon]?. It is easy to disprove every rebuttal to every allegation (except the fifth and the last one). However, since it will be proven that at least 9 of 10 of the rebuttals of allegations are false, it would be honorable to abandon the Nichiren Shoshu and the SGI which are the two most distorted renditions off the Daishonin’s teachings.

Toda/Nittatsu:

Allegation 5: The handwriting of the “Ita Mandara” is from the third year of Koan (1280), not the second year of Koan, which is the formal date on this mandara (1279). It is quite probable that the forgery was taken from a genuine mandara now at Myokaiji in Numazu near Fuji (Yamanaka, V.1, p. 302, No. 36). The size of the daimoku is consistent with the twelve gohonzons that were made by Nichiren in 1280. The twelve that he made in 1279 are only 5/8th the size of the ones of 1280. Also, the “secret” marks denote April of 1280. Nichiren’s gohonzons are all dated in this “secret code” of Nichiren’s, perhaps because Nichiren wanted to guard against forgery.

Rebuttal: Since the Dai-Gohonzon is the ultimate Gohonzon that the Daishonin inscribed for all humanity, it can be naturally different in the choice of the size of the characters of daimoku from other Gohonzons inscribed in 1279 for individual believers.

Actually, Myokaiji’s mandara is a copy of the Gohonzon Nichiren Daishonin inscribed to his disciple Nikke. Everything written on these two Gohonzons is exactly the same. The only difference between them lies in the signature (kao) of the Daishonin. Myokaiji’s mandara shows inconsistency in the stroke of the brush.

The idea of the Daishonin having created the “secret code” in the inscription of the Gohonzon against forgery is indeed far-fetched. It is true that the appearance of the Gohonzon inscribed by Nichiren Daishonin went through a gradual evolution. Almost all of the Gohonzons Nichiren Daishonin inscribed were for individual believers who lived apart from one another. It is hard to justify that Nichiren Daishonin had to systematize such individual Gohonzons by creating the”secret code” against forgery.

Kempon Hokke:

Not knowing anything about secret marks indicating dates, I will defer on this point. But the rebuttal is weak just the same. The clincher is that “Myokaiji’s mandara shows inconsistency in the stroke of the brush when talking about the (kao) of the Daishonin.” He is either hedging that the Myokaiji Gohonzon is a forgery [and therefore using a forgery to bolster the argument that the DaiGohonzon is authentic] or he is saying that the only difference is the brushstrokes of the kao. That would mean, the same recipient, the same side inscriptions and everything but only the DaiGohonzon is the one and only Gohonzon for all mankind. Their inconsistencies are beyond belief. They are grasping at straws.

Nittatsu/Toda:

Allegation 6: It is unlikely that Nichiren would have allowed such an obscure individual as this mysterious Yashiro to be the sponsor of the Kaidan mandala. By analogy with the past, it would have been a ruler of the country. It certainly was not one of the Atsuhara martyrs, for common farmers did not have last names in those days.

Rebuttal: See the rebuttal of allegation # 4.

Kempon Hokke:

See , our rebuttal to their rebuttal of allegation #4.

Nittatsu/Toda:

Allegation 7: The testimony of Nikko not only fails to give any backing to this so-called “Ita Mandara,” but on several genuine mandalas Nikko writes his supreme accolade. These are not the original temples of these mandalas, so no one is claiming that possession of the mandaras gives them any status, but it proves that there was more than one Hommonji, according to Nikko, and no single mandala was designated as the only mandala.

Rebuttal: In his “Transfer Document to Nichimoku (Nikko ato jojo no koto),” whose original exists at Taiseki-ji, Nikko Shonin states: “I transfer to Nichimoku the great Gohonzon of the second year of Koan that was entrusted upon myself, Nikko. It should be enshrined at the Honmon-ji temple.”

Nikko Shonin uses the expression “It should be enshrined at the Honmon-ji temple” to show to the original Gohonzon of Nichiren Daishonin the same respect he extended to the Dai-Gohonzon. Still, this does not negate the uniqueness of the Wooden Gohonzon of October 12, 1279, which was inscribed for a specific purpose, that is, the happiness of all humanity.

Kempon Hokke:

Just as my rebuttal to allegation # 2, this document, contrary to Taisekaji’s assertation of its originality, is not in Nikko’s hand. “If there existed something in Nikko’s hand that mentions the DaiGohonzon the Nichiren Shoshu would have made it widely available. The FACT IS, they have rarely let anything purportedly written by Nikko, Nichimoku or Nichido or others(up to Nichiu), supporting the existence of the DaiGohonzon, to be seen by anyone and those rare times they have, the writings were proven to be copies or forgeries.

Since it is a Taisekaji document and not in Nikko’s hand, it can in no way be cited as an independent source of verification. None of the other Nikko schools believe it is authentic, not one. Nikko has written hundreds of documents, preserved and in his hand. Where are any other citations, to this, “the prime point of the Daishonin’s advent”. Certainly, no DaiGohonzon is mentioned in the Daishonin’s writings nor is it mentioned by Niko, Nitcho, Nishun, Nissho’s or by anybody else.

Nikko never mentions this so-called “dai gohonzon” in any of his authenticated writings. The first mention of the details about the so-called “dai gohonzon” was recorded in the “Kechu Sho” which dates from 1662. Even there, the reference has been tampered with. There are no reliable historical documents that mention the so-called “dai gohonzon”. Nichiren never mentions it, Nikko never mentions it. The first word of it is in 1488, when Nichi-u announces it to the world. This “ita mandara” was attacked by Nichijo, head priest of Kitayama Hommonji, a contemporary of Nichi-u. Nichijo reports that Nichi-u had become a leper, a severe retribution for “having gone against the fundamental intention of the founder of the temple, and the carving the ita mandara, which had never been seen or heard of; he also produced forged books adorned with his own doctrines” (from the “Taisekiji Kyowaku Kempon Sho” or “The Insane Revelation of the Original Buddha at Taisekiji”, written by Nichijo.) Note that Nikko spent the last 36 years of his life at this Kitayamam Hommonji and his grave (which faces Minobusan, not Taisekiji) is there. This Hommonji was probably the best candidate for the “Hommonji” that is mentioned in the forged “transfer document” cited above by Nittatsu.

The name, “Taisekiji” cannot be mistaken for “Hommonji”. Nikko left four authentic mandalas by Nichiren at Kitayama Hommonji. He added, in his own handwriting, the following inscriptions “Hanging it up in the Hommonji, one should make it the esteemed jewel of the Latter Age”. Each of these four mandalas has such an inscription from Nikko. These mandalas ended up at several other Nikko temples, but the reference to “Hommonji” at Kitayama is irrefutable. Of the eight Nikko temples, four received authentic Nichiren Gohonzons. Taisekiji did not receive such a prize from Nikko at all. Nikko never mentions a supreme board mandala. If he left this supreme treasure at Taisekiji, then he NEVER again returned to Taisekiji to see it, nor did he orient his grave toward it. His instructions regarding his grave, in his own handwriting, is that it face Minobusan. This would be an unthinkable breech of etiquette if a “Supreme- gohonzon” was left at Taisekiji. Nikko left Taisekiji after only 18 months there, and he spent the rest of life at Kitayama Hommonji, never returning to Taisekiji again.”

Adding to the Honmonji bait and switch argument of Nittatsu, it is nothing more than Taisekaji’s and SGI tactic, “you say potato and I say avocado” they are the same. We see how winning is losing. In this case, Honmonji means Taisekaji.

Nittatsu/Toda:

Allegation 8: The 9th high priest, Nichiu, carved the “Ita Mandara” which had never been seen or heard of. Nichi-jo, head priest of Kitayama Hommonji, a contemporary of Nichiu, reports that, for his sin, Nichiu became a leper for having gone against the fundamental intention of the founder of the temple (Nikko).

Rebuttal: It is a fact that Nichiu had somebody carve a wooden Gohonzon based upon an original Gohonzon of Nichiren Daishonin. On this copied wooden Gohonzon is Nichiu’s signature. It has been housed at the Treasure House of Taiseki-ji. But the Dai-Gohonzon and this copied wooden Gohonzon are two different things. Nichiu reportedly created the above wooden Gohonzon in fear of the possible loss of the Dai-Gohonzon through civil wars that often erupted in those days.

Nichiju’s contention that Nichiu died as a leper is based upon the rumor he reportedly heard from a farmer in his neighborhood. Nichiju is known as Nichiu’s arch enemy. Since the basis of his contention is mere hearsay, it cannot be legitimately used to justify his point.

Kempon Hokke:

The first announcement of the DaiGohonzon occured more than 200 years after Nichiren Daishonin’s passing by Nichiu. Initially, it was not denounced by Minobu or the Kempon Hokke but by Nikko’s other temple, Honmonji. There is not one reference to it before then.

For two hundred long years, not one person ever mentions the “Central Object of Worship for all mankind”. Nichiren Daishonin never writes so much as a word about it, much less teaches about all it’s complicated theoretical underpinnings. No one sees it. No one argues over it. No one discusses it, let alone mentions it for two hundred years until a very tiny family temple called Taisekiji, during the tenure of High Priest Nichiu, says they have such an object. The facts are, the DaiGohonzon, its manifestation and its concepts, has absolutely nothing to do with Nichiren Daishonin.

Taisekaji says it was originally housed in a temple called Kuonji as the principle Object of Worship but, at the same time, when pressed, “why was there nothing written about it?”, they say it was a “secret”. “Secret” is the hallmark of esoteric Buddhism, something the Daishonin fought against for the better part of his life.

Since NST lied and continues to lie about the DaiGohonzon, the central core of their beliefs, then how can anyone follow such a profoundly dishonest sect (sangha)? How can anyone believe their other tenets that go against the Lotus Sutra and the teachings of Nichiren: The transmission to one sole heir [or the Living Master of the Seat of the Law."]; Nichiren as True Buddha; Shakyamuni as husk Buddha; and the Lotus Sutra having lost its power in the Latter Age? Yet, this is exactly what the SGI adopted and continues to adopt: A Living Master of the Seat of the Law (the successive presidents of the SGI); Shakyamuni as husk Buddha; Nichiren as True Buddha; and the Lotus Sutra having lost it’s power in Mappo. They continue to cling to the principles of this dishonest sect, even going so far as adopting the Gohonzon of the worst transgressor, Nichikan Shonin.

As far as Nichiu’s white leprosy, not only did Nichiju teach that this was the reason Nichiu abandoned Taisekaji but there are other accounts from Honmonji that confirm that Nichiu contracted white leprosy. It’s not like this was a big secret like the DaiGohonzon.

Nittatsu/Toda

Allegation 9: The theme of “On Persecutions Befalling the Buddha” is encouragement of the faithful in the wake of the Atsuhara Persecution. Despite the reference to the attainment for the “fundamental intention for coming forth in this world,” it does not have any connection with the so-called “Ita Mandara” which is not mentioned in this letter at all. Taisekiji has used the close date of this letter to back its claims for the date of the Ita Mandala.

Rebuttal: What enabled the Daishonin to fulfill his fundamental purpose behind his advent in this world? At the expense of their lives, the Atsuhara farmers showed actual proof of their solid faith in the Daishonin’s teaching. The establishment of their unshakable faith meant the establishment of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism. In other words, by witnessing their true faith, the Daishonin was able to decide upon the inscription of the eternal object of worship for all humanity.

Nichiren Daishonin was paying close attention to the progress of the Atsuhara incident. While respecting the strong faith displayed by the farmers, he heard the news of their martyrdom. Sensing that the time had finally come for him to inscribe the Gohonzon for all humanity, he did so with those farmers’ lives in his heart.

Kempon Hokke:

Nichiren never mentions the DaiGohonzon period. All the ornate rhetoric and conjecture in the world doesn’t change this fact. These liars and base men won’t even give the Atsuhara Martyr’s their due. The actual proof of the people’s faith in the Daishonin’s teachings was, not begrudging their lives to see the Buddha, willing to give their lives for the sake of the Law. This was the reason for Nichiren Daishonin’s advent.

Allegation # 10 about the Camphor wood also has been argued by Robin, refuting Bentetsu’s allegation, however, it should be noted, the climate in Japan was ~ 5 degrees colder in the time of the Daishonin, making it unlikely that Camphor wood grew in the vicinity of Minobu and certainly not north of the area from which might come a floating log (the river ran north south). Even today, Camphor trees are hardly ubiquitous at that latitude and elevation, contrary to Robin’s assertions.

As far as the following assertion, we admit our error. However. it bolsters our claim that the DaiGohonzon isn’t unique.

Nittatsu/Toda:

Other Allegations 1: In none of the Daishonin’s original Gohonzon there are such descriptions as “One who makes offerings will gain good fortune surpassing the [Buddha's] ten honorable titles” and “One who slanders will have his head broken into seven pieces.”

Rebuttal: Six of the original Gohonzon of Nichiren Daishonin have
these inscriptions. They are:

1) Gohonzon inscribed in August 1278 (housed at Kaicho-ji, Kyoto).
2) Gohonzon inscribed in August 1278 (housed at Honno-ji, Kyoto).
3) Gohonzon inscribed on November 21, 1278 (housed at Kocho-ji,
Okamiya).
4) Gohonzon inscribed on February 2, 1279 (housed at Joko-in,
Nakayama).
5) Gohonzon inscribed on February 2, 1279 (housed at Juryo-ji, Kuwana)
6) Gohonzon inscribed in July 1279 (housed at Kocho-ji, Okamiya)

Kempon Hokke:

We admit our error here. The assertion about the side inscription by Bentatsu was faulty. However, this just goes to show that, if anything, the DaiGohonzon was NOT unique among Nichiren Gohonzons.

We have successfully refuted Nittatsu’s and Toda’s assertions that the DaiGohonzon is the unique and supreme mandala for all mankind.

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Re: The DaiGohonzon is Fake

Postby illarraza » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:03 pm

Kempon Hokke Response to Allegation # 3 should read:

Kempon Hokke:
Nittatsu writes, referring to Nikko's dispute with Niko and Lord Hakiri, "The most significant issue must have been which object of worship should be enshrined at the main hall in the temple on Minobu." This is a fact and has been acknowledged by both parties [Nikko and Niko]. However, neither mentions the so-called DaiGohonzon as one of the objects in question. "Must have been" is not good enough while deprecating all Gohonzons in favor of the inauthentic plank Gohonzon [Ita Mandara]. Nikko in his authenticated work, Hara Dono Go Henji, only mentions Lord Hakiri's "slander" of commissioning a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha as the object of worship and Niko's "slander" for allowing it to be enshrined [with a copy of the Lotus Sutra placed before it, a common practice of Nichiren himself]. He never mentions the so-called DaiGohonzon.

Please ignore my assertion about Nichiren Shoshu changing the timeline for the transfer of the so called DaiGohonzon.

Thanks for your understanding on this matter.
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Re: The DaiGohonzon is Fake

Postby noisemonkey » Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:30 am

For the sake of brevity I've summarised our other thread about this point by point:

As Kosen Rufu has not yet arrived Taisekiji is still called Taisekiji but when it does occur then the name will change to Honmonji.
the Nanjo Tokimitsu family temple is down the road from Taisekiji at Myorenji. Lord Ueno donated the land to Nikko Shonin to establish Taisekiji which was a huge area of land, much bigger than the current temple complex. Taisekiji gave additional land to the state after WWII. Myorenji also contains an original Nichiren Daishonin and an original Nikko Shonin Gohonzon.
If you go to Myorenji near Taisekiji there is a wooden Gohonzon inscribed by Nikko Shonin, also in the Kyakuden there is another inscribed by him also made of wood.
"all high priests are without exception Nichiren" as it says in the Hyaku Rokka Sho. Also the Ongi Kuden provides further detail as well as the Ikegami Transfer Document. This is just a brief reply as I wish to reply to each point of yours in turn later As it says in Lette to Niike "The sutra explains
that people in the Latter Day of the Law will be arrogant, though their
knowledge of Buddhism is trifling, and will show disrespect to the Priest,
neglect the Law and thereby fall into the evil paths. If one truly
understands Buddhism, he should show this in his respect for the Priest,
reverence for the Law and offerings to the Buddha. Shakyamuni Buddha is not
among us now, so you must respect the person with enlightened wisdom as you
would the Buddha himself. If you sincerely follow him, your blessings will
be bountiful. If one wishes for happiness in his next existence, he should
renounce his desire for fame and fortune and respect the priest who teaches
the Lotus Sutra as a living Buddha, no matter how humble that priest's
station. Thus it is written in the sutra."

"There will [in the future] appear persons who slander our school, saying that the Gosho are forged writings. You must not associate with such evil priests." 26 Admonitions of Nikko Shonin

"Followers of this school should engrave the teachings of the Gosho in their lives and thereby inherit the ultimate principles expounded by the Master."
(Nikko Yuikai Okimon, GZ-1618

"I, Nikko, transfer to Nichimoku the Dai-Gohonzon of the second year of Koan which was transferred to me. It should be enshrined at the Temple of the Essential Teaching (Honmonji)" Gosho p1883 Articles to be Observed After the Passing of Nikko
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Re: The DaiGohonzon is Fake

Postby noisemonkey » Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:37 am

Further lecture about the origin of Yashiro:

An Introduction to Ryusen-ji Temple

A Brief History of Ryusen-ji Temple
The Atsuhara-zan Ryusen-ji Temple that stands today was founded on
December 23, 1961 at the request of Nittatsu Shonin, the sixty-sixth
High Priest of Nichiren Shoshu.
In his request, Nittatsu Shonin explained: "In the years after the
events of the Atsuhara Persecution, all traces of Ryusen-ji Temple
disappeared, and its exact location was forgotten. Now that the
original site has been rediscovered, we at the Head Temple are in the
process of rebuilding Ryusen-ji. We hope that when the temple is
complete, members of Nichiren Shoshu will visit Ryusen-ji to pay their
respects at the site where the Atsuhara Persecution occurred."
Nittatsu Shonin said the following in his congratulatory address at
the Gohonzon installation ceremonies for Ryusen-ji. "During our
founder Nichiren Daishonin's lifetime, Nichiben, Nisshu and other
priests vigorously beat the poison drum of shakubuku during the Koan
Period on this ancient site of Ryusen-ji in Atsuhara under Nikko
Shonin's leadership...I have joyfully ascended the dais of the Law
here today for the installation of the Gohonzon, having attained my
long-cherished dream of rebuilding Ryusen-ji, both to repay the debt
of gratitude I owe to the Buddha, and to honor the three Atsuhara
martyrs." Ryusen-ji is the fulfillment of a burning desire to honor
the birthplace of Hokkeko and the three Atsuhara martyrs, and to
ensure that future generations of Hokkeko will continue to work toward
the Daishonin's great aspiration for kosen-rufu.
In 1974, The Atsuhara Persecution Commemorative Ceremony was held in
honor of the seven hundredth anniversary of the Atsuhara Persecution,
at which time, a stone monument was unveiled to commemorate the seven
hundred years since the persecution. The following poem by Nittatsu
Shonin was carved into the monument.
May the seed of the Law
Bear fruit in the fall
For generations to come.
Myokan
(Nittatsu Shonin's Ajari name)
Nittatsu Shonin's poem honors the Atsuhara martyrs and the spirit of
the Atsuhara farmers gathering to harvest the rice, and urges all
later Hokkeko generations to carry on the great campaign of shakubuku
in that same spirit toward our goal for kosen-rufu.
In 1985, little more than seven hundred years after Jinshiro and the
other Atsuhara martyrs gave up their lives, the Ryusen-ji Chapter of
Hokkeko was organized and took root in the ruins of the Atsuhara
Persecution.
On May 15, 2000 High Priest Nikken Shonin conducted the ceremony
celebrating the reconstruction of Ryusen-ji's main sanctuary. The new
sanctuary is a two-story, fire and earthquake-resistant structure,
with a pyramidal roof of curved tile that imitates the beautifully
majestic ridgeline of Mt. Fuji. Marking the site of the Atsuhara
Persecution and the birthplace of Hokkeko, this building was designed
to stand at the forefront of kosen-rufu far into the future.


The Atsuhara Persecution – The Origin of Hokkeko
Just over seven hundred years ago, the Atsuhara Persecution took place
in the countryside near Ryusen-ji. That event was to have tremendous
significance both for Nichiren Shoshu and for Hokkeko.
At that time, Ryusen-ji was a major Buddhist monastery that managed
the Shimokata feudal estates in the village of Atsuhara in the Fuji
district. Other monasteries in the area, including Jisso-ji and
Shijuku-in, possessed vast estates with fertile lands along the
Uruigawa River. The chief priests of many of these institutions were
retired upper-echelon officials from the military government who
became temple administrators by government appointment. Instead of
being havens where individuals could practice Buddhism as originally
intended, these monasteries lacked discipline and temple buildings
were often left unrepaired. The temple administrators derived their
incomes from the yearly land taxes levied on the many farmers who
lived on these plantations and cultivated the rice fields.
After Nichiren Daishonin retired to Mt. Minobu in 1274, Nikko Shonin,
who had constantly served the Daishonin until then, often returned to
spread the Daishonin's teachings in the Fuji District of Suruga
Province, where he had formed many deep bonds as a youth. There,
Nikko Shonin educated, converted and won as disciples many student
priests whose Buddhist training had been neglected by their own chief
and deputy chief priests. As a result of Nikko Shonin's efforts,
Chikuzen-bo and Buzen-bo from Jisso-ji, Nichiji and Nichii from
Shijuku-in, and Nisshu, Nichiben and Nichizen from Ryusen-ji, decided
to embrace and practice the Daishonin's teachings. Additionally, many
farmers living on the temple estates, male and female servants, as
well as other residents from adjacent areas, converted to the
Daishonin's Buddhism. The number of voices chanting the daimoku in
the Fuji district increased on a daily basis.
Nikko Shonin's Journal of Gohonzon Allocations shows that a number of
farmers and other residents received the Gohonzon. Among the
recipients, Jinshiro, Yagoro and Yarokuro, three Atsuhara farmers,
converted to the Daishonin's Buddhism in 1278, and under the
leadership of Ryusen-ji's Nisshu, Nichiben and Nichizen, zealously
practiced their faith and converted many members in and around Atsuhara.
Meanwhile, the Hojo clan, which owned major real estate in the Fuji
district and maintained a powerful presence in the Kamakura
administration, staunchly supported the Nembutsu sect. At the same
time, a retired government official turned corrupt temple
administrator named Gyochi had become the deputy chief priest at
Ryusen-ji. Neither the Hojo clan nor Gyochi were pleased about the
way in which Hokkeko, a relatively new religious group devoted to the
Daishonin's teachings, was beginning to take hold. As a result, the
government's chief magistrate in charge of feudal estates joined
forces with politically and economically driven priests from heretical
sects and their influential supporters to suppress this possible
threat to the status quo.
The chief and deputy chief priests of the affected temples began by
announcing to their student priests that anyone who refused to stop
reciting the Lotus Sutra and renew their allegiance to the Amida Sutra
would be expelled.
Nikko Shonin's The Disciples at Jisso-ji tells us that neither
Chikuzen-bo nor Buzen-bo relented under the pressure. The priests at
Shijuku-in and Ryusen-ji also held fast to their faith, halting
neither their own practice of the Lotus Sutra nor their efforts to
gain new converts. Hokkeko members from the farming community lent
their support to the priests struggling inside the temples, which
further fortified the farmers' faith.
As tensions grew, acts of violence against the Daishonin's followers
began to occur. In the fourth month of 1279, a Hokkeko member named
Shiro was savagely wounded by a number of sword-carrying assailants
during the festivities of a celebration held at Sengen Shinto Shrine
in the village of Mikka-ichi. In the eighth month of the same year,
another member named Yashiro was found decapitated.
Shimotsuke-bo Nisshu had arranged to have his private rice fields
harvested on the twenty-first day of the ninth month, and the Hokkeko
farmers in the Atsuhara area reported for work in his fields that day
as scheduled. Gyochi had been waiting for just such an opportunity to
further intimidate the Hokkeko members in his area, and had a squad of
samurai that included Ohta Chikamasa and Nagasaki Tokitsuna arrest and
handcuff twenty Hokkeko farmers on false charges of steeling rice from
Gyochi's fields. The twenty innocent victims were taken to the
military government seat in Kamakura.
Seduced by Gyochi's promises of sweet reward, Jinshiro, Yagoro and
Yarokuro's eldest brother, Yatohji Nyudo, gave perjured testimony
against his younger brothers at the hearing in Kamakura. Seemingly
possessed by a demon, Yatohji manifested the kind of insanity that can
occur when spouses, children or other family members oppose an
individual's faith in the Lotus Sutra. Similarly, Daishin-bo and
Sammi-bo, former disciples of the Daishonin, also behaved as if
possessed by the devil of heaven. They not only colluded with Ohta
Chikamasa and Nagasaki Tokitsuna to betray their master, but then
actually rode with the posse that arrested the Hokkeko members.
However, they all paid the ultimate price for their treachery against
the Lotus Sutra. Daishin-bo, Ohta Chikamasa and Nagasaki Tokitsuna
fell from their horses and died during the fray that ensued during the
arrest of the farmers, and Sammi-bo mysteriously met an untimely end a
few days later.
Nikko Shonin immediately wrote a detailed report to the Daishonin at
Minobu. In response, the Daishonin wrote a series of profoundly
compassionate letters containing specific guidance for the farmers who
had been imprisoned. The Gosho that the Daishonin wrote at that time
include To Hoki-dono, Admonition to Ryusen-ji and On Changing Poison
into Medicine.
The Daishonin's letters helped Nisshu, Nichiben, the three Atsuhara
martyrs and the other imprisoned farmers summon the courage they
needed to maintain unwavering faith under Nikko Shonin's leadership.
The man who interrogated the twenty farmers sent to Kamakura was Hei
no Saemon no Jo Yoritsuna, the same man who had persecuted the
Daishonin for many years and banished him to Sado Island. On the
fifteenth day of the tenth month, with no mention of the charges that
had brought them to Kamakura, Hei no Saemon addressed the entire group
of farmers with the following death threat: "Anyone who swears in
writing to renounce the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra in favor of the
Nembutsu will be pardoned for their offenses. Anyone who refuses will
be punished for capital crimes."
However, these modest farmers, who had converted to the Daishonin's
Buddhism less than a year earlier, behaved in exact accord with On
Practicing the Buddha's Teachings, which states: "Even if someone
were to cut off our heads with a saw, impale us with lances, or
shackle our feet and bore them through with a gimlet, as long as we
are alive, we must keep chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo,
Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo." (Ref., MWND, Vol. 1, pp. 106-7) Certain that
their faith in the Daishonin's teachings would escort them to the
realm of the Buddha, the prisoners remained unmoved in the face of the
military government's threats. Hei no Saemon became enraged at this
show of solidarity and had his son, Iinuma Hangan Sukemune, torture
the farmers by mercilessly pelting their bodies with blunted arrows
designed to whistle shrilly as they flew at their targets. Even then,
the martyrs' chanting of daimoku only grew more intense. Hei no
Saemon finally lost control of his rage and had the alleged
ringleaders, Jinshiro, Yagoro and Yarokuro, beheaded.
The Daishonin wrote about this moment in On Changing Poison into
Medicine. "When Hei no Saemon vented his wrath on them, they
reverently chanted Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. Truly, this was no
insignificant matter. No doubt, the ten demon daughters transformed
themselves and entered Hei no Saemon's body to test whether or not
these individuals were true votaries of the Lotus Sutra." (Gosho, p.
1405) The Daishonin praises the three Atsuhara martyrs for their
dauntless and gleaming faith. Needless to say, the Daishonin's intent
was to teach all Hokkeko members to embody the ideal of
single-mindedly yearning to see the Buddha without begrudging their lives.
After reading the detailed account outlining the persecutions that
haunted his followers, the Daishonin knew, according to his veiled
wording in On Persecutions Befalling the Buddha, that the situation
was critical. That realization compelled him to establish the
Dai-Gohonzon for the High Sanctuary of the Original Portal to the
Buddha Realm for all mankind on the twelfth day of the tenth month, 1279.
A unique inscription on the Dai-Gohonzon reads: "I have respectfully
inscribed this Gohonzon for the High Sanctuary of the Original Portal
to the Buddha Realm for the sake of your present and future lives, at
the request of Yashiro Kunishige and the people of Hokkeko." The
Daishonin chose the name "Yashiro Kunishige" to represent all of the
believers in the farming community who fought the Atsuhara Persecution
with constant faith. "The people of Hokkeko" was meant to refer to
all who embrace and practice the Three Great Secret Laws during the
ten thousand years of the Latter Day of the Law.
It is now our turn to spread Nichiren Daishonin's teachings throughout
the world, following in the footsteps of the three martyrs and the
other Atsuhara Hokkeko believers.

The Search for the Site of the Atsuhara Persecution
Until the end of the Heian Period, Hosho-ji, a temple built during the
Nara Period, held jurisdiction over the Shimokata estates in the Fuji
district. Once the Heian Period came to a close, however, it is said
that the Ryusen-ji Monastery, the site of the Atsuhara Persecution,
assumed that jurisdiction. Because Hosho-ji had been destroyed by
fire, the temple that replaced it was given a water-related name in
the hope that future fires might be avoided. The name Ryusen-ji
means, "temple at the waterfall's source."
Hosho-ji had invited Sengen Shrine to install a branch shrine on the
temple grounds in the village of Fuchi. However, after Hosho-ji was
destroyed by fire, the Fuchi shrine was moved to its current location
in Mikka-ichi. Exploratory excavation on the western side of the
shrine, which is about 1,500 meters east of Ryusen-ji, has unearthed
the ruins of the ancient Nara Period temple. Artifacts found at that
site are now on display at the Fuji City Central Library.
Ryusen-ji fell into disuse after the Atsuhara Persecution because the
monastery could no longer regulate the Shimokata plantations.
Supervision of the estates was split between the main branch of Sengen
Shrine in Fujinomiya, the Mikka-ichi Branch and a third branch in
Komenomiya. Thereafter, Sengen Shrine records only refer to
"Ryusen-ji Estates" as a locale.
After Ryusen-ji closed, the Atsuhara members of Hokkeko faced harsh
times and scattered to the estates of Lord Ueno, Kubo-ama, Takahashi
Nyudo and other landed followers of the Daishonin. Since no records
remain, it has been impossible to ascertain the destinations of
specific individuals.
Although stupas and inscribed stone monuments were erected during the
Edo Period in tribute to the sacred grounds where the Atsuhara
Persecution took place, those memorials were washed away over time
when the Uruigawa River flooded its banks. The memorials that exist
today are on lands that have no relation to the original grounds of
Ryusen-ji.
Ancient maps from the Tenpo Era of Tokugawa Shogunate rule show that
the lands on which Ryusen-ji stands today were Shogunate-owned burial
grounds. Elders in the area say that for as long as they can
remember, the area has been called Ryusen-ji Hill and has been used as
a pet cemetery for domestic cats and dogs.
The city-owned lands were purchased after Nittatsu Shonin repeatedly
voiced his decision to rebuild Ryusen-ji on the site discovered
through actual field surveys taken by the Most Reverend Jogon-in
Nichiyu, a director of Nichiren Shoshu and the chief priest of
Myoren-ji Temple, in cooperation with the late Mr. Minoru Yamaguchi, a
member of the Ryusen-ji chapter of Hokkeko and an historian on rural
samurai.
We believe that causal relation led to the building of a Nichiren
Shoshu temple on the true site of the Atsuhara Persecution. In his
congratulatory address at the Ryusen-ji inaugural ceremonies, Nittatsu
Shonin stated: "Following in the footsteps of the three Atsuhara
martyrs, may you produce generation after generation of stalwart
members to ensure Ryusen-ji's prosperity and achieve the Daishonin's
great aspiration for kosen-rufu." It is now time for the people of
Hokkeko to rise up and make kosen-rufu a reality.
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