Letter from Echi
The governments persecution of me
has clearly demonstrated my faith in the Lotus Sutra. There
is no doubt that the moon wanes and waxes and that the tide
ebbs and flows. In my case, too, since punishment has already
occurred, benefit must be forthcoming. What is there to
At the Hour of the Cock (around 6:00 P.M.)
on the twelfth day, I incurred the wrath of the government
authorities. Placed in the custody of the lord of Musashi,1
I left Kamakura at the Hour of the Ox (around 2:00 A.M.)
on the thirteenth day for exile in the province of Sado.
At present, I am in a place called Echi, which is the domain
of Lord Homma,2 under
the supervision of a person called Uma Tara, a deputy of
Lord Homma Rokuro Zaemon-no-jo of Echi. I will probably
be staying here for four or five days.
Your grief is understandable, but because
I have been certain from the beginning that this would occur,
I myself do not grieve. Rather, I regret that I have yet
to be beheaded. Had I been decapitated on account of the
Lotus Sutra in a past existence, I would not have been born
as such a lowly person in this life. By undergoing repeated
persecution, just as is noted in the sutra when it says,
"again and again we will be banished,"3
I can erase the grave offenses of my past and, for the first
time, attain Buddhahood. I therefore engage in these difficult
practices of my own accord.
The fourteenth day of the ninth month
Reply to Lord Toki
- Lord of Musashi: Hojo Nobutoki, the governor of Musashi
Province, who held this post from 1267 to 1273. He was
also the constable of Sado.
- Lord Homma: Homma Rokuro Zaemon-no-jo Shigetsura, a
retainer of Hojo Nobutoki and also the deputy constable
Sutra, chap. 13.
Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 7.