Hokke Mandala (法華曼荼羅)

The Hokke mandala (Lotus Mandala) is one of the mandala that represent the world of Hoke-kyo Sutra (the Lotus Sutra) with illustrations, Sanskrit and kanji.

The Hokke Mandala of Esoteric Buddhism
The Hokke mandala of the Shingon and Tendai sects depicted Bodhisattva, who appears in the first 14 chapters of the Lotus Sutra (also known as Shakumon).

There was tahoto pagoda (two-storey pagoda with a square base, pent roof and a round top) in the center, Shaka Nyorai (Shakyamuni) on the center right, Taho Nyorai (Buddha of Many Treasures who depicted in the Lotus Sutra) on center left, and the surrounding area had Miroko Bosatsu (Buddha of the Future, Bodhisattva of the Present), Monju Bosatsu (Manjusri Bodhisattva associated with wisdom, doctrine and awareness), Yakuo Bosatsu (Bodhisattva who represents healing), Myoon Bosatsu, (Bodhisattva of music), Joshojin Bosatsu (Bodhisattva Nityodyukta, literally, ever-vigorous), Mujini Bosatsu (Bodhisattva who have strong never-ending will to save all living things), Kannon Bosatsu (Bodhisattva of Mercy) and Fugen Bosatsu (Samantabhadra Bodhisattva).

The Hokke Mandala of Nichiren
The Hokke mandala of Nichiren disciples expressed Nyorai (Tathagata), Bosatsu (Bodhisattva), Myoo (Wisdom King) and Tenbu (deities that reside in a heavenly realm, one of six realms in which the souls of living beings transmigrate from one to another), which appear in the last 14 chapters of the Lotus Sutra (also known as Honmon) to which Nichiren must respond at the end of the world.

It was first written in 1271, and there were 127 books written directly by Nichiren (among which were 30 principle images of the Nichiren Sho Sect); these are in existence today.

There is a Nichiren chant in the center (Namu Myoho Renge-kyo Sutra (Devotion to the Law of Lotus Sutra)).

There are Shaka Nyorai (Shakyamuni), Jogyo Bosatsu (Pure Practice Bodhisattva), Anryugyo Bosatsu (Firm Practice Bodhisattva), Fugen Bosatsu, Miroko Bosatsu, Daikasho (Mahakasyapa), Shakudai Kanin Daio (many of the principle images of the Nichiren Sho Sect after the end of the Edo period expressed it as Taishakuten-o), Daigetsu Daio (literally, great moon king), Myojo Tenshi (literally, son of heaven in morning star), Ju-rasetsunyo (ten demonesses), Ajase-o (A king of Magadha in India in the time of Shakyamuni Buddha), Dairyuo (Great Dragon King), Myoraku Daishi (daishi refers literally a great master, an honorific title given by the Imperial Court), Denkyo Daishi, Hachiman Daibosatsu (Great Bodhisattva Hachiman) and Aizen Myoo (Ragaraja) located on the left. There are Taho Nyorai (prabhuta-ratnam in Sanskrit), Jogyo Bosatsu (Superior Practice Bodhisattva), Muhengyo Bosatsu (Limitless Practice Bodhisattva), Monju Bosatsu, Yakuo Bosatsu, Sharihotsu (One of Shakyamuni Buddha's ten major disciples, known as foremost in wisdom), Daibonteno (a king of the First Meditation Heaven in the world of form where King Mahabrahma lives), Dairokuten Mao (Big Number Six Heavenly Deity), Dainichiten-o (literally, a king of Great Sun heaven), Kishimojin (Goddess of Children), Tenrinjo-o (literally, Wheel-turning-holy-king), Ashura-o (Ashura King), Devadatta, Ryuju Bosatsu (literally, Dragon Tree Bodhisattva), Tendai Daishi, Amaterasu Omikami (the Sun Goddess) and Fudo Myoo (Acala, one of the Five Wisdom Kings) located on the right.
(This varies according to its width.)

There are Jikokuten (Dhrtarastra) on the upper right, Komokuten (Virupaksa) on the lower right, Zochoten (Virudhaka) on the bottom left and Bishamonten (Vaisravana) on the upper left.

It is called the Hige mandala (beard mandala) from its characteristic of expressing these in Kanji and Sanskrit as well as the long lines drawn from the chant, which is located in the center.

The 'Doshi Honzon' (principle image of priest, which is placed in a ossuary of temples) used in the Nichiren Sho Sect funeral have 'Enma Hoo' (the judge at the gate of Hell) instead of 'Amaterasu Omikami' and 'Godo Myokan' (Officers of the Hell of five posthumous worlds) instead of 'Hachiman Daibosatsu.'

[Original Japanese]