Honmon Butsuryu Sect (本門佛立宗)

Honmon Butsuryu Sect was the new religious sect of the school of the Hokke sect; it was founded by Seifu NAGAMATSU, who was of a school of Nichiren, and worshiped Nichiren as the origin of the sect.


Seifu NAGAMATSU (also known as Nissen), who had been skeptical about his life, embraced the Honmon (main school) of the Lotus Sutra and became a Buddhist monk but didn't satisfied only by it; subsequently, in 1857 at 41 years of age he took an independent path by opening the doors of Honmon Butsuryu ko association, which stressed Zaike shugi (lay people doctrine) in Takoyakushi, Kyoto. The teachings of Seifu (Nissen) were that it was important to see the benefit of intonation of the Nichiren chant of Namu Myohorenge-kyo Sutra and that it stressed the spiritual (material) benefit gained in this world through the observance of the Buddhist teachings as seen through the eyes.
The Zaike shugi, having found no acceptance by temples and monks, led to frequent slander from monks of the league of existing temples in regard to his temple, and Seifu (Nissen) was suppressed by being arrested twice along with his disciples and was stopped from going afar; however, in 1878 he increased the size of his sect to one having '30 groups of Karaku (Kyoto) butsuryu-ko and about 10,000 people.'
Consequently, there was ongoing friction with the doctrine of the Honmon Hokke sect; in 1869 he took leave of Honno-ji Temple, which he made the headquarters of his activities, and turned Yusei-ji Temple into his new base.

After Seifu (Nissen) passed away, there occurred the continuous branching of schools and desertion from various debates concerning the problem of localization between the Zaike dogma and monks and the emphasis of the Genseriyaku (spiritual (material) benefit gained in this world through observance of the Buddhist teachings) (division of schools and influence). It became Honmon Butsuryu Sect in 1947, shortly after the end of World War II, when it attained independence from the Honmon Hokke Sect.

Honzan (Head Temple)
Yusei-ji Temple (Kyoto Prefecture)
There were the historical temples of Tanjo-ji (Kyoto City), Chosho-ji (Kyoto City), Butsuryu-ji (Otsu City) and Giten-ji (Moriguchi City).

Zaike Bukkyo shugi
The original Honmon Butsuryu Ko association was the individual Zaike (lay believers) taking the lead in actual missionary work, practice and the way of Buddha teaching humankind, as lectured by Nichiren. Although there was the presence of a monk as the leading teacher, the main part of the activity was the Ko (association) formed by the gathering of believers of Zaike, which emphasized the connection between the leading lecturer and the disciple. The degree of leading and monitoring the activities eventually increased, but even today the role of the Ko remains strong.

Genseriyaku and Attacks from Other Sects
Its preaching emphasized the Genseriyaku as proof of the right religion, and strongly criticized other sects and religious groups. Butsuryu Sect was the one that first carried out the abandonment of charms, notes or statues of different sects or religions, and the exorcism of Hobo (the greatest punishment in Buddhism); thus its missionary methods became a reason to trigger the Otsu Attacks in the early years of Meiji.

Gokyoka (Religious Song)
In order to make the Buddha teachings comprehensible by anyone, it used Gokyoka, which incorporated the Buddhist creed into waka (Japanese poems) and is very easy to understand even in the present day.

Thanks to the paintings and writings the Sanpitsu (three great calligraphers) of the end of Edo period, his name was published in the Heian Jinbutsushi (Record of Heian Notables) and Saikyo Jinbutsushi (Record of Saikyo (Kyoto) Notables); moreover, Masakaze TAKASAKI introduced a poem by Seifu as a great poem to Emperor Meiji, and the messenger was sent to Seifu stating that the Emperor Meiji greatly praised his song, and even kuge (court noble) such as Sanetomi SANJO (other than Emperor Meiji) desired the tanzaku (a long, narrow card on which Japanese poetry is written vertically) of Seifu. He can be described as an excellent man of culture who represented the period from the end of the Edo to the Meiji period.

The Example of Gokyoka

Even with that knowledge, one is probably an academic who cannot become Buddha, but with one word of shin (believe) one of ignorance can achieve nirvana.

Don't think that the one that wears robe, with rounded head, deceives people, and lives in a temple is a monk

Without seeing the benefit of Gensho, let us look at the evil and good of codes

And so on.
Branch Schools and Influence
After the death of Seifu there were many debates concerning the interference by monks due to the management of Ko and Genseriyaku, and this gave birth to branch schools such as Dainihon Shishikukai and Nichiren shugi (doctrine) Butsuryu-ko.

Additionally, its stance regarding the management of the organization, the emphasis on Genseriyaku and attacks on other sects strongly influenced later new sects of the Lotus Sutra, and some went on pilgrimages similar to that of Mitsu MIYAMOTO, who established Myochikai Kyodan from Reiyukai, which was in turn from Butsuryu Ko. While Kimi KOTANI of Reiyukai didn't have a direct connection to Butsuryu-ko, she had Tsugunari KUBO listen to Gokyoka.

History and Development
1817: Seifu NAGAMATSU was born in Kyoto.

1849: He became a Buddhist monk at Ryusen-ji Temple (Tsui, Minami Awaji City, Hyogo Prefecture) of Honmon Butsuryu Sect. The monk, who was his priestly teacher, was Nichiyo Shonin. The name he received as a monk was Muton.

1857: He opened the former Honmon Butsuryu-ko within the Honmon Hokke sect.

1869: He received Yusei-ji Temple (Kyoto Prefecture) from the Honmon Hokke sect.

1890: Seifu NAGAMATSU passed away.

1899: The Honmon Hokke Sect granted the posthumous go (Buddhist title) of Nissen Shonin.

1912: Honmon Hokke Sect granted the posthumous title of Nissen Daisojo (a Buddhist priest of the highest order).

1947: It became independent from Honmon Hokke Sect and officially renamed itself as the Honmon Butsuryu Sect.

[Original Japanese]