Nichiu (日有) (日有)

Nichiu (May 18, 1402 - November 10, 1482) was a priest during the mid Muromachi period who was the head of Taiseki-ji Temple from 1419 to 1467 and again from 1472 to 1482. He was the ninth high priest of Taiseki-ji Temple. Nichiu established Nichiren Shoshu kyogaku (study of Buddhism sect) and Nichiren Honbutsu ron (theory that Nichiren was the original Buddha), and is respected as the restorer of the Nichiren Shoshu sect together with the 26th high priest Nichikan.

Brief Personal History
April 16, 1402: Nichiu was born in the Nanjo family in Fuji-ueno (near the present Taiseki-ji Temple). In his tender years Nichiu became one of the disciples of the eighth high priest Nichiei.

August 1419: Nichiu, at the age of 17, was chosen by the eighth high priest Nishiei as his successor through granting of Kechimyaku Sojo (transmission of the heritage of the teachings) and engaged himself in missionary activities for an extended period of time, travelling throughout various districts, such as Oshu (Northern Honshu, the region encompassing Mutsu and Dewa provinces), Kyoto and Echigo Province.

March 1432: Nichiu submitted a written opinion about Kokka Kangyo (advising the government to convert the whole nation to the right religion) to the bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). This opinion paper is respectfully read out at Oeshiki (a Buddhism mass) held every autumn.

November 6, 1445: Nichiu made a replica of honzon (the main object of worship in a Buddhist temple, which is a mandala chart in this case) of Nichiren Shoshu.

January 1458: Nichikaku, a senior priest of Chikuzen Province (northwestern area of Fukuoka Prefecture), listened to and recorded Nichiu's oral teachings at Taiseki-ji Temple.

July 18, 1460: Nichiu made a replica of honzon and gave it to Nichigen KATO of Nihasama, Rikuzen Province (Miyagi Prefecture and a part of Iwate Prefecture).

March 22, 1461: Nichiu made a replica of honzon and gave it to Nichian of Sonobe, Shimotsuke Province (Tochigi Prefecture).

January 11, 1462: Nichijuu NANJO started writing Nichiu Shonin Onmonogatari Chomonsho (records of oral teachings given by the Venerable Nichiu) which consisted of three volumes.

June 2, 1463: Nichiu made a replica of honzon and gave it to the senior priest Nichiryo of Kanai-ise, Shimotsuke Province (Tochigi Prefecture).

February 1465: Nichiu had the treasure house of Taiseki-ji Temple rebuilt in small-sized azekura-zukuri (a log house-like configuration of triangular woods). March 1465: Nichiu had a Reception Hall for Taiseki-ji Temple constructed.

June 8, 1467: Nichiu had Hokkedo (Honko-ji Temple) built in Komase, Suruga Province (the middle part of Shizuoka Prefecture).

1467: The 10th high priest Nichijo inherited the sacred teachings of Buddha from Nichiu, but Nichiu had to reassume the post of the head priest in 1472 due to the death of both Nichijo and the 11th high priest Nittei.

January 5, 1474: Nichiu made a replica of honzon and gave it to Rokurozaemon OMURA of Shimoyama, Kai Province (Yamanashi Prefecture). May 26: Nichiu made a replica of honzon and gave it to 妙了日宗, mother of 三位阿日為 of Ichihasama-yanaginome, Rikuzen Province. August 4: Nichiu made a replica of honzon and gave it to 上総公 Nissen of Yanaginome, Rikuzen Province. November 29: Nichiu made a replica of honzon and gave it to Nichii of Okana, Rikuzen Province.

July 16, 1475: Nichiu made a replica of honzon and gave it to Hachiro-zaburo ONOZATO.

May 23, 1476: Renyobo of Yoshina, Tosa Province (Kochi Prefecture) produced a record of oral teachings given by Nichiu. July 15: Nichiu made a replica of honzon and gave it to Ukyo no Daibu of Yoshina, Tosa Province.

1478: Nichiu had Yogyo-ji Temple built in Yodoshi, Suruga Province.

1482: Nicchin inherited the sacred teachings of Buddha from Nichiu. September 29, 1482: Nichiu passed away.

Nichiu's disciples have recorded his oral teachings in a number of writings, such as "Nichiu-shi Kegisho" (the way of teaching as preached by the Rev. Nichiu), "On-monogatari Chomon-sho" (the written record of oral teachings), "Renyobo Kikigaki" (the written record of oral teachings produced by Renyobo) and "Shimotsuke Ajari Kikigaki" (the written record of oral teachings produced by a senior priest of Shimotsuke Province), to systematize 'kegi' (the way of teaching and inspiring people) of Fujimonryu (a generic name covering a number of the Nichiren sects of Buddhism). "Nichiu-shi Kegisho" in particular, coupled with "Nikko's Yuikai Okibumi" (Nikko's last admonitions), has formed the basis of sanpo-sanki (unwritten rules concerning the faith) of Taiseki-ji Temple.

Nichiu suffered from leprosy during his last years, and lived in seclusion in the place called Sugiyama. He visited Taiseki-ji Temple on lecture days. It is said that he had to wear geta (wooden clogs) with one support as the trails in Mt. Osugi in those days were full of rocks and normal geta with two supports would not work due to rocks and pebbles being caught between the supports.

[Original Japanese]