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Calendar of Events | July, August, September

With all events please check with your local church or
temple for specific dates and times that events will be held.



Celebrated July 15th. Check with your local temple for times. There are several
good articles about Obon and its origin in the news article of the summer 98 Bridge.



Matsubagayatsu Persecution

On the night of August 27, 1260, just forty one days after Nichiren Shonin had submitted the Rissho Ankoku Ron to the government, a ruthless mob, crept through the darkness toward Matsubagayatsu. Persuaded by the powerful Nembutsu priests that Nichiren Shonin was a worker of evil who must be destroyed, the mob was determined to burn the hermitage to the ground, and to murder the outspoken reformer.

Crowding into the grounds of the small mission, the frenzied men threw burning torches into the thatched hut where Nichiren Shonin was asleep; and, in a moment, the tinder dry dwelling was a blazing inferno of orange flames clutching at the night sky. In the confusion and disorder of the attack, however, Nichiren Shonin had escaped. According to legend, it was a white monkey, miraculously appearing before the sleeping priest, which aroused him and led him to safety.

(Quotation from the book published by the Nichiren Buddhist International Center, Nichiren. )



Tatsunokuchi Persecution

On the afternoon of September 12, 1271, Nichiren was placed astride a saddleless horse; and, like a common criminal, he was paraded through the streets of Kamakura where the crowds mocked and jeered him. As they neared the gate of the Hachiman Shrine, where he had knelt in prayer on that day when he first arrived in Kamakura so many years before, Nichiren Shonin ordered the guards to stop, saying: "I am getting off for nothing but to say a few words to the god Hachiman. Do not be excited!" As the guards stood silently by, and the crowd watched in amazement, he cried out in a loud voice: "Hachiman Daibosatsu! Are you really a god? When the Great Master Dengyo gave lectures on the Lotus Sutra, you offered him a purple robe. Now, I, Nichiren, am the greatest practiser of the Lotus Sutra, in Japan. There is no fault in me, but I am proclaiming the Truth, simply in order to save all the people of this country from falling down to hell because of their degrading the Lotus of Truth. Should the Mongols invade our country, would you, O Hachiman, together with Amaterasu omi kami, alone be safe?

"When Buddha Sakyamuni expounded the Lotus Sutra, all the Buddhas came together from the ten quarters; and when numerous hosts, including the gods and saints of India, China, and Japan were present in the congregation, each of you took an oath to protect all those who practise the Lotus Sutra. Be quick in fulfilling that vow. Why do you not appear now? I am going to be beheaded this night.

When I go to the Pure Land of Vulture Peak, I will declare before Buddha Sakyamuni that you and Amaterasu omi kami did not keep your vow. If you do not want to be reported so, do something quickly!"

Remounting his horse, Nichiren Shonin rode through the muttering crowd. "Is the man mad?" "May it not be that he is truly a saint?" "He shows no fear at all! Surely that is a sign of great power."

Through the evening, and into the dark of night, the guards proceeded with the condemned man, leading him to the Beach of Yuigahama. Along the route, his followers knelt in the dusty roads, weeping at the coming death of their beloved leader.

Midnight had already come and gone when the procession finally reached Tatsunokuchi, the place of execution. All was in readiness. Yoritsuna sat in the official chair of witness. Behind him stood the executioner; and all around the circle of death, lit by flickering torchlight, stood the armed guards.

Dismounting from his horse, Nichiren Shonin calmly made his way to the straw mat wher death awaited him. Kingo cried out in despair: "Now I must part with you;" and the condemned man spoke to him: "What a fool you are! Rejoice! This is my greatest pleasure. Why do you break your promise?" Kneeling, he pressed his hands together in gassho, spoke the Sacred Name: "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo." and bent his head before the uplifted sword. But the sword never fell!

Suddenly, according to Nichiren Shonin's own account, the midnight sky was ablaze with fire. "A ball of light as bright as the moon, flew from the southeast to the southwest, and all the people became visible although the moon of the twelfth day had already set." The executioner grew dizzy and fell to the ground as his sword was shattered in three pieces, and the soldiers ran in fright, no one daring to return to the execution ground. Even commissioner Yoritusna disappeared, not to be discovered until some time later. "Some of the got off their horsed, and others prostrated themselves on horseback. I said, "Why do you run away? You think I am a felon, Come!" But no one came. I said again, "Behead me quickly! When the day breaks, it will not be good to see me beheaded. But no one answered."

(Quotation from the book published by the Nichiren Buddhist International Center, Nichiren. )

The Nichiren Buddhist International Center, 29490 Mission Blvd. Hayward, California 94544, U.S.A.
Telephone: 510-690-1222 , Fax: 510-690-1221

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