Nichiren Shu News

Issue # 112, June 1st. 1999

Archbishop Fujii Enters Mt.Minobu

An installation ceremony was held on May 15, 1999 for Rev. Nichiko Fujii, 90, who succeeded as the 91st Archbishop of the Minobusan Kuonji Temple of Yamanashi Prefecture, which is the mother temple of the Nichiren Shu Order.

At 10 in the morning, the one kilometer parade departed from the Somon Gate, where the Lord Hakii had welcomed Nichiren Shonin about 725 years ago, then passed through the town around the Sanmon Gate and went on the Onnazaka (women's slope) beside the Bodaitei stairs. They reached the temple and entered through the Main Entrance. The last archbishop's installation was held over 15 years ago for the 90th Archbishop Iwama. Over 5,000 people gathered on the afternoon of the installation ceremony together with people in the town of Minobu at the main hall of the temple to take part in the ceremony.

The Minobusan Kuonji Temple was established by Nichiren Shonin in 1274, who returned from Sado exile, and he stayed there during his last nine years. Ever since he passed away, the head priest of the temple has been called "Hossu" (the Lord of the Dharma = Archbishop) and has followed the traditional way to enter the temple and hold the installation ceremony.

The night before the ceremony, Archbishop Fujii stayed at the Onkoji Temple in Kofu City. In the early morning of May 15, he left there and stopped by the Enjitsuji Temple and Kyonimbo Temple which are related to the Lord Sanenaga Hakii who donated the land of Minobusan to Nichiren Shonin.

During the ceremony, Archbishop Fujii signed his priestly name in the Chronicles of successive archbishops, and in his address, he expressed his admiration for the meritorious deeds of the successive archbishops and also expressed his desires for the 750th anniversary of the Nichiren Shu Order, which are to spread the Wonderful Dharma all over the world and to endeavor towards the accomplishment of the project for the 750th anniversary.

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