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The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin

The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin - Page 1013

143
The Third Day of the New Year

I HAVE received the sixty slabs of steamed rice cake, the container of refined sake, the fifty yams, the twenty mandarin oranges, and the string of dried persimmons that you so kindly sent. I placed these various articles before the Lotus Sutra and presented them as offerings to the sutra on the third day of spring.1

Just as flowers open up and bear fruit, just as the moon appears and invariably grows full, just as a lamp becomes brighter when oil is added, and just as plants and trees flourish with rain, so will human beings never fail to

prosper when they make good causes.

Moreover, the sincerity you showed in celebrating the third day of the new year exceeds even the sincerity you showed in commemorating the first day. The steamed rice cakes are like the full moon. I will write of other matters later.

Nichiren

The eleventh day of the first month in the third year of Koan (1280), cyclical sign kanoe-tatsu

To Ueno



Background

This letter was written at Minobu, when the Daishonin was fifty-nine years old, and addressed to Nanjo Tokimitsu, also known as Ueno. The letter

is in reply to the offerings Tokimitsu sent to the Daishonin to mark the third day of the new year.



Note

1. According to the lunar calendar, spring begins with the first month; that is, on New Year’s Day, which falls somewhere

between January 21 and February 19 on the Gregorian calendar.