troduction of Buddhism, they helped the people as emissaries of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings. And though the adherents of the nonBuddhist scriptures were unaware of it, the wisdom of such men contained at heart the wisdom of Buddhism.
If there were a ruler of outstanding wisdom in the world today, at the time of the great earthquake of the Shoka era, or at the time of the great comet of the Bunei era,12 he would surely have heeded me, Nichiren. Or even if that had not happened, when strife broke out within the ruling clan in the ninth year of Bunei (1272), or when the Mongols attacked in the eleventh year of the same era, he would have welcomed me as King Wen of the Chou dynasty welcomed Tai-kung Wang, or sought me out as King Kao-ting13 of the Yin dynasty sought out Fu Yüeh from seven ri away. Thus it is said that the sun and moon are not treasures to one who is sightless, and that a worthy man will be hated by a foolish ruler. Rather than go on at length, I will stop here. The heart of the Lotus Sutra is just as I have explained. You should not think of it as otherwise. Great evil portends the arrival of great good. If all of Jambudvipa were to be thrown into
chaos, there could be no doubt that [this sutra would] be widely propagated throughout Jambudvipa.14
I have decided to send Acharya Daishin to pay a visit to the grave of the late lay priest Rokuro.15 In the past, I had thought that, if there were people in the Kanto region who had heard this teaching, I would go to their graves myself and recite the verse section of the Life Span chapter of the Lotus Sutra. If I were to go there under the present circumstances, however, the entire province would hear of it within the day, and it would probably cause an uproar as far away as Kamakura. Even though they have steadfast faith, wherever I go, people must fear the eyes of others.
When I thought how much the late lay priest Rokuro might be longing to see me since I had not yet visited, it seemed to me that there was probably something I could do. Thus, to begin with, I have decided to send a disciple to recite the verse section of the Life Span chapter before his grave. I ask for your understanding on that point.
Neither the date nor addressee of this letter is known. Judging from the concluding paragraph, Nichiren Daishonin may have sent it via his disciple Acharya Daishin to someone in the clan of the late lay priest Takahashi Rokuro Hyoe, a believer who lived in Kajima in Fuji District of Suruga Province.
In the opening statement the Daishonin says, The kalpa of decrease has its origin in the human heart. He then explains that the world declines
as a result of human delusion, and that, as the greed, anger, and foolishness of peoples hearts intensify, progressively higher teachings are needed to check that influence. In the present time, the Latter Day of the Law, those three poisons are so pervasive that the provisional teachings not only fail to restrain them, but aggravate them all the more. In this age, the Daishonin explains, the worst evils actually arise, not from secular misdeeds, but from attachment to