ers, since it was on my way, but in the end I did not do so. In addition, I also failed to reply earlier, though I certainly had no particular intention of neglect. How could I ever feel distantly toward any of you? Even in the case of the Nembutsu priests, the Zen priests, and the True Word teachers, and the ruler of the nation and other men of authority, all of whom bear me such hatred I admonish them because I want to help them, and their hatred for me makes me pity them all the more. How could I, then, think lightly of those who, even for a day, have acted as allies and extended their sympathy to me?
Actually I am relieved when those who have wives and children to worry about keep their distance from me out of fear of the worlds reaction. I have no power to save those who ally themselves with me, and in addition, they may risk having what small estates they possess taken away from them. It pains me to think how this must distress their wives and children and their followers, who have no real understanding of the situation.
In the second month of last year I was granted a pardon, and on the thirteenth day of the third month I left the province of Sado, arriving in Kamakura on the twenty-sixth day of the same month. When I met with Hei no Saemon on the eighth day of the fourth month, he questioned me about various matters and, in the course of the discussion, asked when the Mongols would launch their invasion.
They will come this year, I replied. And with regard to that, there is no one who can save Japan but Nichiren! If you want to save the nation, you should cut off the heads of the Nembutsu, Zen, and Precepts priests in Japan and expose them to view on Yui Beach.10 But I suppose it is too late for that now.
Everyone thinks that I am simply
intent upon speaking ill of the Nembutsu teachers and the Zen and Precepts priests. But these people are of little consequence. It is the True Word school with its evil doctrines that is putting a terrible curse upon this fair country of Japan! The Great Teacher Kobo and the Great Teacher Jikaku were misled by these teachings and have brought this country to the brink of ruin. Though a country may be destined to be destroyed in two or three years anyway, if the ruler has the True Word priests offer up prayers for its safety, it will be attacked before a year or even half a year is out! These are the things I told him.
Being so fiercely hated merely for trying to give advice that would save the country, I suppose that, when I was pardoned from exile, I should have left Sado and hidden myself somewhere far off amidst the mountains or by the seashore. But instead I went to Kamakura, because I hoped to explain the situation one last time to Hei no Saemon, and thereby save those people who might manage to survive an attack on Japan. After offering my admonition, I knew I should remain no longer in Kamakura, and so I set off, letting my feet carry me where they would. And since you were on the way, I thought how much I would like to see all of you once more, even though it might be an imposition. But though the thought came to me a thousand times, I struggled with my own feelings, and in the end I passed you by.
The reason is this. The province of Suruga is the domain of the lord of Sagami, and the Fuji area in particular is full of those related to the widows of high-ranking officials. These people feel great rancor toward me because they look upon me as an enemy of the late lay priests of Saimyo-ji and Gokuraku-ji. I was afraid that, if they heard that I had visited you, it would bring grief to you all. Until now, I