I RECEIVED the white quilted robe and the thick-quilted cotton one, as well as one thousand coins, through the good offices of Hokibo.1 Hoki-bo and Sado-bo, and the believers in Atsuhara, have proved the strength of their resolve.
If the spirit of many in body but one in mind prevails among the people, they will achieve all their goals, whereas if one in body but different in mind, they can achieve nothing remarkable. The more than three thousand volumes of Confucian and Taoist literature are filled with examples. King Chou of Yin led seven hundred thousand soldiers into battle against King Wu of Chou and his eight hundred men.2 Yet King Chous army lost because of disunity while King Wus men defeated him because of perfect unity. Even an individual at cross purposes with himself is certain to end in failure. Yet a hundred or even a thousand people can definitely attain their goal, if they are of one mind. Though numerous, the Japanese will find it difficult to accomplish anything, because they are divided in spirit. In contrast, although Nichiren and his followers are few, because they are different in body, but united in mind, they will definitely accomplish their great mission of widely propagating the Lotus Sutra. Though evils may be numerous, they
cannot prevail over a single great truth, just as many raging fires are quenched by a single shower of rain. This principle also holds true with Nichiren and his followers.
You have served the Lotus Sutra with devotion for many years, and in addition, you demonstrated remarkable resolve during the recent incidents [at Atsuhara]. Many people have mentioned this, and Hoki-bo and Sadobo have also said so. I have listened carefully and reported everything to the god of the sun and to the Sun Goddess.
I should have replied to you earlier, but there was no one who could bring this letter to you. Acharya Ben3 left here so quickly that I had no time to finish writing before his departure.
All of you have been wondering whether the Mongols will really attack again, but I believe that invasion is now imminent. Though the fall of our country would be deplorable, if the invasion does not take place, the Japanese people will slander the Lotus Sutra more than ever, and all of them will fall into the hell of incessant suffering. The nation may be devastated by the superior strength of the Mongols, but the slander of the correct teaching will cease almost entirely. Defeat would be like moxa cautery, which cures disease, or like acupuncture, which re