disagreeable it may be to you, you should associate with them amicably.
Yoshitsune found it utterly impossible to defeat the Heike until he won Shigeyoshi over to his side and in that way vanquished the rival clan.5 The shogun [Minamoto no Yoritomo] sought to take revenge on Osada for his fathers death, but he would not behead the murderer until after he had conquered the Heike.6 It is even more vital for you to ally yourself with the four night watchmen. The dwellings they had earned by risking their lives were confiscated by their lord because of the Lotus Sutra, and more directly, because of Nichiren. Be considerate of those who believe in Nichiren and the Lotus Sutra, no matter what they may have done in the past. Moreover, if they frequent your house, your enemies will be afraid to attack you at night. It is not as if they were trying to avenge their fathers murder; certainly they do not want their plot to come out into the open. Against those who seek to avoid the eyes of others, there are no warriors as dependable as they are. Always maintain friendly relations with them. But since you are hottempered by nature, you might not take my advice. In that case, it will be beyond the power of my prayers to save you.
Ryuzo-bo and your elder brother plotted evil against you. Therefore, the heavenly gods so contrived it that the situation would develop exactly as you wished. Then how can you now dare to go against the wish of the heavenly gods? Even if you had accumulated a thousand or ten thousand treasures, of what use would they be if your lord should forsake you? He already looks to you as if you were his own parent, following you as water follows the shape of its container, longing for you as a calf longs for its mother, and relying on you as an elderly person relies on his staff. Is not his regard for you
due to the aid of the Lotus Sutra? How envious your fellow retainers must be! You must hurry and talk with these four men and report to me how the matter goes. Then I will fervently pray to the heavenly gods for your protection. I have already informed them of how deeply you grieve over your deceased father and mother. They will surely receive the utmost consideration in the presence of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Over and over I recall the moment, unforgettable even now, when I was about to be beheaded and you accompanied me, holding the reins of my horse and weeping tears of grief.7 Nor could I ever forget it in any lifetime to come. If you should fall into hell for some grave offense, no matter how Shakyamuni Buddha might urge me to become a Buddha, I would refuse; I would rather go to hell with you. For if you and I should fall into hell together, we would find Shakyamuni Buddha and the Lotus Sutra there. It would be as if the moon were illuminating the darkness, as if cold water were pouring into hot, as if fire were melting ice, or as if the sun were dispelling the darkness. But if you depart from my advice even slightly, do not blame me for what may happen.
The plague that is raging at present will, as you predict, strike those in the higher ranks of society at the turn of the year. This is perhaps the design of the ten demon daughters. For the time being stay calm, and observe how things develop. And do not go around lamenting to others how hard it is for you to live in this world. To do so is an act utterly unbecoming to a worthy man. If a man behaves in this way, then after he dies, his wife, overcome with sorrow at losing her husband, will tell other people about the shameful things he did, though she has no real intention of doing so. And that will in no way be her fault, but solely the result of his own reprehensible behavior.