Nichiren, Founder of Japan's Nichiren Sect
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- Boxwood (Jp. = Tsuge)
- Centimeters = H 12.5 cm W 10 cm Front-to-Back 6.9 cm
- Nichiren Shōnin 日連上人 (1222 - 1282) was the founder of the Nichiren sect of Japanese Buddhism (also known as the Lotus or Hokke 法華 sect). Nichiren was a radical religious reformer who once studied at the powerful Tendai monastery on Mt. Hiei, as did Honen, Shinran, Eisai, and other noted monks of that period. Nichiren vehemently disagreed with the new Jōdo 浄土 (Pure Land) sects, and proclaimed both old and new Buddhist movements to be false religions. He preached in the streets, hoping to revive the purity of Tendai faith in the Lotus Sutra and blaming existing religious sects for the problems then facing the country. He was arrested and exiled twice by authorities, but in each case was later pardoned. He believed faith in the Lotus Sutra alone would bring liberation, and recitation of the phrase "Hail to the Lotus Sutra" was the sole path to salvation. Today, some 85% of Japan's population claim to be Buddhists, with the largest group (around 25 million people) belonging to the Nichiren sect. The head-temple of the sect is located on Mt. Minobu 身延 in Yamanashi prefecture and is known as Kuonji Temple 久遠寺.
Nichiren, Wood Statue