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Coat of arms of the Nichiren Shōshū

Nichiren-Shōshū ( Japanese 日 蓮 正宗 , dt. "True Nichiren School") refers to one of the schools of Nichiren Buddhism , which refers to the reformer Nichiren ( 日 蓮 , "lotus of the sun"; 1222-1282) and also as Fuji- Line or Fuji school is known.

Affiliation and teaching

The Nichiren Shōshū (translated: True Nichiren School) sees itself in its self-image as the Orthodox Nichiren School. For a long time it was one of the smallest Nichiren schools, which is also due to its interpretation of Nichiren's teachings. It traces its foundation to only one of Nichiren's six students, Nikkō , who left the temple on Mount Minobu in 1290 due to disputes and founded the Taiseki-ji temple. Nikkō accused the other students at times of leaning too much on the tradition of Tendai, but there was still little difference in content to other Nichiren schools.

The Nichiren-Shōshū owns the Dai- Gohonzon , a mandala which Nichiren's life in himself and his Buddhahood is said to embody and which he is said to have left behind to all of humanity. Other Nichiren schools have doubts about the authenticity of this mandala, and scientific knowledge about its authenticity is not available to the public. After a thorough comparison with existing original Nichirens mandalas from the same time period (Koan, the year 1279), an independent research initiative comes to the conclusion that it is a so-called "wood plank mandala" from the period of the ninth abbot, which was made much later des Taiseki-ji, Nanjō Nichiyū (日 有 1409 ~ 1482). This Dai-Gohonzon is first mentioned in a document by this ninth high priest. However, this is a much more profound difference to other schools. The belief of the Nichiren-Shōshū to venerate Nichiren as a Buddha is closely linked to the possession of the Dai-Gohonzone or its existence, while the followers of the Nichiren-Shū see Nichiren as the embodiment of a Bodhisattva and as a reformer of Buddhism.

Contemplative forms of Buddhist meditation are not used in the Nichiren-Shōshū in contrast to the Nichiren-Shū.

As a completely autonomous Buddhist school, the Nichiren-Shōshū was formed in 1912. At this time, the Taiseki-ji Temple, with the temples subordinate to it, separated from other so-called Nikkō temples, which were also referred to as Honmon-shū . Previously, an attempt had been made to establish all Nikko temples as an independent school of Nichiren Buddhism. In contrast to the Nichiren-shū, the Nichiren-Shōshū worships Nichiren as a Buddha.

Although the priests of the Nichiren-Shōshū were also trained at the Risshō University , which was part of the Nichiren-shū, until the 1970s , there was no noteworthy exchange of ideas with other Buddhist traditions due to the self-imposed orthodoxy . The lay believers are mainly organized in the Hokkekō Rengō Kai .

At the center of Nichiren's teaching is the worship of the Lotus Sutra (Sanskrit: Saddharmapundarîkasutra , Japanese: Myōhō-Renge-kyō). The corresponding mantra is: Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō ( Daimoku , title of the Lotos Sutra).

The current high priest of the Nichiren-shōshū is Nichinyo Shonin (* 1935).

Religious practice

Early photo of the Dai- Gohonzon on Taiseki-ji

In addition to reciting the daimoku, reciting sections of the Lotus Sutra are also part of the daily practice in the morning and evening and is also called gongyo . Components of this are:

  • The second chapter of the Lotus Sutra ( Hoben-pon )
  • The 16th chapter of the Lotus Sutra ( Juryo-hon; Chogyo and Jiga-ge )
  • Five silent prayers including worship of the three treasures ( three jewels ), according to the interpretation of the Nichiren Shōshū, the three treasures are:

Nichiren-Shōshū and Sōka Gakkai

The constant conflict between the Sōka Gakkai  and the Nichiren-Shōshū led to the exclusion of the Kenshōkai in 1975 and the establishment of the Shōshinkai in 1980 .

In the course of disputes there was a separation between the Sōka Gakkai and Nichiren-Shōshū in 1991 and 1997 . The Sōka Gakkai was until then the largest lay organization within the Nichiren Shōshū. It can be assumed that a majority of lay believers decided to stay with the Sōka Gakkai. On the other hand, however, this separation also led to an increase in membership of another lay movement of the Nichiren Shōshū, the so-called Hokkekō Rengō Kai in the 1990s .

In 2002, the Nichiren Shōshū is said to have had about 350,000 followers in Japan and about 600,000 followers in other countries. How many lay believers did not feel that they belonged to either of the two groups or switched to other Nichiren schools was not officially recorded.


  • Margareta von Borsig (ex.): Lotos Sutra - The great book of enlightenment in Buddhism. Herder Verlag, new edition 2009. ISBN 978-3-451-30156-8
  • A Dictionary of Buddhist Terms and Concepts, Nichiren Shōshū International Center (NSIC), Tokyo, 1983. ISBN 4-88872-014-2
  • The Doctrines and Practice of Nichiren Shoshu. Nichiren Shoshu Overseas Bureau, 2002
  • Richard Causton: Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism, Rider & Co, London 1988. ISBN 0712622691
  • Basic Terminology of Nichiren Shoshu, Vol. 1, Nichiren Shōshū Shumuin, eds. Dainichiren Publishing Co., 2009. ISBN 4-904429-28-1 , ISBN 978-4-904429-28-0
  • The Gosho of Nichiren Daishōnin, Vol. 1, Nichiren Shōshū Overseas Bureau, trans. Dainichiren Publishing Co. 2005. ISBN 4-904429-26-5 , ISBN 978-4-904429-26-6
  • The Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 2: Rissho Ankoku Ron, Nichiren Shōshū Shumuin, trans. Dainichiren Publishing Co. 2009. ISBN 4-904429-26-5 , ISBN 978-4-904429-26-6

Individual evidence

  1. The Nichiren Mandala Study Workshop: The mandala in Nichiren Buddhism, Special Feature: The "Honmon Kaidan Daigohonzon" of Nichiren Shoshu Taiseki-ji. The Nichiren Mandala Study Workshop, 2015, accessed August 3, 2019 .
  2. ^ Daniel B. Montgomery: Fire in The Lotus. Mandala 1991, p. 171.
  3. [1] Transfer Ceremony from 67th High Priest Nikken Shonin to 68th High Priest Nichinyo Shonin
  4. ^ The Liturgy of Nichiren Shoshu, The Taiseki-ji Version, 1987
  5. Nichiren Shoshu Temple Los Angeles 2003. Nichiren Shoshu Basics of Practice ( Memento August 30, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), pp. 10-21. (PDF; 2.0 MB)
  6. Nichiren Shoshu Temple Los Angeles 2003. Nichiren Shoshu Basics of Practice ( Memento August 30, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), pp. 22-32. (PDF; 2.0 MB)
  7. The history of the relationship between Nichiren Shoshu and the Soka Gakkai - history of the exclusion of the Soka Gakkai, from the perspective of the Nichiren Shoshu, in English.
  8. Nichiren Shoshu Myokan-ko official website ( Memento from December 1, 2013 in the Internet Archive )

Web links