The Hero of the World

Background and Summary(Short Story)

During Kenji’s third year (1277), Shijō Kingo faced danger due to his conflict with Lord Ema. Colleagues sought to harm Kingo, prompting Nichiren Daishonin to write a letter defending him. The letter clarifies the distinction between Buddhism and government, emphasizing Buddhism’s lack of manipulation and its reliance on an absolute Law. The Daishonin urges Kingo to protect himself from enemies.

Main Text

Buddhism primarily concerns itself with victory or defeat, while secular authority is based on the principle of reward and punishment. For this reason, a Buddha is looked up to as the Hero of the World, while a king is called the one who rules at his will.

Buddhism is reason. Reason will win over your lord. No matter how dearly you may love your wife and wish never to part from her, when you die, it will be to no avail. No matter how dearly you may cherish your estate, when you die, it will only fall into the hands of others. You have been prosperous enough for all these years. You must not give your estate a second thought.


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