The Nichiren Shu Head Temple
Minobusan Kuonji Temple is the head temple of Nichiren Shu, located in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. Since its founding in 1274 more than seven centuries ago, it has attracted numerous visitors as a sacred site of the Lotus Sutra.
The spirit and remains of Nichiren Shonin, the founder of the denomination, who passed away in Ikegami in present-day Tokyo in October 1282 are enshrined in this temple, in accordance with his will, that his grave site be built in the Minobusan precincts where he had spent nine years reciting the Lotus Sutra.
Odaimoku (Namu Myoho Renge Kyo)
Odaimoku is a special chant containing the complete title of the Lotus Sutra: Myoho Renge Kyo. Chanting all the syllables of “Namu Myoho Renge Kyo” with absolute belief (Namu) in this supreme sutra is considered key to all merits given by Shakyamuni Buddha.
Nichiren Shonin (1222-1282)
Nichiren Shonin was born in present-day Chiba and entered the priesthood at 12. After studying various Buddhist sutras in depth, he finally became convinced that the Lotus Sutra authentically conveyed Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings; capable of delivering all people from suffering.
Accordingly, he proclaimed his sangha in 1253 by chanting Odaimoku while facing the morning sun from the Asahi-ga-Mori summit. However, his effort to guide people living in the chaotic Kamakura period was denied and he was persecuted by government on numerous occasions.