On Dec. 19th, High Priest Nikken’s birthday, the Supreme Court of Japan dismissed the appeal made by Nichiren Shoshu pertaining to their unlawful dumping of cremated remains.
In March 2000, four plaintiffs filed suit against Nichiren Shoshu for damages over unlawful dumping of the cremated remains of family members along with the remains of numerous others. In April 2003, the Tokyo High Court ordered Taiseki-ji to pay damages to each bereaved family. In response, Nichiren Shoshu appealed to the Supreme Court.
It was revealed throughout the proceedings that not only did Nichiren Shoshu mix ashes with numerous others, it stuffed these ashes into used rice bags. Between 150 to 200 of these bags were then put into a hole dug within Taiseki-ji temple grounds.
In its ruling, the Tokyo High Court noted that without notifying any of the affected families, Nichiren Shoshu planted cedar trees on top of the buried ashes and a general memorial service was conducted. (SEE Soka Spirit e-Newsletter, “Tokyo High Court Rules…”) Up to this point, no facility appropriate for a burial site has been set up. The Supreme Court upheld the order for Nichiren Shoshu to pay consolation fees to the bereaved families.
This was the third time the Supreme Court ruled against Nichiren Shoshu in 2003. In July, the Supreme Court ruled against Nikken Abe for slandering a reformist priest. And in September, the court ruled against Nikken Abe and Nichiren Shoshu for spreading false rumors pertaining to the “Seattle Incident.”