We extend our utmost respect to the members of the SGI, who earnestly practice Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism in this evil age of the five purities, the Latter Day of the Law, proving its greatness in your daily lives and respective communities, united in spirit with SGI President Ikeda.
The Association of Youthful Priests for the Reformation of Nichiren Shoshu is an organization of the youthful priests who left Nichiren Shoshu. As former believers in Nichiren Shoshu, we did activities and studied the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, and were deeply impressed with the practice and teachings of Nichiren Buddhism. We embraced a vow to use our lives for the happiness of humanity. We left our homes and became priests under the mentorship of the chief administrator of Nichiren Shoshu. In Nichiren Shoshu, the chief administrator is the high priest, the lord of the Law. And so we became disciples of High Priest Nikken Abe.
Essentially, the high priest as the chief religious representative of his school and the person of ultimate responsibility should be an individual who embraces the spirit of Nichiren Daishonin with earnest prayers for the happiness, peace and prosperity of humankind, and he should be exemplary in guiding people in faith. However, we found out that the high priest was far from being a model of faith.
In those days, the Soka Gakkai, the largest religious organization in Japan, supported Nichiren Shoshu. It was the Soka Gakkai, not Nichiren Shoshu that was most active in both propagating and studying Nichiren Buddhism. While Nichiren Shoshu was supported by such an excellent lay organization, High Priest Nikken was consistently indulging himself in an extravagant, pleasure-seeking lifestyle. He was not concerned with matters of faith and spreading the Law.
The high priest’s lifestyle set an example that permeated the entire priesthood of Nichiren Shoshu with decadence and corruption. Upon entering the priesthood, we were naturally dumbfounded by this situation.
What is most unforgivable about the priesthood’s behavior is High Priest Nikken Abe’s plan called Operation C, a cruel plan to cut off the Soka Gakkai from Nichiren Shoshu. He executed this plan using manipulation and deception. He intimidated Gakkai members, and scolded them when he found that they would not blindly follow his directions.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Nikken’s execution of Operation C, a devious scheme to destroy the SGI’s kosen-rufu movement.
Where else in the world does a religious clergy exist that humiliates and abandons their lay believers? Nikken, who created and implemented the scheme, and the priesthood who sided with him, embody what Buddhist teachings define as a “devilish function.”
This is the ultimate reason that inspired us to stand up for the reformation of Nichiren Shoshu, staking our lives as priests on this purpose.
The fundamental factor that caused the priesthood to behave in this way is a deeply rooted belief of Nikken and other priests that the priesthood is superior to the laity. This belief has no foundation in the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism that expound the equality of all people. The Operation C scheme to destroy the Soka Gakkai is derived from Nikken’s compulsion to despise and condemn this great lay organization.
The danka system, which originated in Japan’s 17th century Edo period, was a result of a policy adopted by the Tokugawa government to enslave ordinary people to the Buddhist temples they belonged to. As a result, the compassionate spirit of Buddhism and original objective to save people was lost in Japan. Once corrupted, Buddhism fell into mere formality and became known as a “funeral Buddhism” business. It developed a culture among the clergy where they looked down on people as merely a source of income and viewed themselves as a “privileged class” in society.
In the history of Japan, the discriminatory attitudes of Buddhist schools became the fundamental attitude of the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood. The behavior of the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood today is found in its manipulation of Nichiren Buddhism to protect its own authority. The priesthood believes it is the natural order of things for people to subordinate themselves to priests. This mindset became a source of prejudice on the part of the priesthood.
On this occasion marking the 20th anniversary of Operation C, we have created a document that records Nikken’s actions from ten different perspectives. It would please us very much should this document help SGI members understand not only how evil Nikken’s actions were but also the righteousness of the SGI and the greatness of the oneness of mentor and disciple.
Today, the original identity of Nichiren Shoshu as a correct school of Nichiren Buddhism has disappeared from the planet. Instead, what is called the Nikken sect has appeared, engaged in distorting Nichiren Buddhism, taking advantage of danto members’ obedience and guiding people in the wrong direction. It is our sincere hope that both those who had been practicing faith before the temple issue broke out and those who encountered Nichiren Buddhism after the issue got under way will realize that the same Nichiren Buddhism can be either a religion for the sake of human beings as expounded in the SGI or a religion that uses human beings for their own advantage as exemplified by the Nikken sect.
The Association of Youthful Priests for the Reformation of Nichiren Shoshu
Table of Contents
- Nikken has had “Operation C” on His Mind for Many Years
- Nikken Will RestoreDankaSystem upon Inauguration as High Priest
- Nikken Praises Soka Gakkai in Public and Plots to Attack it Behind the Scenes
- Nikken’s Decision to Dismiss of Honorary President Ikeda Was Made before Criticizing Lay Leader Openly and Nichiren Shoshu’s Criticism of Honorary President Ikeda in “Inquiry” Loses Ground
- “Resentment” and “Jealousy” Fueled Nikken’s Emotions in Plotting “Operation C”
- Nichiren Shoshu Priesthood’s Deep-seated Discrimination toward Laity Grows Stronger
- Discrimination by Priesthood Degrades Laity and Causes Priesthood Corruption
- Nikken’s Sins Are Unparalleled in History of Buddhism
- Nikken Steals Office of High Priest, Causing Nichiren Shoshu to Decline.
- Conclusion —Nikken is Defeat
Temple Issue – Timeline
Contents of Operation C
We Now Declare Nikken’s Total Defeat on This 20th Anniversary of the Execution of “Operation C.”
Gohonzon Transcribed by Nikken Have Vanished While Gohonzon Transcribed by Nichikan Have Spread Globally. This is Itself Proof of Nikken’s Defeat.
By All the Members of Youthful Reformist Priests
October 2, 2010
Nikken named his plan “Operation C” using the “C” as an abbreviation for the English word “cut” to banish Honorary President Ikeda at a secret meeting at the head temple, Taiseki-ji, on July 18, 1990.
The objective of “Operation C” was in dissolving the Soka Gakkai lay organization, and building a priest-centered organization where the priesthood and temples would be in the center of everything. Placing ex-Soka Gakkai members under priest’s complete control, Nikken as the high priest would then reign over this new association.
An outline of Operation C is contained in a document titled “The Operation to Dissolve the Soka Gakkai (‘Operation C’)” recorded by Kido Fukuda, a Nichiren Shoshu priest and secretary of the Overseas Bureau of the Administrative Office at Taiseki-ji. It contains the following
The objective of this operation is to remove Honorary President Ikeda from the position of sokoto, head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations, to publicly announce to Japanese society and the world that Nichiren Shoshu has nothing to do with the Soka Gakkai any more, to completely destroy the lay organization of the Soka Gakkai, and thus restructure the current establishment to create an impeccable, new structure based on pure faith.
Operation Action Plan
A special session of the Council that will be held on August 28, 1990, will resolve to amend the following articles of the Rules of Nichiren Shoshu. Article 158, Article 223, Article 226, Article 227 and Article 228. They need to be amended to carry out this operation.
What will be decided at the special session of the Council will be communicated to the Soka Gakkai at the communication meeting that is scheduled on August 13, 1990. Following the instructions of the Administrative Office, all temples throughout Japan will have an oko [study] lecture on the same day to share the new directions for the enhancement of the authority of the three treasures of Nichiren Shoshu and lay believers’ obligation to fully commit themselves to them. [NOTE: The out of sequence dates of Aug. 28 and Aug. 13 appears in Fukuda’s original notes]
Dismissing Honorary President Ikeda from the position of sokoto, head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations and notifying Soka Gakkai top leaders of his dismissal.
Honorary President Ikeda was the biggest obstacle for Nikken to fulfill his ambition to put all believers under his control. If Nichiren Shoshu were a normal religious organization, it would naturally have been proud of a representative who had gained so much trust from dignitaries and scholars around the world. However, Nikken, in a display of power and authority as “the lord of the Law” (high priest), began to look jealously upon this unparalleled leader as the obstacle to his quest. His attachment to personal ambition became so out of proportion that he cunningly plotted and executed Operation C.
Honorary President Ikeda was dismissed from the position of the head of all lay organizations on December 27, 1990 without any prior notice from Nichiren Shoshu through the priesthood’s revision of the Rules of Nichiren Shoshu.
Nichiren Shoshu’s general priests did not know that such a plot was being mapped out by their executive. Many of the local chief priests were perplexed at this sudden change. Some of them distrusted this irrational way of doing things on the part of the administration of Nichiren Shoshu. However, Nikken and the administration of Nichiren Shoshu ignored the opinions of the majority of priests within the school. Not only that, they refused to accept the Soka Gakkai’s repeated request for dialogue, taking unilateral actions one after another against the lay organization.
In July 1991, Nichiren Shoshu unilaterally abolished the monthly pilgrimage system that had been long operated by the Soka Gakkai, ordering all priests to make efforts to disassociate Gakkai members from the Soka Gakkai and urge them to belong directly to a temple in their neighborhood. Eventually, Nichiren Shoshu excommunicated the Soka Gakkai on November 28, 1991.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Nikken’s conceptualization and execution of Operation C, an ultimate sin in the history of Buddhism with the only purpose to destroy the legitimate Buddhist order of millions of believers. Let us look into Operation C once again reveal Nikken’s cruel actions in the record of Buddhist history, declaring his total defeat at this milestone of the 20th anniversary.
Nikken has had “Operation C” on His Mind for Many Years
Nikken Comes Up with the Name “Operation C”
The following statements are from the “Kawabe Memo.” Jitoku Kawabe took notes at a secret meeting held on July 18th, 1990 in the Daishoin room at Taiseki-ji to discuss Operation C.
After General Affairs Bureau Chief Hayase made a report of the monthly communication conference of Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai, discussions were made toward the dismissal of Ikeda.
Kawabe: “Then, this operation is called Operation G.”
High Priest: “That’s not right. It’s C.”
Kawabe almost went ahead to call this Gakkai-dissolving Operation G after the first letter (G) of Gakkai, but Nikken himself named it “Operation C” instead.
There is a testimony that proves this episode. Rev. Gen’ei Kudo and Rev. Shojun Ohashi, both of whom are reformist priests, met in Nikken’s reception center at the head temple on March 5, 1991. At that time, Rev. Ohashi asked Nikken about the existence of Operation C. Nikken replied angrily:
“Then I’ll tell you! It means to cut off that bastard’s head!”
Nikken, using his own finger, wrote in the air “C, U, T”. The “bastard” that Nikken referred to was Honorary President Ikeda.
Reverend Ohashi, reading what Nikken wrote in the air, asked Nikken to confirm,
“Are you saying ‘cut’?”
Nikken replied without any pause,
“Exactly. It’s Operation C after the first letter of ‘cut.’”
Nikken then added to justify himself:
“I’m not doing this casually. I’ve been thinking of this for the past five or six years.”
Nikken says that he has been thinking of this plan for more than five years, but what he is really referring to here is the timing of the execution of Operation C.
Nikken Believed in the Idea That Temples Should Be the Center Even When He Was Chief Priest of Local Temples
Ever since the days when he was a chief priest of branch temples Nikken embraced the basic idea of Operation C, to put all believers under the priesthood’s control. One of Nikken’s past remarks proves this point. It was made at the nationwide teachers seminar held at the head temple on August 2, 1992:
“After World War II, I created a Hokkeko group at my temple to fulfill my resolve toward kosen-rufu. However, in those days, the Soka Gakkai was on the rise. Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai had conflicts in many senses. We collided again and again. I was told by the former high priest, Nittatsu, ‘From now on, we should not think about our future without the existence of the Soka Gakkai.’ Therefore, I put aside my own idea for the sake of kosen-rufu to maintain the harmony of priesthood and laity within the temple. I proclaimed that the Soka Gakkai was an organization of kosen-rufu and that ‘I, as a priest, must lend as much support as possible to the Soka Gakkai.’”
Nikken says, “After World War II, I created a Hokkeko group at my temple to fulfill my resolve toward kosen-rufu.” But this is a sheer lie. What Nikken actually did was to disassociate Gakkai members from the Soka Gakkai, thus creating danto members who practice only under the temple.
Nikken was appointed as chief priest of Hongyo-ji temple in Mukojima, Tokyo in 1947. Hongyo-ji temple was nearly destroyed during the war. It is said that Nikken lamented to fellow priests, “Why in the world should I stay and take care of such a miserable temple?”
Already Nikken had developed a biased view of the Soka Gakkai. Nikken is said to have said the following to President Toda.
“Our faith once prevailed widely with the appearance of amazing believers in the Tokugawa and Meiji periods. However, they later on became self-centered. Mr. Toda is now taking leadership for everybody, but soon after, he may do things just for his own sake just as other lay leaders did in the past.”
Nikken once caused a Gakkai believer in Fukagawa, Tokyo to leave the Soka Gakkai, appointing him as head of the Hokkeko Group of his temple. It is a fact that he was engaged in creating danto members under the control of his temple.
Nikken Was Once Scolded by President Toda for Creating Temple Members
In the meantime, President Toda became aware of Nikken’s involvement in establishing danto members. One day, Nikken was directly scolded by President Toda.
As to this fact, Nikken wrote in an article for the 1958 May issue of Dai-Nichiren under the title of “On This Occasion of President Toda’s Passing”:
“This may be my karma, or perhaps because of my priestly nature, as Mr. Toda points out, I set a boundary in my heart between me and him around the time of 1949. Because of that, I could not fully connect myself with the well-rounded, enlightened, strict and noble heart and spirit of Mr. Toda. I now regret this very much.”
Soon after the war, Nikken spontaneously engaged in a disruptive action to destroy harmony in the Buddhist order. Perceiving the baseness of Nikken’s nature as a priest, President Toda severely scolded him to straighten out his faith.
Nikken Appeared Obedient but was Opposed in His Heart to Former High Priest Nittatsu
Aware of Nikken’s detrimental actions, High Priest Nittatsu did not keep quiet. It was High Priest Nittatsu who said to Nikken, “From now on, we should not think about our future without the existence of the Soka Gakkai.”
Rebuked by High Priest Nittatsu about his idea of “promoting kosen-rufu with the priesthood in full control of the laity, Nikken acted on the surface as if following his mentor for a while. But he confesses that it did not mean that he changed his original views. He also confesses that he temporarily postponed putting his plans into action.
What Nikken truly meant by the above statement is:
“From now on, Nichiren Shoshu should think about the harmony of priesthood and laity within the temple without the existence of the Soka Gakkai.”
What was in the depths of Nikken’s heart was his original view in the above statement.
Here, Nikken uses the expression “harmony of priesthood and laity within the temple.” In this case, harmony does not mean cooperation between priesthood and laity. What Nikken means by harmony is the laity’s obedience to the priesthood. Nikken in essence discriminates against lay believers.
The state of the current priesthood of Nichiren Shoshu exactly proves this point. Only priests are allowed in Nichiren Shoshu to conduct ceremonies, lecture on the Gosho and give guidance in faith. All believers are encouraged to do within Nichiren Shoshu is to obey the priesthood. Lay leaders are no different from mere communicators.
Pushing the Soka Gakkai aside was always in Nikken’s thoughts and is the origin of Operation C.
In other words, Operation C is not a sudden plot that Nikken came up with twenty years ago. Operation C is an ultimate manifestation of what Nikken had in mind as his ideal views on how Nichiren Shoshu should conduct itself.
Why then did Nikken come to harbor such views? What is Nikken hoping for? Let’s examine these questions.
- Nikken Intends to RestoreDankaSystem upon Inauguration as High Priest of Nichiren Shoshu
Nikken’s Emphasis on “Recovery of Founder’s Way” Is Nothing Other Than His Attachment to Reactivating the Old Danka System
Upon his inauguration as an illegitimate high priest of Nichiren Shoshu, Nikken advocated restoring “the founder’s way (sodo no kaifuku).” According to the Daijirin Japanese dictionary, “kaifuku” means 1) for something that went wrong to regain its original status and 2) to regain what was lost. (Sodo means the founder’s way.)
“The original status” and “what was lost” – what do these mean to Nikken? Answers to these questions are obvious in light of Nichiren Shoshu’s current contention.
Nichiren Shoshu strongly contends today that believers cannot attain enlightenment without the presence of the priesthood, as indicated by such statements as “Believers cannot attain Buddhahood without the priest’s assistance” or “Believers cannot attain enlightenment without a posthumous name (kaimyo) given to them by the temple.” Where did this kind of idea come from? It came from the danka system adopted in the Edo period in Japan.
The danka system was enacted by the Edo government to prevent the spread of Christianity. Under this system, people had to decide which Buddhist temple or school they would belong to. The temple they belonged to issued a certificate stating their religious status that they are danka members of the temple that issued it. Without this certificate, people could not work in their communities or even travel to other parts of the country.
At first, the government allowed each member of a family to transfer to another temple, but later on, the government forced each family to stay with a specific temple where the family kept its tomb. In this way, the government prohibited all families from moving to other temples. Because of this governmental regulation, it is said that there developed a custom in Japan that each family has its own altar at home. The temple that a family belonged to kept identification records (ninbetsucho) of the entire danka family.
As a result, the danka family was required to report to the temple it belonged to about the birth of a new baby in the family, the death of a member, the relocation of the family itself, and the marriage of a member. The temple was thus in control of every aspect of the daily lives of its danka families including their memorial service, cemetery, ihai tablet, and memorial records (kakocho).
Nichiren Shoshu Currently Functions Based on Danka System
In this manner, the Buddhist temple played a vital role as an agent of the government in controlling the lives of the people by issuing identification papers.
Because of this system, there developed a custom for lay believers to invite a priest to their memorial service, which guaranteed Buddhist temples a certain number of danto members and amount of income.
At the same time, the priest that conducted a funeral was obligated to observe the facial appearance of the deceased danto member, confirm their identity as a danto member, confer a posthumous name upon them and declare their death. Without inviting a priest to their memorial service, lay believers were suspected of being Christians. Out of fear of being executed if identified as Christians, lay people always invited a priest to their funeral.
The custom of “inviting a priest to the funeral and receiving his assistance for the deceased to attain Buddhahood” that Nichiren Shoshu stresses today is nothing other than a remnant of the danka system established in the Edo period.
Namely, what Nikken is trying to recover is not “the harmony seen in the days of Nichiren Daishonin between priesthood and laity” but the situation before the appearance of the Soka Gakkai, that is, the danka system that was institutionalized in the Edo period and the authority of the priesthood attached to this system — the power to control all aspects of believers’ lives.
Nikken Opposes Soka Gakkai’s Acquisition of the Legal Status of Independent Religious Corporation
It was Nikken who was fiercely against the Soka Gakkai’s attempt in 1952 to acquire independent legal status as a religious corporation. Nikken made the following statement at a teachers guidance meeting in August 1992.
“Honestly speaking, I was against the Soka Gakkai’s position. In those days, Rev. Nichijun Horigome was the chief priest of Josen-ji temple in Tokyo. I was the chief priest of neighboring Hongyo-ji temple. I shared with him my frank opinion that was against the Soka Gakkai’s idea to create an independent legal corporation.”
According to Nikken, the idea of a lay organization’s having the same level of legal status as Nichiren Shoshu was absolutely impermissible.
In this light, it is obvious that the recovery of the founder’s way that Nikken advocated was to recover the situation where believers, powerless and dependent upon the priesthood, are always in the position inferior to the priesthood. In other words, the danka system is exactly what Nikken intended to reestablish within Nichiren Shoshu.
What is being taught to danto members in the current Nichiren Shoshu where the danka system has been restored? What is repeatedly stressed in Nichiren Shoshu is not the strength of one’s faith but the existence of the priesthood, as the priesthood can give a posthumous name to a deceased person to guide him or her to enlightenment at the funeral.
Nikken States Priesthood can Live Decent Lives with 200,000 Gakkai Members
There is more proof that Nikken intended to reestablish the danka system.
Nikken made the following statement when he met with some anti-Gakkai journalists on December 25, 1990.
“We’d be OK if 200,000 members came to the temple side.”
Where did the number 200,000 come from? There is a common belief in Japanese Buddhism that “a local temple can survive as long as it has 200 to 300 danka families.” Since Nichiren Shoshu had some 600 temples, it meant that 200,000 temple believers should be sufficient enough to support their livelihood based upon the calculation that each temple has 300 danka families’ support. That Nikken arrived at the figure of 200,000 was based upon the notion that this many lay believers can financially support all the priests of both the head temple and local temples.
Nikken’s primary concern was to provide a comfortable lifestyle for priests rather than the faith of members or kosen-rufu. Indeed, what Nikken intended was to reinforce the Danka system for the security and pleasure of the priesthood.
- Duality of Nikken Who Praises Soka Gakkai on One Hand and Plots to Attack Gakkai behind Scenes
“Kawabe Memo” Reveals Two Secret Meetings
According to Kawabe’s notes, seven key senior priests of Nichiren Shoshu secretly met on two occasions in July 1990 to discuss how to destroy the Soka Gakkai.
Participants in these secret meetings were Nikken Abe, the high priest, Nichijun Fujimoto, the then general administrator, Gikan Hayase, the current high priest of Nichiren Shoshu (Nichinyo) and then General Affairs Bureau chief, Kogaku Akimoto, the then Public Relations Bureau chief, Shin’ei Yagi, the then chief director of Taiseki-ji, Kaido Seki, the then chief staff of the Overseas Bureau and Jitoku Kawabe, the then adviser of Nichiren Shoshu.
Kawabe was present at these secret meetings because within Nichiren Shoshu he was considered a remarkable strategist.
The first secret meeting was held on the evening of July 16 at the branch office of Taiseki-ji at Nishikata in Bunkyo ward, Tokyo. This meeting is generally known as “Nishikata Conference.”
It is clearly recorded in the Kawabe memo that in an outburst, Nikken expressed his intent to oust Honorary President Ikeda. A plot to do so was very carefully discussed on that occasion. Kawabe’s notes state:
The tone of the meeting was intense. The high priest vehemently stressed that we should “Banish Ikeda and “Stop special and regular contributions to the Gakkai!”
Kawabe’s point: “If you do this under the current condition of Nichiren Shoshu, it will hurt us as well as the Gakkai. If you are to carry out this plan, we should first straighten out the behavior of the priesthood within our school.”
Fujimoto, too, remonstrated, “The letter of criticism of the Gakkai [so-called letter from a believer] was a case of hearsay. (Fujimoto added that it was discovered that the letter was rumor by contacting the writer by phone.) Using this letter to justify our plan would be a problem.” As a result, the resolve of the high priest and all the priests present at the conference about going ahead with this plan weakened. The meeting at Nishikata came to an end with an agreement today’s participants would meet again at the high priest’s quarter of the head temple at 9 AM on 18th.”
Nichiren Shoshu priests’ extravagant, luxurious lifestyle was a big issue in those days. It was witnessed by Gakkai members that many priests indulged themselves in playing the arcade game pachinko or playing golf during work hours or in drinking in bars at night. Naturally, their behavior was frowned upon by lay believers.
Kawabe insisted that no matter how fiercely Nikken might advocate, “ousting Ikeda,” Nichiren Shoshu would find it difficult to attack the Gakkai once the issue of the priesthood’s lifestyle comes up.
Chief priests’ behavioral problem was the Achilles heel of Nichiren Shoshu. It became an issue again at the second secret meeting.
Nikken Gives His Plot the Name “Operation C” at Second Meeting
The second secret meeting was held at the Daishoin room of Taiseki-ji at 9 AM on July 18, 1990. This second secret meeting is called the Gozen (which literally “with a noble person”) Conference.
This meeting, which was a continuation of the first secret meeting, is where Nikken shouted out the letter “C” to identity this operation to destroy the Gakkai. It is clearly recorded that Nikken named the plot “Operation C.”
Conference Memo by Jitoku Kawabe
The flow of the Gozen Conference
After General Bureau Chief Hayase’s report of the last communication conference, the conference addressed the issue of ousting Ikeda.
Kawabe: “Then, this operation is called Operation G.”
High Priest: That’s not right. It’s C.
Anyway, the high priest’s audience with Ikeda on (July) 21st will be the key.
We will collect more negative proof of Ikeda and wait for the time to execute Operation C.
Kawabe Cautions, “The Operation Will Fail Unless We First Deal with Our Own Priests’ Behavioral Problems”
Nikken made an attempt to quickly carry out the plan but Kawabe, just as he said at the first meeting, insisted on the necessity of self-restraint on the part of the priesthood’s behavior in daily life. At first, Nikken remained unconvinced, but others agreed with Kawabe. As a result, it was agreed that a guideline toward self-restraint should be presented at the teachers guidance meeting to be held at the end of August as the first step toward the attacking the Soka Gakkai. This is clearly written in the Kawabe Memo.
Conference Memo Taken by Jitoku Kawabe
Kawabe: “You say this is ‘Operation C.’ Sooner or later, we may have to put it into action, but if you take action now, it may hurt us, too. We need to analyze the situation within and without in order to carry it out. More important at this point is for the priesthood to clean up its behavior. Once we execute this operation, the Gakkai will surely take the offence against us using our priests’ behavioral problems.”
High Priest: “You always stress the need for more analysis. But what can we accomplish just through analyzing?”
The high priest angrily scolded Kawabe.
Kawabe: “No, we’ll be surely attacked by the Gakkai unless we straighten out the behavioral problems of the priests. We should give them guidance on their behavior at a teachers guidance meeting. Then, we can tackle the Gakkai issue.”
Fujimoto: “I agree with Kawabe. If you put this plan into action, it’ll hurt us, too.
Kawabe: When we fight the Gakkai, it means we fight the daily newspaper the Seikyo Shimbun. Nichiren Shoshu has no equivalent to Seikyo.
High Priest: What do you all think of Kawabe’s idea?
All seemed to agree with Kawabe in silence.
Hayase: I think we’ll be better off with Kawabe’s idea.
Such an exchange of opinions continued before and after lunch. Finally, it was decided that the action to dispel Ikeda would be on hold with the acknowledgement that the behavioral issue of priests be addressed first. It was decided that guidance should be given about the priesthood’s behavioral matter at the teachers’ seminar at the end of August. The Gozen Conference came to an end with the agreement that another meeting be held to prepare for the upcoming teachers’ seminar.
Nichiren Shoshu Hypocritically Issues A Self-discipline Order to Prepare for the Execution of “Operation C”
A teachers guidance meeting was held at Taiseki-ji on August 29 and 30, 1990, where 21 points were presented for self-restraint on the part of the priests and their families. Part of them reads as follows:
* As priests you should make it a principle to have small earthly desires and to be content. You should behave yourselves in your daily lives. You should not indulge in pleasure seeking. As priests you should be strict with your words and deeds so that you won’t be criticized by lay believers and people in general.
* It is prohibited for you to behave in a manner that is disgraceful as priests. You should refrain from pursuing too extravagant and luxurious a lifestyle. The same applies to the family members of priests.
* In buying things including your car, you should not select one that is too luxurious that does not suit your status as priests. The color of your car should not be too loud. Therefore, it is prohibited to for a priest to own a red car. The style of the car you possess, as priests should be suitably conservative. The same applies to family members of the priests.
All of these guidelines are nothing exceptional. They are what any priest should abide by as a matter of course. The fact that such common sense guidelines had to be elucidated means that:
* There were many priests who were indulging in seeking pleasure to the point where they were criticized by lay believers and people in society.
* There were many priests and their family members who adorned themselves with extravagant and luxurious goods.
* There were many priests and family members who owned expensive and flashy cars.
In other words, these guidelines show that many chief priests were indeed corrupt in their hearts and behavior.
What was the primary purpose of these guidelines? It should have meant that the priesthood of Nichiren Shoshu would sincerely change its attitude in faith and genuinely reflect upon their words and actions as priests of Nichiren Shoshu.
However, the truth was far from it. As indicated by the Kawabe Memo, this order of self-restraint was nothing other than a ruse for the priesthood to look nice enough to prepare for the attack on the Soka Gakkai through the execution of “Operation C.”
Nikken and His Wife Stay at High-class Hot Spa on the Very Day He Issued the Self-discipline Order
It was Nikken himself who proved that this order of self-restraint was a farce. As soon as the teachers’ seminar was over on August 20, 1990, Nikken went straight to a hot spring in Nagaoka, Izu and stayed at a famous, gorgeous, top-class inn with his family and cohorts.
According to an employee of this hotel, six of them, that is, Nikken and his wife, Shinsho Abe, his son, and his wife, Shinryo Ishii (a priest handling money at Taiseki-ji) and his wife, stayed overnight there. The room that Nikken and his wife occupied cost them 150,000 yen per night. The room had a space of almost 1750 square feet equipped with a 24,500 square foot garden. Nikken enjoyed a special dinner that cost each person 100,000 yen.
At a teachers guidance meeting on August 30, Nikken once again gave guidance with regards to the direction of self-restraint:
“Please take to heart the significance of the self-restraint order given at the teachers guidance meeting yesterday. What is basic in restraining ourselves is our pure faith and ceaseless practice and study.”
That Nikken went straight to a high-class hotel in total disregard of the order of self-restraint proves that the only purpose of the order was to deceive the Soka Gakkai. He had no shame in spending lavishly on himself, family and friends. He also deceived other priests of Nichiren Shoshu to prepare for the execution of Operation C.
Nikken Family is Shameless in their Indulgence of Expensive Pleasures
Nikken’s extravagance had started long before. A former employee of this luxurious inn testified as follows:
“Mr. Nikken, his wife, his son, Shinsho, his daughter Yuriko and her husband came to our inn almost every month. Mr. Nikken’s driver knows this best. In those days, our inn had two most expensive rooms that were 150,000 yen per night. Mr. Nikken always stayed at one of these two gorgeous rooms. His reservation was always made by Mr. Shinryo Ishii. General Administrator Fujimoto, Mr. Shin’ei Yagi, Mr. Gikan Hayase, and Mr. Juken Ohmura also would often come. When they came as a large group, 22 or 23 people came together. Usually, however, they came as a group of 16 or 17 people. With their drivers included, they usually reserved more than 10 rooms.”
According to this former employee, Nikken and his cohorts are said to have spent 200,000 yen per person for one night including meals. Furthermore, when Nikken, his family and cohorts came together to this inn, they spent 3 to 4 million yen per visit. And it is said that they came to this inn once a month.
What is disturbing about Nikken and his cohorts is that they aren’t in the least embarrassed by excessive behavior. The money Nikken spent on himself came from believers’ sincere and pure-hearted offerings. In this way Nikken is no different from Ryokan in Nichiren Daishonin’s time, as both satisfied their earthly desires using believers’ innocent and heartfelt contributions.
Hayase and Abe Families Share Same Nature
The Hayase family’s extravagant lifestyle is similar to that of the Abe family. Daigan-ji temple in Tokyo, where Nichinyo Hayase (current high priest) was the chief priest, was renovated in 1988. The renovation cost about one billion yen. Hayase proudly said at the time, “I didn’t owe anything to the Gakkai for this renovation. I did it all on my own, and I paid everything in cash.” However, all the money he had as the chief priest of Daigan-ji originally came from Gakkai believers’ offerings.
This luxuriously remodeled Daigan-ji is like an exclusive Japanese restaurant. The cost of the nameplate placed at the doorframe of the temple alone is said to have been 2 million yen. Each pillar of the main Gohonzon room was made of the most luxurious, gigantic keyaki tree. The chief priest’s lodging quarter is made of the most luxurious Akita cedar, zelkova and Japanese cypress trees. The kitchen has a German kitchen that was order-made to particularly suit the height of Hayase’s wife. It is said to have cost more than 7 million yen. The temple was equipped with an elevator used exclusively for the chief priest and his family.
Nichinyo Hayase’s younger brother was married to Nikken’s daughter, Yuriko. Myokoku-ji temple in Itabashi ward, Tokyo, whose chief priest was this younger brother of Nichinyo Hayase, was famous within Nichiren Shoshu as the most luxurious temple. All the cooking equipment in the kitchen of this temple is worth 30 million yen. The kitchen has a barbecue table worth 5 million yen. One entire room is used for storage. Commenting on this super luxurious kitchen a chief priest simply once stated, “Isn’t this too much?”
Nichinyo Hayase’s daughter had a wedding reception at a first-class hotel in Tokyo. This super extravagant wedding reception gave the impression that it was being held for a big business leader’s son or a movie star.
Just like the Nikken family, the Hayase family does not feel any sense of guilt in spending believers’ sincere offerings in this most extravagant manner.
While Plotting “Operation C” behind Scenes, Nikken Commends Soka Gakkai at Grand Ceremony Celebrating the 700th Anniversary of Taiseki-ji
Manipulation characterizes Operation C.
To recap, Nikken and his cohorts discussed the plot to oust Honorary President Ikeda at the two secret meetings. They then issued an order of self-restraint for the priests and their families to set the stage for the attack on the Soka Gakkai.
In the meantime, Nikken pretended to praise Honorary President Ikeda and the Soka Gakkai to keep the Soka Gakkai from becoming aware of their plan.
The first meeting in a series of events for the ceremony celebrating the 700th anniversary of Taiseki-ji was held at the head temple on October 7, 1990. On that occasion, Nikken read a Document of Celebration and Appreciation, in which he highly praised Honorary President Ikeda:
“In recent years, the Soka Gakkai, a lay organization, arose, and the shakubuku and propagation of Nichiren Buddhism greatly advanced. Numerous lay believers who embrace the True Law have appeared. The Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary of the Essential Teachings, whose inscription was the true purpose of the advent of the True Buddha, was transferred first from the Treasure House to the Hoanden temple, and, then, from the Hoanden temple to the Sho-Hondo, the Grand Main Temple, whose construction was initiated by Sokoto Ikeda during the days of my former teacher, High Priest Nittatsu. The Sho-Hondo is a great edifice where ten million lay believers come to repent and expiate their sins. The benefit of visiting the Sho-Hondo with faith must be said to be indeed profound and immense. Thanks to the Soka Gakkai, all other aspects of the head temple were also improved, and so many local temples were built and contributed to Nichiren Shoshu. The rise of the True Law, which we see today, is truly unprecedented” (Dai-Nichiren, November 1990).
On the other hand, Nikken remarked during an audience of priests who attended another ceremony at Taiseki-ji to celebrate the eternal enlightenment of Nichiren Daishonin on November 20 and 21:
“The day may come when we may have to farm our land.”
What he meant by this is that once Operation C is executed, the number of Nichiren Shoshu believers will dramatically decrease and in the worst-case scenario they may have to grow their own food.
Nikken Praises President Ikeda in the Article That He Wrote Just Before Executing “Operation C”
On this very day of November 20, 1990 Nikken sent his New Year’s message for the January issue of Daibyakurenge, the monthly study journal of the Soka Gakkai.
In this message, Nikken admires Honorary President Ikeda as follows:
At the start of the year marking the sixty-first anniversary of the Soka Gakkai’s founding, as priests of Nichiren Shoshu, we offer our warm praise for his [second President Toda] achievements.
Mr. Daisaku Ikeda, who assumed the responsibility of third president shortly after Mr. Toda passed away, enabled the sturdy organization and outstanding members to give full expression to their capabilities, while at the same time skillfully leading them based on faith. Consequently, the results of his efforts to promote kosen-rufu throughout Japan were tremendous, including a tenfold increase in the membership, an achievement that is still vivid in our memories.
Also worthy of special mention about President Ikeda’s leadership is that he has greatly furthered worldwide kosen-rufu by uniting the members who stood up in countries throughout the world during the movement of people that took place in the postwar period. From the standpoint of the history of kosen-rufu, it is indeed splendid that the worldwide propagation of the Law is making steady progress just as it is predicted in the golden passages of the Gosho “The Selection of the Time.”
The many offerings to the head temple and the donation of local temples begun by the Soka Gakkai around the time of President Toda have been greatly built on by President Ikeda, whose contributions have earned numerous words of praise from my predecessor Nittatsu Shonin, the sixty-sixth high priest. (January 1991 Seikyo Times, p. 3)
In this article as well, Nikken highly praises Honorary President Ikeda for his contribution to global kosen-rufu and protection of the head temple. Nikken was more than deceitful in public statements praising President Ikeda while behind-the-scenes he was planning to begin Operation C.
Nikken Speaks on “Cutting” Off Honorary President Ikeda at First Secret Meeting
On November 28, Nikken made the following statement as to the progress of kosen-rufu at a ceremony commemorating the opening of the Research Department of Fuji Academy.
“Should we be satisfied with the way things are, from our perspective as priests?”
“Now with the 700th anniversary of the founding of the head temple behind us, we are at the start of a new year. We should now reconsider how we should deal with all the issues surrounding us.”
“From this year on, things will be somewhat different from the way they were.”
As he stated, “from our perspective as priests” and “… we should reconsider how we should deal with all the issues surrounding us,” the idea of putting the priesthood in the center of kosen-rufu was already under way in Nikken’s thoughts.
In the meantime, the content of the speech given by Honorary President Ikeda at the 35th HQ leaders meeting on November 16 was conveyed to Nikken. Nikken jumped on this speech, judging that it could be used to commence his attack on the Soka Gakkai.
At 5 AM on December 12, Nikken and his cohorts, met at a high-class spa in Nagaoka, Izu. Gathered in secret after dismissing the employees, they discussed the contents of the “Inquiry” document that was based on a transcription of the tape of the speech by President Ikeda.
On the next day, December 13, Nichiren Shoshu attempted to hand the “Inquiry” document to the Soka Gakkai at the monthly communication meeting of Nichiren Shoshu representative priests and Soka Gakkai representative leaders. However, the Soka Gakkai requested to solve any issues that the priesthood wanted to bring up through dialogue, pointing out that the general administrator would be responsible should the transcription be incorrect or of surreptitious nature. On that day, Nichiren Shoshu reluctantly withdrew the document.
On the following day, December 14, Nikken spoke at his birthday celebration party about the contents of the “Inquiry” document that was based on hearsay.
Nikken, without directly referring to the Soka Gakkai, implicitly criticized it, stating, “A comparison (on the part of Honorary President Ikeda) between Shinran (founder of New Pure Land Sect) and Nichiren Daishonin gives us an image that Nichiren Daishonin is too forceful. And there is a view that too strong an image will become an obstacle in promoting kosen-rufu.” (Allegedly President Ikeda’s view.) Nikken also said, “We’ll face a number of tough issues from now on.”
On December 26, Nichiren Shoshu sent the Soka Gakkai the “Inquiry” document that the Soka Gakkai had rejected at the last communication meeting.
On December 21 in Mie prefecture, Nikken conducted the opening ceremony of Buttoku-ji temple that was part of the Gakkai’s project of the construction and donation of 200 temples. While he was all set to cut off the Soka Gakkai, Nikken, on the other hand, nonchalantly accepted the Gakkai’s donation of this new temple. Indeed, his sheer audacity is apparent: “I’ll accept any offerings.”
At this opening ceremony, Nikken opened his speech by referring to the slanderous act of Lord Hakiri during the time of Nichiren Daishonin.
“The significance of the construction of Taiseki-ji in the 3rd year of Shoo (1290) lay in Nikko Shonin’s earnest resolve to establish something correct while defeating every aspect of the wrong that existed and recognizing what was erroneous.”
In this statement, Nikken intended to justify his action to expel the Soka Gakkai, using the example of Nikko Shonin’s departure from Mount Minobu.
In a meeting with the chief priests after the opening ceremony of Buttoku-ji temple, Nikken hinted that “Things will be tough from next year onward.”
Nikken seems to have expected that the Gakkai would apologize in its reply to the “Inquiry” document. Based on this expectation, Nikken was very aggressive in criticizing the Gakkai.
Contrary to Nikken’s expectation, the Gakkai sent its version of the “Inquiry” document to General Administrator Fujimoto on December 23. In this “Questions” document, the Gakkai requested that a solution of the conflict be solved through dialogue, and listed nine points about the authoritarian nature of the priesthood.
Nikken Resorts to Devious Actions to Remove Honorary President Ikeda as Head of All Lay Organizations
The “Questions” document from the Gakkai delayed Nikken’s plan to execute Operation C. Through the “Inquiry” document, Nikken expected the Gakkai to admit wrongdoing so he could dismiss President Ikeda. However, this plan became impossible because of the Gakkai’s strong response in the “Questions” document.
On December 25, Nikken secretly met with five anti-Gakkai individuals including Kojun Takahashi, a Nichiren Shoshu priest, and Isao Dan, an anti-Gakkai journalist. At that time, Nikken stated:
“We will be all right if at least 200,000 Gakkai members choose to stay with temples.”
“Its very conceivable that we’ll have lawsuits against the Soka Gakkai. Please testify for us in future legal cases against the Gakkai.”
At that point in time, Nikken’s remarks were based on the premise that he will disband the Soka Gakkai. Nikken’s mind was completely occupied by the idea of destroying the Gakkai. He did not care about the reasons why, he was simply obsessed by the desire to be in control of everything.
The Soka Gakkai sought a solution through dialogue with the priesthood. But on December 26, Nichiren Shoshu sent a document in which it asserted that the Gakkai was not sincere in its response to the priesthood’s allegations.
On December 26, as the year was coming to a close, Nikken opened a special session of the Nichiren Shoshu council to decide on Honorary President Ikeda’s dismissal as head of all lay organizations and sent a notice of this decision to Gakkai Headquarters.
The dismissal of Honorary President Ikeda was announced by Nichiren Shoshu as an administrative result of the revision of the Rules of Nichiren Shoshu. Nichiren Shoshu commented on its move to the mass media, “It was a case of neither dismissal nor punishment.”
Hayase, who is now Nichinyo, the current high priest, was General Affairs Bureau chief and Daigan-ji’s chief priest. He said to his assistant priest, “The dismissal of Honorary President Ikeda from the position of sokoto (head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations) is not a case of punishment. Be sure to explain this point to Gakkai members.”
However, ten days later on January 6, 1991, at a teachers guidance meeting held at the head temple, touching on the fact that the Gakkai sent Nichiren Shoshu the nine questions instead of responding to its “Inquiry” document, Nikken said:
“The Gakkai’s lack of self-reflection and sincerity is reflected in its presentation of these questions. This prompted us to revise the Rules of our school with regards to the officers of the Hokkeko Group that had long been a topic of discussion.”
Also at a head temple employees gongyo meeting, Nikken stated:
“We could not help but convene an urgent session of the Council since we saw in the attitude of the current head (sokoto) and other major representatives (daikoto) their lack of faith and hostile action of sending us their protest document.”
In this statement, Nikken clearly indicated that the dismissal of Honorary President Ikeda was to punish the Soka Gakkai.
In this way, Nikken deceived society in general as well as believers through the mass media by hiding his jealousy of Honorary President Ikeda. The second temple issue started with Nikken’s big lie.
Nichiren Shoshu Chooses to Oust Honorary President Ikeda When the Seikyo Shimbun Ceases Publication
There was another reason why Nikken chose the year-end period to make the announcement of the dismissal of President Ikeda. Nikken chose this because the Seikyo Shimbun would not be published before New Year’s Day.
Nikken thought that the Gakkai would be slow in dealing with this sudden change when its newspaper would not publish. The “Encouraging Devotion,” chapter (13th) of the Lotus Sutra states, “… in that evil age there will be monks with perverse wisdom … ” (The Lotus Sutra, p. 193).
- Decision to Remove President Ikeda Was Already in Nikken’s Mind before Openly Criticizing Him and Contents of the “Inquiry” Weakens
Nichiren Shoshu’s Unilateral Action Triggers Temple Issue.
This second temple issue was unilaterally triggered by the priesthood by the sudden delivery of the accusatory document of the “Inquiry” and the dismissal of President Ikeda from the position of head of all lay organizations.
Notwithstanding, the then president of the Soka Gakkai, Mr. Akiya, and general director, Mr. Morita paid a visit to the head temple to seek solution through dialogue. But Nikken refused to see them, stating that they did not deserve an audience with him.
On June 6, Nikken stated at a meeting of the New Year pilgrimage of the chief priests of the local temples and their families, quoting Nichiren’s passage, “In the end my lot will no doubt be to wander Japan alone” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 2, p. 480). “I’ll protect the Law even all by myself” It was a great performance, as he said this with tears in his eyes.
However, many of the chief priests were perplexed by what Nikken was saying since they were not informed of what was happening.
On January 10, at a teachers guidance meeting, Nikken shared his desperate resolve to pursue a self-righteous path, stating, “Even if I should find myself destitute living on just rice broth.”
However, the local chief priests’ reaction to Nikken’s remarks were not so understanding as expected, which prompted him to say something irrational like “When kosen-rufu is achieved, we cannot sing ‘Ode to Joy’ even in German” and to angrily shout, “Is it all right that as high priest I am more than just a copier of Gohonzon? ”
The meeting went on as Nikken became more emotional, hoisting the anti-Soka Gakkai flag. But the way things unfolded was only natural, since many priests were being deceived as Operation C was unknown them.
Nichiren Shoshu Admits Altering Recording Transcript
The “Inquiry” document was created on the basis of a transcription of the tape of Honorary President Ikeda’s speech at the headquarters leaders meeting held on November 16, 1990. Through this document, Nichiren Shoshu demanded the Soka Gakkai to explain the reasons for the alleged criticism by Honorary President Ikeda of the high priest and the priesthood of Nichiren Shoshu.
The Soka Gakkai responded with a sincere request for dialogue because the tape, upon which the “Inquiry” document was based, was of surreptitious nature and also the contents of the honorary president’s speech were altered. But Nichiren Shoshu stubbornly refused to accept the Gakkai’s request for dialogue, demanding that the Gakkai respond through written correspondence.
It soon became apparent that sections of this tape were intentionally altered.
When this was pointed out by the Gakkai, Nichiren Shoshu had no choice but to issue an apology and withdraw some parts of its “Inquiry” document on January 12, 1991.
These are some examples of mistakes that Nichiren Shoshu admits it made in transcribing the tape.
Response from Nichiren Shoshu:
After reading your response to our “Inquiry” document, we as Administrative Office, listened to Honorary President Ikeda’s speech once again, and discovered the following errors in the transcription of the tape. … These errors are not intentional. They are simply derived from the problem of sound quality in the tape. At any rate, we apologize for the errors in the transcription of the tape and withdraw some of our inquires related to our mistaken transcription.
Honorary President Ikeda’s actual speech:
“There is no other way than for us to use wisdom for promoting shakubuku. Nichijun Shonin knows this type of thing best.”
Nichiren Shoshu’s transcription:
“Using wisdom, … shakubuku … there is not…”
Honorary President Ikeda’s actual speech:
“You get up in the morning, and just parrot the words – Shingon destroys the nation, Zen is the heavenly devil (Laughter). You’re then just degrading the Law.”
Nichiren Shoshu’s transcription:
“Just … Shingon destroys the nation, Zen is the heavenly devil (Laughter). You’re just degrading the Law.”
Some of other mistakes that the Gakkai pointed out are:
Honorary President Ikeda’s actual speech:
“Nichijun Shonin, High Priest Hori, Nittatsu Shonin, they all protected the Gakkai. The format for kosen-rufu has been completed. It’s mystic. The Buddha wisdom is mystic.”
Nichiren Shoshu’s transcription:
“Nichijun Shonin, High Priest Hori, Nittatsu Shonin, they are protecting the Gakkai.
Nichiren Shoshu Withdraws Its Hearsay-based Assertion
The “Inquiry” document was an official document issued under the name of the general administrator of Nichiren Shoshu. In it Nichiren Shoshu accused Honorary President Ikeda based upon groundless hearsay. The action taken by Nichiren Shoshu was indeed malicious. Later, however, Nichiren Shoshu had to withdraw some of its contentions in the “Inquiry” document, as the Gakkai pointed out mistakes to the following effect:
Nichiren Shoshu’s Contention:
“After his November 16th speech, Honorary President Ikeda, in making a comparison between the Daishonin and Shinran in terms of their self-image, is said to have stated, ‘Shinran sounds befriending, but the Daishonin gives us too robust an image of him. This makes it harder for us to do shakubuku toward the future’ ‘Friendliness we sense in Shinran is a condition necessary for doing shakubuku from now on’ and ‘We should expose more of the Daishonin’s compassionate aspect. Also, we should present more of the good aspects of the Law. Use my speech, which explains these points in an easier manner, as the basis of everything’” (The “Inquiry” document).
Soka Gakkai’s Contention:
“As to the case of Shinran, when, where, to whom and what did the honorary president say such things? We ask the general administrator to give us responsible answers to these questions (Response to the “Inquiry” document with questions).
Nichiren Shoshu’s Response:
“This is what I heard from a certain trustable source, but it is difficult at this point for the person who presented this tape to testify as a witness. Since we cannot reveal the source of the tape, we will withdraw this part from our “Inquiry” document” (Reply to Soka Gakkai’s Response to the “Inquiry” document).
Nichiren Shoshu Creates “Inquiry” Document as Basis to Dismiss Honorary President Ikeda
Nikken began to publicly accuse the Soka Gakkai after the tape of the speech of Honorary President Ikeda was brought to the head temple. Ignoring the Soka Gakkai’s contention that the contents of the honorary president might have been altered in the process of transcription, Nikken went on to dismiss the president as the head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations.
Afterwards, in a posture of piety, Nikken stated to the priests of Nichiren Shoshu, “I’ll protect the Law even if all by myself,” as if declaring a war against the Soka Gakkai.
These series of actions taken by Nikken were premised on the alleged criticism of Honorary President Ikeda’s speech. However, when Nichiren Shoshu had to withdraw vital parts of its inquir, the logical basis to dismiss President Ikeda collapsed. The result was that all the actions that Nikken took against the Soka Gakkai were based on his misunderstanding and fabrication.
More importantly, what was unpardonable was the priesthood’s action to intentionally alter the contents of the speech. This irrational action by the priesthood was of such grave nature that Nikken, as the ultimately responsible person in Nichiren Shoshu naturally had to offer an apology. However, all Nichiren Shoshu did was express a simple apology with a casual withdrawal of some parts of its inquiry through a brief document it prepared to cover its mistake. Of course, Nichiren Shoshu did not change its decision to dismiss President Ikeda.
After all, what in the world did this “Inquiry” document mean? Nikken’s true intent behind the issuance of this document was to force Honorary President Ikeda to apologize in public, not to solicit the Gakkai’s answers to the inquiry. This “Inquiry” document serves as evidence that the priesthood had the plot of Operation C in mind all along.
Series of Actions Taken by Nichiren Shoshu Accord with the Scenario of “Operation C”
The series of actions taken by the priesthood ever since the dismissal of President Ikeda corresponds to the contents of Operation C below.
Dismissing Honorary President Ikeda from the position of sokoto, head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations, by changing the rules of Nichiren Shoshu.
Each local temple will conduct an oko lecture emphasizing the authority of and clarifying the believers’ obligation to the Three Treasures.
To institute a task force to deal with the Soka Gakkai within the Administrative Office. This task force will be granted the authority of the Administrative Office and the power necessary to implement Operation C.
The Overseas Bureau in the Administrative Office will directly manage and guide overseas members.
To run a full-page ad in three major newspapers, expecting that many Gakkai members will rush to their local temples.
To declare in the name of the Chief Administrator of Nichiren Shoshu to the general public and to the Soka Gakkai that the Soka Gakkai no longer has anything to do with Nichiren Shoshu. To conduct a press conference vial television and radio to proclaim to the people of Japan the inherent justice of the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood.
To organize ex-Gakkai believers who belong to their local temples and establish a network of communication in each district, thus creating a united organization throughout Japan.
Changed the rules of Nichiren Shoshu at a special session of the Council and dismissed Honorary President Ikeda from sokoto, head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations, and other Gakkai leaders from the position of daikoto, senior representatives (Dec. 27, 1990).
Many local temples began to criticize the Soka Gakkai by saying the Gakkai is destroying the Three Treasures (Jan. 1, 1991).
The Administrative Office formed an operation committee (jikyoku kyogiaki). This committee was responsible for all documents issued by the priesthood against the Soka Gakkai (Jan. 24, 1991).
Notified the Soka Gakkai of Nichiren Shoshu’s policy changes regarding overseas propagation, commencing a danto movement abroad (March 3, 1991).
Published an ad in major newspapers concerning the commencement of the new pilgrimage system (June 5, 1991).
Sent the Soka Gakkai “Order to Disband” (Nov. 7, 1991) and “Notification of the Excommunication of the Soka Gakkai from Nichiren Shoshu (Nov. 28, 1991). Held a press conference to declare through TV and radio that the Gakkai is no longer related to Nichiren Shoshu.
Gathered ex-Gakkai members and formed a Hokkeko chapter under each temple throughout Japan, thus promoting a movement.
- “Resentment” and “Jealousy” Constitute Nikken’s Emotions in Plotting “Operation C”
As has been described, Nikken’s discrimination toward the laity is so strong that he had long cherished the ambition to dissolve the lay organization of the Soka Gakkai ever since he was a chief priest of local temples. In other words, the bullet of Operation C was loaded long ago in his mind and he had just been waiting for the time to pull the trigger.
What motivated Nikken to execute Operation C? The answer to this question is the two emotions of resentment and jealousy that he harbored deep in his life.
Nikken Resents Former High Priest Nittatsu Who Did not Transfer the Heritage to Him.
His resentment was directed toward the former high priest, Nittatsu. What made Nikken hold such deep grudge toward the former high priest? For one thing, High Priest Nittatsu denied Nikken’s fundamental view that the laity should always be under the control of the priesthood, thus protecting the Soka Gakkai. Nikken disagreed with the former high priest who acknowledged the greatness of President Ikeda, a layman.
However, what irritated Nikken the most was the fact that High Priest Nittatsu did not transfer the heritage to him.
Right before he passed away, High Priest Nittatsu ordered his futon to be spread in his reception room at Taiseki-ji to transfer the heritage. He ordered his assistant priest to invite Jiun Sugano, his son-in-law and chief priest of Daisen-ji temple in Kunitachi, Tokyo and Teiken Hisamitsu, his chief secretary. In other words, Nikken was not invited to Nittatsu’s bedside on the occasion of the latter’s scheduled transmission of the heritage.
Nothing was so humiliating to Nikken. Nikken feels that he is a very special priest because he is the son of a former high priest. Because he thought he was foremost in study in Nichiren Shoshu, Nikken somewhat looked down on the former high priest, Nittatsu.
For these reasons, Nikken thought that it should have never happened that somebody other than himself would be designated by the former high priest to be his successor.
In revenge, Nikken carried out Operation C, trying to nullify all the accomplishments made by Nittatsu and the Soka Gakkai. Advocating a return to the founder’s way, Nikken tried to bring Nichiren Shoshu back to the days when the Soka Gakkai did not exist.
After obtaining the position of high priest, Nikken moved to the high priest’s quarters and said with disgust,
“I hate the smell of High Priest Nittatsu.”
Nikken’s Jealousy of Honorary President Ikeda Is a Reflection of His Inferiority Complex
Before becoming high priest, Nikken would bow to President Ikeda, whenever he saw him, saying, “Nichiren Shoshu is now prosperous thanks to you.” However, the moment he became high priest, his attitude changed dramatically.
Right after he took office as high priest in July 1979, Nikken met with Honorary President Ikeda at Taiseki-ji’s branch office in Nishikata, Tokyo. Without a word of greeting to the president he launched into a harsh accusation, blaming the president for the young priests who opposed Nikken assuming the office of high priest.
“First of all, you are respected too much.”
In those days, many young priests of Nichiren Shoshu were very critical of the Soka Gakkai, especially of President Ikeda, advocating the superiority of the priesthood over the laity. Their contention was to protect their own status as priests.
So why did Nikken say “You are respected too much?” In short, Nikken was jealous of President Ikeda in that the president was more respected by Gakkai members and people at large even though he was a priest. Nikken believed that by the very fact that he was a priest meant he should be more respected than a layperson.
Nikken’s Authoritarian Manner A Result of his Inferiority Complex
Nikken frequently attempted to demonstrate his authority as high priest to President Ikeda.
Nikken was invited to the Kansai Youth Peace Culture Festival held in Osaka in March 1982. Upon arriving at the head temple after the festival, Nikken called President Ikeda, who was still in Kansai to encourage members to come to the head temple right away.
Changing his schedule, President Ikeda rushed to the head temple to find that Nikken was angry over how he was addressed in the president’s speech. In his speech to the participants of the culture festival President Ikeda said, “High Priest Nikken warmly applauded throughout the festival. Thank you very much.”
In anger, Nikken reprimanded the president,
“Why didn’t you say, ‘High Priest, the lord of the Law?’ ”
What is the difference between “Shonin Geika” and “Gohossu Shonin”? Previous High Priests Nissho, Nichijun or Nittatsu object when they were introduced as “Shonin Geika”? High Priest Nichiko once said, “I don’ t mind even if I am just called ‘grandpa.’”
This reveals Nikken’s distorted view of himself. President Ikeda was still in Osaka to encourage Gakkai members and was called away because of the immaturity of Nikken.
An inferiority complex and jealousy share the same root in one’s life. Because of his weak nature, Nikken is jealous of others who succeed.
Therefore, Nikken would always become angry whenever he heard of President Ikeda’s success stories outside of Japan.
When Honorary President Ikeda made a report to Nikken about his scheduled meeting with Dr. Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State, Nikken maliciously responded,
Nikken Once Shouted, “How Can It Be Allowed That President Ikeda Is Superior to Me?”
Nichiren Shoshu alleges that the Soka Gakkai is responsible for the second temple issue. However, Nikken himself confesses that his jealousy is the cause.
Chief Priest Yuki Okazaki met with Nikken in the high priest’s reception quarters at the head temple on November 2, 1991. On that occasion, holding out his right fist, he said to Rev. Okazaki, “See, this is Ikeda.” Then, showing his left fist below his right one, he said to Rev. Okazaki, “This is me.” With his right fist above his left one, Nikken shouted in anger,
“Now, he and I are in this situation with him above me. Are you OK with this? Can this be allowed?”
It was a telling moment when Nikken’s ugly jealousy toward President Ikeda was exposed. Nikken could not tolerate that President Ikeda is more respected even though he is the high priest. For this reason, he executed Operation C to create a new organizational structure where he is on top.
- Nichiren Shoshu Priesthood’s Discrimination toward the Laity Is an Obsession of Nikken’s
As Study Chief of Nichiren Shoshu Nikken Denies President Ikeda’s Accomplishments
The Fuji Chronology Production Committee was formed in 1960, and Nikken was selected as one of its members. According to the testimony of Rev. Jisai Watanabe, who was also a member of this committee, Nikken was of the opinion that President Ikeda’s accomplishments be excluded from this chronology book.
Nikken was appointed as the study chief of Nichiren Shoshu in 1961. Since then, he began to exercise more influence in the committee.
One day, the committee was checking on volume II of this book. Mr. Jisai Watanabe insisted that they should include an entry that “President Ikeda constructed so and so temple and donated it to Nichiren Shoshu.”
Then, all of a sudden, Nikken’s mood became sour. He opposed Mr. Watanabe’s idea flatly, saying, “No, we don’t have to include such information.”
Furthermore, Nikken stated, “You don’t have to emphasize Gakkai matters so much.” As a result, the parts that read, “President Ikeda” at the draft stage were changed into “the Gakkai” in the actual book that was published in 1969.
Nikken has been consistently condescending toward lay believers. No matter how great one’s accomplishments may be, as long as one is a lay believer, he would not appreciate those achievements.
Nikken could not tolerate that President Ikeda’s name would be recorded in the history of Nichiren Shoshu.
Nichiren Shoshu Remains Same As in Edo Period
Nikken made the following statement after excommunicating the Soka Gakkai.
“In recent years, the Soka Gakkai emerged, attempting to propagate Buddhism through the organization that consists only of lay believers (during the guidance trip to West Kyushu, January 1993).”
The expression “the organization that consists only of lay believers” vividly shows how much Nikken despises lay believers.
Nikken also used the expression “You don’t deserve an audience with me” when Soka Gakkai President Akiya requested a meeting with Nikken on January 2, 1991.
“Audience” means “to meet somebody higher in position.” This word “audience” was used in the Edo period, for instance, when a local lord had the honor to see the shogun. In the Edo period, the samurai needed qualifications to meet the lord of the feudal clan he belonged to. There was a distinction between upper class samurai and lower class ones.
Nichiren Shoshu is still using such an archaic and condescending term because the discriminatory influence of the danka system is deeply etched in the lives of the priesthood. The priesthood is diametrically opposite to the heart and spirit of Nichiren Daishonin who wholeheartedly encouraged all his followers regardless of their status or position in society.
Gakkai Members Are Inferior to Chief Priest, His Family and Even His Pets
The biggest hazard of the danka system was that discrimination of the laity by the priesthood was institutionalized.
In the danka system, once a family was denied the issuance of identity papers (terauke shomon) by the temple it belonged to, the entire family was discriminated against. Not having its name on this list (ninbetsucho) meant a punishment that was severer than being ostracized (murahachibu). In other words, it was equal to the family’s death in society. Therefore, the chief priest’s power became immense, and danka believers had no choice but to obediently follow their temple’s priest. It could happen that even the head of all the danka families could have his name taken out of the danka list if he should fail to attend a temple event.
In the danka system, the priest had absolute power over the laity. This hierarchy became integrated into Japanese society.
The Nichiren Shoshu priesthood’s discriminatory mindset was born out of this danka system, but even worse, in Nichiren Shoshu, there is another hierarchy.
In Nichiren Shoshu, the high priest ranks the highest. Second to the high priest is his wife. Next to the high priest’s wife are general priests. Next to general priests are their wives.
In Nichiren Shoshu there are ranks within the priesthood. A priest’s position and his wife’s status are also determined by the rank he holds. The priest whose rank is low has to bow to other priests whose ranks are higher and their wives as well.
The chief priest is the highest at local temples. Next to him is his wife who is treated like royalty by local lay believers. Next to the chief priest and his wife are their children, then, their pets. Local lay believers are regarded as even inferior to pets of the chief priest. No matter how high a leader may be in his or her position in the Soka Gakkai, he or she will be treated as inferior to the family and pets of the chief priest.
Priests Who Came from Lay Families Face Discrimination Within the Priesthood
There are more levels of discrimination against the laity by the priesthood. There is discrimination against those priests who came from a lineage of priesthood families and those who became priests while their families were lay believers.
For example, in referring to those priests who came from lay families, Nikken uses the expression, “Half of their blood is tarnished.” From Nikken’s perspective, a priest’s children are pure blood and worthy of trust while those priests who came from lay families cannot be trusted because they are not pure blood.
In this respect, Nikken, who is the son of the 60th high priest, Nichikai, is one of the most elite among many elite priests. He is a pure bred priest. Since Nikken is the only high priest whose father was also a high priest, Nikken thinks that he is a very special priest.
However, there is no justifying the point that a priest’s child is elite. Actually, this type of viewpoint is “heretical” in view of the history of Buddhism, because it is an unusual phenomenon in the world of Buddhism that a priest is married and has children. One hundred years ago, Buddhist priests were all single, and therefore, they did not have any children. In this light, it is improbable that a high priest’s son would become another high priest. Priest marrying is a unique custom seen only in Japan. A married Japanese priest cannot truly be called a shukke (a priest who abandoned secular life).
Priesthood Teaches That Even Acolytes Are Superior to President Ikeda
After Nikken took office as high priest, the discrimination between priesthood and laity came to be emphasized much more than in the days of the former high priest, Nittatsu. This is the trend created by Nikken. Discrimination between priesthood and laity came to be regarded as the norm at the head temple. For instance, senior priests began to teach new acolytes who were still freshmen in their junior high school:
“From today onward, you are above lay believers. Even Honorary President Ikeda is below you.”
When some priests who came from lay families carried a book by President Ikeda, they were told, “You don’t have to read books written by a lay believer.”
Discrimination between Priesthood and Laity Infects the World of Faith, and Nikken Claims That “It’s Harmful to Chant More Than Thirty Minutes”
Many chief priests began to teach, “Chanting daimoku and doing shakubuku are the laity’s job.” When some priests chanted abundant daimoku at the Six-compartment room at the head temple, they were told by their seniors in faith, “Don’t act like Gakkai members.”
When Nikken heard that some acolytes were very diligent about chanting daimoku, he gave the following guidance at an acolytes guidance meeting,
“I think its OK to chant seriously for about 30 minutes. However, if you chant more than that it’s too much, rather it will bring about some harmful effects (at the practice and study seminar meeting in August 1984).”
Ever since this guidance was given by Nikken, priests who chanted abundantly were told by their chief priest, “Can’t you follow the high priest’s guidance?”
When priests were diligently chanting daimoku at the head temple right after the temple issue broke out, the following remarks were heard, “He is not to be trusted” “He is closer to the Gakkai” and “Watch out for anyone who chants a lot.”
Local temples’ chief priests of Nichiren Shoshu often say these days, “Chanting daimoku is important.” This statement by them to temple members is just an indication of their rivalry with the Soka Gakkai. Deep in their hearts, they think, “Chanting is what lay believers whose faith is immature do.” This is their honest opinion.
- Discrimination of Laity by Priesthood Diminishes Human Potential and Causes the Priesthood to become Corrupt
Nikken Urges Priesthood to Yell at Lay Believers, Looking Down upon Them
Ever since the temple issue broke out, Nikken repeatedly made discriminatory remarks against the laity. A chief priest of a local temple asked a question at the teachers guidance meeting held on August 29, 1991. In his question to Nikken, this chief priest shared some danto members’ voices that their spirit in faith was weakened because of the issue between Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai.
Then, Nikken, raising his voice, replied,
“Whether they get tired of faith or whatever they may do, it has nothing to do with you. All you have to do is just say forcefully to those who complain or say foolish things is ‘Stop it.’”
Nikken made similar remarks on different occasions.
“The Buddha wisdom is beyond ordinary individuals. Therefore, no matter how many fools there may be, even one thousand or ten thousand of them, one Buddha’s thought is more correct (at the meeting of the priests’ families, February 18, 1992).”
“You know, you can’t expound the True Law if you have no pride in yourself, bowing to silly lay believers (at the nationwide teachers seminar on August 24, 1994).”
As indicated in such statements by Nikken, he despises lay believers in the depths of his heart. What is apparent in these words of Nikken is his belief that “All lay believers have to do is just follow the priesthood.”
Nikken Preaches, “The Wise Are Priests While the Ignorant Are Lay Believers”
This belief is how the priesthood weakens the power of the laity and controls them. However, this discriminatory mindset is very dangerous, for it not only supports the authority of the priesthood but also undermines the potential of each human being that inherently possesses Buddhahood within his or her life.
Nikken made the following remark at the New Year’s gongyo meeting in 1988.
“Uchi (possessing wisdom) denotes priests who are enlightened and learned about the various matters of Buddhism. In contrast, muchi (lacking wisdom) denotes the lay believers who, failing to study the Buddha’s teachings and being ignorant of them, are living their lives in the path of secular matters.”
Originally, by the expression uchi (possessing wisdom) Buddhism indicates those well versed in Buddhism while those who are not well versed in Buddhism are referred to by the expression muchi (lacking wisdom). The difference between one who possesses wisdom and one who does not is totally different from the false discrimination between priesthood and laity.
“Nichiren Daishonin cites each example of uchi and muchi, ‘… persons of wisdom by Shariputra, persons of no wisdom by Chundapanthaka …’ (WND-2, 54).”
Whenever Nikken refers to “harmony of priesthood and laity,” he always implies that “ignorant lay believers should give offerings to wise priests.”
Namely, no matter what great potential lay believers may have, they cannot be equal to priests. At the same time, no matter how sloppy priests may be in their practice, they are always superior to lay believers by virtue of their robes.
Opposing the Daishonin’s Teaching That Ordinary Persons Can Become Enlightened, Nikken Tramples on the Buddhahood within People
The history of Buddhism is characterized by the fact that it was engaged in a battle to fight against discrimination that tramples on human dignity. The enemy of Shakyamuni Buddha was the belief that one’s value was judged by the class one belonged to when born. In other words, Shakyamuni had to fight against the myth of the fixed view of reincarnation where one cannot escape from discrimination even in one’s next lifetime.
“Shakyamuni expounded ‘don’t question one’s birth, but question one’s behavior.’ By so teaching, he broke through superstition of discrimination.”
Nichiren Daishonin taught,
“In that case, though it is thought that Shakyamuni Buddha possesses the three virtues of sovereign, teacher, and parent for the sake of all of us living beings, that is not so. On the contrary, it is common mortals who endow him with the three virtues” (WND–1, 384).
This passage teaches that the great virtues of the Buddha only shine because of common people.
Indeed, Nichiren Daishonin made the great religious transformation from “a religion that exists for the sake of authority” to “a religion that exists for the sake of humanity.” This was truly “the great roar of a lion king.”
However, the current Nichiren Shoshu position puts it at odds with Shakyamuni Buddha and in alignment with the persecutors of Nichiren Daishonin. What Nichiren Shoshu expounds today is exactly opposite to the teaching of Shakyamuni and Nichiren Daishonin. With “the authority of their robe,” they are trampling on the dignity of life, that is, the Buddhahood that ordinary people equally and inherently possess in their lives.
The Discrimination of the Laity by the Priesthood Underlies the Latter’s Corruption
The practice of discrimination harms the priesthood as well. The reason for this is that the priesthood loses the intent and desire to practice for its own growth as disciples of Nichiren Daishonin.
What is worse, because of this, priests can naturally receive offerings no matter how negligent they may be in their practice. Their faith becomes corrupted. This is reflected in the examples of the high priest’s frequent visits to luxurious spa hotels and exclusive restaurants and the many chief priests who go to social clubs in their cities.
Nikken made the following statement at the nationwide teachers and their family members meeting on May 26, 1994,
“They have been waiting for the corruption of the priesthood while making offerings to temples and practicing faith! We can say so. They’ve been waiting for the time when the priesthood is in full corruption. Then, they will take full advantage of us, and deal with us wisely. This is how they will move. This is their true intention. ”
The logic that Nikken is using here is just unbelievable. How can he condemn sincere lay believers over the sin he is committing as he wastes the money he collected from them for his own extravagant pleasure. Even children know who is right and who is wrong. As a priest or as a human being, Nikken’s allegation is indeed a shame.
As we go back to the history of Nichiren Shoshu, we can see that the danka system is the source of the priesthood’s corruption.
Within the frame of the danka system, the priesthood forced danka families to conduct funerals led by priests. The priesthood also forced them to invite priests to their annual memorial service, erect toba tablets for the deceased, and visit their family tombs at the temple that they belonged to on the occasions of bon in summer and equinox in spring and fall. Each time when a priest conducted a service, he received offerings from lay believers. As a result, the priesthood became wealthy. What the danka system brought about was a new culture where the priesthood exploited the laity.
The whole problem is that the current Nichiren Shoshu, without reviewing the ills of the danka system, is still engaged in exploiting lay believers without any genuine appreciation for them.
Lay believers cannot merely visit their temple without giving offerings. At the temple, they are pressured to give offerings whenever they are there. Recently, priests make it a practice to visit lay believers’ homes, where they lecture on the Law. This new style of oko lecture by the priest at temple members’ homes provides good opportunities for priests to collect offerings. Priests individually go to lay believers’ homes to get offerings from them. To the priesthood, lay believers simply exist to be exploited to make offerings.
Nichiren Shoshu’s Emphasis on Shakubuku Aims at Increasing Sources of Offerings, Which Makes Their Goals Disrespectable
Because of the appearance of the danka system, the priesthood lost the passion to propagate Buddhism. Without having to spread Buddhism, the priests’ livelihood was guaranteed by the existence of danka family’s offerings. The priesthood pursued a secure livelihood without any interest in the propagation of Buddhism.
In this sense, the danka system functions as a drug to the priesthood. It is much easier to receive offerings through conducting ceremonies than meeting obstacles for the cause of propagating the Law. One who once enjoys the taste of this honey can easily forget about one’s religious mission, lose the passion for propagation, and begin to lead an easy and lazy existence.
Then, what happens? The current Nichiren Shoshu is a good example. It is incapable of propagating the Law. No matter how priests may exhort danto members to propagate Buddhism, priests themselves have lost their religious passion. For priests, the propagation of Buddhism only means securing more lay believers to make offerings. No matter how eloquent they may sound, they are interested only in the offerings they receive. Their true nature is very obvious to many lay believers. For this reason, lay believers feel that they are being taken advantage of by their chief priests. As a result, temple believers cannot engage themselves sincerely and seriously in propagating the Law, and therefore, Nichiren Shoshu is always behind in achieving its goal in terms of propagation.
Nikken Once Stated, “I Allowed Soka Gakkai to Do Shakubuku”
Nikken once stated the following to new youthful priests:
“They boast of worldwide kosen-rufu, but the fact is that I allowed them to do it. But they sound as if they did it on their own.”
As an excuse for the priesthood’s negligence in propagating the Law, Nikken says, “Shakubuku is the job that the laity does.” On the other hand, regarding the Soka Gakkai’s great achievement in propagation, he says, “I allowed them to do it.” His contention is totally absurd.
The priesthood has completely lost the spirit of never begrudging one’s life for the propagation of the Law.
- Nikken’s Sins Are Unique in the History of Buddhism
Excommunication of Soka Gakkai Is on Global Scale
Out of resentment for the former high priest, Nittatsu, and out of jealousy of President Ikeda, Nikken executed Operation C and excommunicated ten million members of the Soka Gakkai around the world.
In the world of religion, excommunication is synonymous with a spiritual death sentence. Nichiren Shoshu’s excommunication of the Soka Gakkai was a heinous action on a global-scale unheard-of in the history of Buddhism or any other religion.
Nikken and his priesthood trampled on the dignity of the ten million believers of the Soka Gakkai by expounding the priesthood is superior to the laity and thereby justifying the priesthood’s discrimination.
Nichiren Shoshu’s Abolishment of Monthly Pilgrimage System Brought about Huge Financial Loss and Led to a Company Executive to Take His Life
There is the following description in the text of Operation C under the title of “Subjects That Need to Be Considered in Executing Operation C.
There may appear from among those Gakkai members whose faith is not strong or cannot judge rationally such people who fall into depression or experience family tragedies including suicide. These types of incidents reported by mass media will cause people in society to question, doubt or even get angry over the value of this religious strife between Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai
From this we can tell that Nikken and his priesthood had predicted that there would be casualties from among Gakkai members. Their calculated cruelty destroys their credibility as priests.
As a matter of fact, after Operation C was put into action, there was an individual who took his life.
As part of Operation C Nikken and his cohorts suddenly abolished the monthly pilgrimage system that had been maintained since the days of President Toda. As a result, all those who wanted to visit the head temple “needed a certificate (tensho)” issued by their local temple. Taking advantage of their possession of the Dai-Gohonzon, the priesthood made attempted to lure believers from the Soka Gakkai.
The priesthood tried to steal believers from the Soka Gakkai through the abolition of the conventional pilgrimage system and the commencement of this new temple-based pilgrimage system.
Because of the drastic decline in the number of pilgrims, local inns and hotels in the neighborhood of Taiseki-ji suffered major financial setbacks. Transportation companies were especially hit hard, and their financial loss was very serious.
When such broad ranging changes are to be implemented the social and economic impact should be taken into consideration.
In fact, the Japanese railroad company called JR had already established its annual plan based on previous pilgrimages, and a marine transportation company had just built a special ship at a cost of 3 billion yen that would be used especially for pilgrims from Okinawa, Kyushu and Shikoku to Taiseki-ji.
Also, a bus company named Ofuji Kaihatsu could not survive the termination of the monthly pilgrimage system. This company was founded in 1959, and the former high priest, Nittatsu, was one of its supporters.
An executive of this bus company submitted a petition to the head temple to reconsider the abolishment of the traditional monthly pilgrimage system. But Taiseki-ji ignored his petition, unilaterally commencing a new pilgrimage system where those who wanted to visit the head temple needed an approval document from the local temple that they belonged to.
Consequently, this bus company decided to close business in May 1991, which forced it to deal with the dismissal of its employees. A vice president of this bus company, feeling responsible for the sudden change that hit it, chose to commit suicide in June 1991.
Pilgrimage System Was Created to Stop Head Temple Taiseki-ji from Becoming Tourist Site
The origin of the monthly pilgrimage system was started in October 1952 based on the proposal by Soka Gakkai second President Toda to provide financial support for Taiseki-ji.
In the period after World War II, Taiseki-ji was so financially destitute that the head temple was barely surviving as a religious entity. To rectify this situation, the head temple was about to open itself up as a sightseeing spot in negotiation with Fujinomiya City and a local sightseeing association.
When President Toda became aware of this plan he saw it as an insult to the dignity of Nichiren’s teachings. He came up with a solution to help the head temple become financially stable through pilgrimages of Soka Gakkai members. Thanks to President Toda’s courageous decision, Taiseki-ji was saved not only financially but also was able to maintain its dignity. While Taiseki-ji owed so much to the Soka Gakkai, Nikken, instead of repaying the head temple’s debt of gratitude to the Soka Gakkai, used the pilgrimage system as a tool to manipulate believers.
Excommunication of Soka Gakkai Is a Serious Crime Designed to Destroy the Unity of the Buddhist Order
Excommunicating the Soka Gakkai that was devoted to propagating Nichiren Buddhism on a global scale to an unprecedented degree is exactly what is meant by one of the five cardinal sins expounded in Buddhism, the sin of disrupting the harmony of the Buddhist order. Buddhism teaches that one’s evil deed to hinder the progress of the spread of the Law causes one to fall into the incessant sufferings of hell.
As a matter of fact, Nikken was aware of this principle. Nikken smiled faintly and said, after an angry outburst at the meeting with Chief Priest Okazaki in November 1991 discussing the fact that President was more respected than he himself,
“If we should fall into hell, I’ll be the first to fall.”
In spite of being aware that his actions would fall into the category of disrupting harmony in the Buddhist order, Nikken still indulged his pride.
Destruction of Grand Main Temple (Sho-Hondo) Is a Heinous Act to Betray Believers’ Sincerity and Donations for Its Construction
Nikken made an abrupt announcement concerning the destruction of the Sho-Hondo (Grand Main Temple) on the occasion of the completion of the new Grand Reception Hall on April 5, 1995. He commenced the project to destroy the Sho-Hondo on June 23 of the same year at an expense of 5 billion yen.
The Sho-Hondo was originally built in 1972 through the offerings of eight million believers around the world as well as contributions from priests and their family members. The total amount of offerings collected for the construction of the Sho-Hondo amounted to 35.5 billion yen.
The Sho-Hondo, which was designed in the image of a crane in flight, was indeed a magnificent edifice and received recognition from the Japan Construction Academy Excellency Award as an unprecedented religious structure. In 1973, the Sho-Hondo received another award from the Europe-America Environmental Designing Association. In the same year, the Sho-Hondo also received one more award and praise from the US Architects Association. In the following year, 1974, the Sho-Hondo also received a gold medal from the Asia and West Pacific Construction Business Association International League.
Mr. Kimio Yokoyama, the architect of the Sho-Hondo, and other architects raised their voices in protest against the destruction of the Sho-Hondo. Nikken ignored their protests.
At first, Nichiren Shoshu claimed that it was tearing down the Sho-Hondo because it was getting old, but those well versed in architecture asserted that the structure would survive a thousand years.
Later on, Nikken stated,
“The meaning of the existence of the Sho-Hondo has come to mean something different; it today embodies the entity of slander (New Year’s Gongyo, January 1, 2000).”
It was revealed through this speech by Nikken that the aging of the Sho-Hondo was just an excuse to destroy it.
Nichiren Shoshu thus destroyed an historic religious structure that was one of the great cultural assets of the world simply because of the childish emotions of the high priest. Such folly simply disqualifies Nichiren Shoshu as a world-class religion.
An overseas architect criticized Nikken’s insanity and absurdity as follows:
“It is ridiculous to take such a destructive action in a peaceful country in the 20th century.”
“It is the most biased incident by religious conservatism.”
“The destruction of the Sho-Hondo creates a void in the history of humanity’s architecture. It is a great loss of this century.”
How can a religion, which so readily destroys its own buildings contributed by sincere believers, save the people of the world? Nichiren Shoshu’s behavior tramples on the sincerity of the offerings given to them.
Based on his knowledge of their lives and circumstances, Nichiren Daishonin always praised lay believers for their sincerity in making offerings, encouraging them to strengthen their faith.
In one of his writings, “Reply to Matsuno,” he went as far as to state,
“And how much truer is this of someone who offers white rice grown with bone-breaking labor by the people, or aged sake, which is like blood wrung from those who brew it” (WND, vol. 2, p. 752).
To Nichiren Daishonin, the white rice that was offered to him was not mere white rice; it was a crystallization of the person’s unsparing effort, as he put it as “bone-breaking labor by the people.” Also to him, the sake was as precious as “blood wrung from those who brew it.” His appreciation for all offerings to him was simply unfathomable. He asserts that one who makes such sincere offerings will doubtlessly attain Buddhahood.
The Sho-Hondo was constructed from the sincere offering of the Daishonin’s followers. In no way would Nichiren Daishonin tolerate the actions of Nikken and his priesthood.
Announcement of the Destruction of the Sho-Hondo Coincides with Nikken’s Appearance in Court Regarding the Seattle Incident
Nikken Changes Comments to Suit His Convenience
There is one question about the timing of the destruction of the Sho-Hondo. When it was announced that the Sho-Hondo would be torn down, the announcement sounded rather abrupt since seven years had already passed since the excommunication of the Soka Gakkai. We have come up with the following facts when we examine what was happening to Nikken in those days.
On December 22, 1997, three months before the announcement, Nikken had appeared in court for the first time in conjunction with what is known as the Seattle Incident, a case of Nikken’s involvement in a dispute with prostitutes in Seattle. He also appeared in court on February 2, 1998 for the second time, and on May 18 of the same year for the third time.
Some priests in Nichiren Shoshu say that Nikken did not expect that he would have to appear in court in person. Rumor has is that Nikken lawyer had explained to Nikken that he would not have to appear in court. When it became clear that Nikken had to appear in court, Nikken is said to have fired his lawyer.
At first, Nikken contended that on the night in question, he never left the hotel that he was staying at in Seattle. Later, he changed his version of events in September 1995, stating, “he left the hotel to get a drink.” Accordingly, what he actually did when he was outside the hotel became a big issue in court.
The authority of the high priest carries no weight in court. The lawyer for the plaintiff called Nikken “Mr. Abe.” Nikken was asked by the plaintiff’s attorney in detail about his conduct while he was away from the hotel. Nothing could have been as painful a disgrace to him as this experience.
As to the fact that Nikken made the announcement of the destruction of the Sho-Hondo around the time when he had to appear in court, a priest commented, “It is conceivable that Nikken tried to avert lay believers’ attention from his court case by announcing the destruction of the Sho-Hondo. It is also conceivable that he was demonstrating his power to Soka Gakkai members in revenge for the humiliation he suffered in court.”
Nikken Changes His Position in a Lecture on the Sho-Hondo Where He Groundlessly Blames Honorary President Ikeda for Arrogance
The former high priest, Nittatsu, explained the definition of the Sho-Hondo:
“The Sho-Hondo is the actual High Sanctuary of the Essential Teaching (ji no kaidan) at this time, which contains the significance described in ‘On the Three Great Secret Laws’ and the ‘Minobu Transfer Document.’ The Sho-Hondo is a supreme edifice that should be the High Sanctuary of Honmon-ji (Temple of the Essential Teachings) at the time of kosen-rufu (Admonition, April 28, 1972).”
The former high priest defined the significance of the Sho-Hondo as above. It was a religious structure that was built in the 20th century based upon the sincere offerings of 8 million people around the world.
Nikken himself once referred to the significance of the Sho-Hondo:
“The former high priest, Nittatsu Shonin, named this great edifice that houses the Dai-Gohonzon the Sho-Hondo because he pondered the profound significance of this building through the transmission of the heritage of the Law from the lineage of Founder Daishonin, Nikko Shonin and the successive high priests (during the pilgrimage commemorating the 10th anniversary of the construction of the Sho-Hondo, October 12, 1982).”
Nikken as a priest should take responsibility for any remarks he made. However, Nikken easily changes his position at his convenience. No sense of responsibility and no sign of sincerity is evident in the way he behaves.
On October 6 about three months before dismissing Honorary President Ikeda from the position of the head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations, Nikken shared words of celebration at the grand ceremony for the 700th anniversary of the opening of the head temple. In this speech, Nikken praised Honorary President Ikeda. In it, he touched upon the meaning of the Sho-Hondo as well:
“The Sho-Hondo is a great edifice where ten million believers, who are deeply connected with Nichiren Buddhism, repent to erase their karma. It should be said that the benefit of visiting this place is truly immense.”
Here, too, we can witness Nikken’s deception. When he read these words of celebration and praise, he was already engaged in plotting Operation C. Nevertheless, on the other hand, he went on to praise Honorary President Ikeda’s meritorious deeds and refer to the significance of the Sho-Hondo.
He Groundlessly Blames Honorary President Ikeda for Arrogance
Nikken cited reasons for the destruction of the Sho-Hondo as follows:
“We tore down the Sho-Hondo because we came to realize that Daisaku Ikeda, a mere lay and lowly common mortal, is holding on to the egocentric ambition and evil intent to surpass the Founder Daishonin and that the Sho-Hondo had been constructed as an embodiment of his great slander (New Year’s Gongyo, January 1, 2003).”
His reasoning is groundless. It is a typical case of false accusation.
Nichiren Shoshu first announced to the media that its action to dispel Honorary President Ikeda from the position of the head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations does not mean “either the dismissal or punishment of Honorary President Ikeda.” This means that Honorary President Ikeda was blameless at the point when Nichiren Shoshu issued this announcement to the media.
Soon after, Nikken began to say that Honorary President Ikeda was dismissed from the position of the head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations as punishment. Then, in what sense were the Soka Gakkai and Honorary President Ikeda to blame?
In opposition to the fact that the Soka Gakkai raised nine questions without responding to the “Inquiry” document from Nichiren Shoshu, Nikken began open criticism of the Soka Gakkai, stating”
“Gakkai’s lack of self-reflection and sincerity is reflected in its presentation of these questions.” and “We saw … their lack of faith and hostile action to send us their protest document.”
Namely, Nikken’s contention has nothing to do with the contents of the “Inquiry” document. His point was “The Soka Gakkai, despite its lowly status as laity, offered questions to the priesthood, which in itself deserves punishment.”
What Nikken means by “slander” is that the laity had the audacity to question the priesthood in response to their own bogus inquiry.
Also, in his sermon at the teachers guidance meeting held on January 6 and 10 in 1991, Nikken judged Honorary President Ikeda as arrogant with regards to the latter’s statement “The Sho-Hondo is the actual High Sanctuary of True Buddhism,” quoting a passage from “On the Receiving of the Three Great Secret Laws” which reads, “The most fitting site will be sought out, one resembling the pure land of Eagle Peak …” (WND, vol. 2, p. 987).
Nikken thus alleged that the issue between Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai occurred because of the arrogance of President Ikeda. It is reflected in Nikken’s contention that President Ikeda asserted, even though he was a mere lay believer, that the Sho-Hondo is the High Sanctuary of Nichiren Buddhism, whose construction is Nichiren Daishonin’s mandate, at a time when nobody was talking about such a thing.
However, this contention by Nikken was based on gross misunderstanding.
In fact, High Priest Nittatsu made the following statement at the first Sho-Hondo Construction Committee meeting in February 1965, quoting “The Minobu Transfer Document,” in which he expounded that the Sho-Hondo carried the significance of the High Sanctuary of the Homon-ji Temple at the time of kosen-rufu.
“After all, two corrections were made in Dai-Nichiren (February 1991 issue) regarding the errors in this sermon by Nikken. One of the corrections reads, ‘I make a correction here since Nittatsu Shonin had made reference to the significance of the Sho-Hondo before October 1968, quoting ‘On the Receiving of the Three Great Secret Laws’ and ‘Minobu Transfer Document’. The other correction he made was that ‘I correct my previous statement since the honorary president was not the first to relate the Sho-Hondo to the high sanctuary whose construction was mandated in the Daishonin’s writings such as ‘On the Receiving of the Three Great Laws.’”
This statement by the former high priest, Nittatsu, totally undermines Nikken’s sermon, as it denies the basis of his criticism of Honorary President Ikeda.
The reasons Nikken cited to criticize Honorary President Ikeda changed quite often. It is because foremost in his mind was the decision to dismiss President and what followed were any reasons he could come up with. At any rate, Nikken was not happy about the fact that Honorary President Ikeda, a lay believer, was more respected by other lay believers and highly regarded by many dignitaries in the world than he himself.
Nikken Hated the Sho-Hondo, A Symbol of the Glory Days of Former High Priest, Nittatsu
To Nikken, the Sho-Hondo was a symbol of Honorary President Ikeda’s accomplishment toward kosen-rufu, and it was also a proof of High Priest Nittatsu’s cooperation with the Soka Gakkai. Nikken, who was of the opinion that the priesthood is superior to the laity, thought it unnecessary for the priesthood to commend the laity’s achievements. He could not forgive former High Priest Nittatsu for the latter’s praise of the lay leader and organization. Therefore, the Sho-Hondo, the symbol of the days of the former high priest, was intolerable to Nikken.
In any case, however, Nikken’s contention is very irrational. If he claims that the Sho-Hondo is a slanderous structure, the property upon which the Sho-Hondo was built is also slanderous. However, the fact is that the Hoando temple is now standing upon this slanderous property.
The Soka Gakkai donated to Nichiren Shoshu not only the Sho-Hondo but also the Grand Lecture Hall, general lodgings, other structures at the head temple, and 350 branch temples. According to Nikken’s logic, these structures are now all slanderous because they were donated by the Gakkai and therefore, should also be destroyed.
Nichiren Shoshu contends, “The Sho-Hondo and other structures bear different meanings,” but its contention is really self-serving. The true voice of the priesthood is that they don’t need the Sho-Hondo but they need to have places for priests to live in.
The World Was Astounded by Destruction of Sho-Hondo
News of the destruction of the Sho-Hondo shocked believers around the world. In particular, a number of overseas temple members who participated in offerings for the construction of the Sho-Hondo, severed ties with their temples, expressing their anger over the barbarous act.
Also, the destruction of the Sho-Hondo became a big issue beyond the boundary of religious denominations throughout the world. For stance, when it was reported in Sri Lanka, a Buddhist country, news of the destruction of the Sho-Hondo was perceived as an unbelievable incident to Buddhists in that country. In Sri Lanka, destroying temples is regarded as an act of terrorism. Over there, priests protect their temples from such destructive behavior. However, in Nichiren Shoshu, Nikken and his priesthood participated in the act of destroying their own school’s temples.
People in Sri Lanka vehemently criticized the behavior of Nikken and his cohorts:
“No priest who destroyed his own school’s structures ever existed in the history of Buddhism. Nikken is truly a devilish priest.”
Nikken’s Base Character Is Seen in the Pleasure He Felt When He Was Looking at Monitored Scene of Sho-Hondo’s Destruction
It is no exaggeration to say that Nikken is a devilish priest.
It is said that Nikken rejoiced over the scenes of the destruction of the Sho-Hondo through the TV monitor that was set up among cedar trees near the destruction site.
It is nothing but disgusting behavior to be delighted at the sight of the destruction of an historic edifice constructed for the great good of kosen-rufu.
- Nikken Steals Position of High Priest, Causing Nichiren Shoshu to Decline.
Nikken Makes False Announcement that He Had Been Nominated to Succeed to Former High Priest and Obtains Seat of High Priest, Realizing His Ambition
High Priest Nittatsu passed away at a hospital in Fujinomiya City at 5 AM on July 22, 1979. Immediately at the head temple, the former high priests’ family members and those close to him recited the sutra before his deceased body praying for his repose. Nikken, the general administrator in those days, who was supposed to lead the recitation of the sutra at the former high priest’s bedside, was present instead at a dialogue among the former high priest’s sons, Keido Hosoi, Takudo Hosoi, Jiun Sugano, the husband of the former high priest’s daughter, and some others.
Nikken asked them,
“Did you hear anything about who’ll be next high priest?”
Nikken was referring to the transmission of the heritage by the former high priest. Jiun Sugano responded,
“No. Aren’t you, Mr. General Administrator, the next one?”
At that moment, Nikken murmured,
“Oh, that’s right. That’s right.”
Wearing a very complicated expression on his face, Nikken is said to have looked like he was contemplating first and then quietly nodding later.
If, as Nikken declared, he had received the heritage from the former high priest one year before, why did he ask the bereaved Hosoi family, “Did you hear anything about who’ll be next high priest?”
Then, an urgent session of the executive priests were held. On hand at this meeting were Nikken, the general administrator, Hoei Shiina (Nitcho), an executive representative, and Nichiji Hayase, a senior priest who was qualified to receive the heritage.
At this meeting, Nikken opened his mouth,
“I have been keeping this just to myself till this date, but as a matter of fact, I was privately with the high priest at his quarters at the head temple on April 15 last year. At that time he informally shared with me his words of the transmission of the heritage. I hereby disclose his profound intention with regards to the teachings of our school.”
That was the moment when the 67th high priest was decided. It was also the beginning of the questioning of the legitimacy of Nikken’s inheritance of the heritage. The problem was that there was no witness to the transmission because it was a case of self-proclamation.
As previously mentioned, High Priest Nittatsu, before his death, ordered his secretary to place a futon mattress for him in his quarters at the head temple and tell Jiun Sugano, his daughter’s husband and chief priest of Daisen-ji at Kunitachi, Tokyo and Teiken Hisamitsu, his chief secretary. Nikken assumed he also should attend although he was not actually invited.
It is recorded in the memo that Kawabe wrote on October 4, 1986 that Hisamitsu mentioned to Nikken, regarding Nikken’s statement that he had informally received the heritage from the former high priest on April 15, 1978, that:
“Are you OK with the date, April 15, as High Priest Nittatsu was very busy on that day?”
That date, April 15, was the birthday of High Priest Nittatsu, and he was pretty busy on that day. Hisamitsu knew that High Priest Nittatsu had no time on that day to execute a most significance event like the private transmission of the heritage to his possible successor.”
Furthermore, Nikken himself said to several priests at the head temple at one time:
“I thought somebody like Mr. Nichiji Hayase had received the heritage, but when he didn’t say anything to that effect, I proclaimed that I had received the heritage and took office.”
This testimony by Nikken must be the most eloquent one to describe his sentiments.
As to his “temple-centered” views, Nikken was once severely admonished by High Priest Nittatsu to the effect that, “From now on, you should not think about Nichiren Shoshu without the existence of the Soka Gakkai.” Therefore, Nikken must have held on to the thought that “Someday I will prove the righteousness of my idea.” And a great chance finally opened up for him.
When he finished leading the recitation of the sutra at the bedside of the deceased former high priest, no one proclaimed that he had received the heritage from the former high priest. Nikken also confirmed with the family members of the late former high priest if any one of them had received the heritage from the former high priest. So, Nikken took a gamble, thinking, “I can get the position of high priest if only I now proclaim that I had received the heritage from the former high priest.”
Nikken thus became the new high priest of Nichiren Shoshu, as Nichiji Hayase did not say anything at the executive priests’ meeting. Nichiji Hayase might have expected that Nikken, his junior, would say to him something like, “I’d recommend Rev. Hayase to succeed.” Later on, Nichiji Hayase remarked,
“Because of my perseverance, Mr. Abe became high priest.”
Thus, Nikken successfully gained the position of the 67th high priest of Nichiren Shoshu. He lost no time in advocating the slogan of “the recovery of the founder’s way” to realize his ambition that was based upon his idea of the supremacy of the priesthood and temple.
Angered by Former High Priest Nittatsu’s Distrust of Him, Nikken Turned to Criticizing His Mentor and Denying the Validity of the Dai-Gohonzon
Nikken’s grudge against High Priest Nittatsu was deep. This was proven by the Kawabe Memo that was leaked out in July 1999. It was written in this memo that Nikken had been critical of the former high priest behind the scenes. However, one more unbelievable thing was written in this memo. It was about the fact that Nikken, when he was study department leader of Nichiren Shoshu, mentioned to Kawabe that the Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary was a forgery.
2/7/78 Meeting with A at Teikoku H).
Re: Gohonzon of High Sanctuary.
The Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary is fake. This was found out as a result of handwriting analysis using various methods (kanji character analysis). Possibly the daimoku and formal signature were copied from the Honzon given to Nichizen that was later donated from Hodo-in temple to Taiseki-ji. Other characters were copied during the time of 6th High Priest Nichiji or 9th High Priest Nichiu. Tracing marks remain on the Honzon given to Nichizen.
G is impossible.
Appointing capable people, recovering order and all other issues for the future of this school cannot happen under G’s leadership.
G has an easygoing idea that things will return to normal after two or three years even if we separate from Gakkai.
Note: Nichizen Honzon was first at Kitayama. Someone at Kitayama put it up for sale. Nichio found this somewhere and purchased it (Gohonzon of the 3rd Year of Koan)
Note: “A” in the above memo indicates “Abe,” “G” indicates Nittatsu and “H” indicates “hotel.”
Nichiren Shoshu went into an uproar because of the revelation of Nikken’s statement that the Dai-Gohonzon, the basis of Nichiren Shoshu doctrine, is counterfeit. The Administrative Office of Nichiren Shoshu hurriedly issued a notice on this matter. In this notice, Nichiren Shoshu explains, “Our explanation is directed toward outside people’s doubt of the integrity of the Dai-Gohonzon.” In those days, no one in Nichiren Shoshu expressed such a doubt.
What is more, there was no one outside Nichiren Shoshu who could closely examine the Gohonzon given to Nichizen and the Dai-Gohonzon. Even within Nichiren Shoshu, it was only Nikken, who was proudly saying that he was a specialist in Gohonzon comparison.
The Administrative Office issued another notice titled “Rev. Kawabe’s Apology and Testimony” the following day. In this additional notice, Kawabe was forced to state, “The memo was my subjective statement” and “It was a case of my recording mistake.”
If Nichiren Shoshu claims that it was a case of Kawabe’s mistake in the notes he took, it should severely punish Kawabe since the issue concerns the Dai-Gohonzon, the very foundation of the Nichiren Shoshu doctrine. Not only that, Nichiren Shoshu should make clear what type of mistake Kawabe committed in his notes. However, Nikken did not punish Kawabe at all. Rather, Nikken transferred Kawabe from Nissho-ji in Hokkaido to Daigan-ji in Tokyo, a promotion. Nikken made no mention of Kawabe having made any mistakes in notes of their conversation.
What was also written in this memo was Nikken’s harsh criticism of the former high priest, Nittatsu. Nichiren Shoshu explains Nikken’s criticism of the former high priest is made represent the opinion harbored by the priests of the Shoshinkai Group in those days. But this explanation by Nichiren Shoshu is not convincing at all. This memo by Kawabe was obviously a record of Abe’s remarks, and if you read “G is impossible” literally, Nikken is clearly saying that High Priest Nittatsu is incapable and no good.
Nikken contends that he informally received the heritage from the former high priest on April 15, 1978, but this memo was written only two months before his alleged receipt of the heritage.
Probably when the Kawabe memo was written, Nikken must have felt that it was not probable that he would become the next high priest. Because he believed this at that time, Nikken went on to criticize the former high priest in his private meeting with Kawabe.
Also, in February 1979, half year prior to the death of the former high priest, Hokyo Yamaguchi, his disciple, directly begged Nittatsu, “Sir, please don’t ever transfer the heritage to Rev. Abe.” It is said that at that time High Priest Nittatsu replied, “I understand very well. Don’t worry.”
Under such circumstances, how could High Priest Nittatsu have designated Nikken as his successor?
In the past when Masatomo Yamazaki, the then chief lawyer of the Soka Gakkai, and disciples of High Priest Nittatsu began to take issue with the legitimacy of Nikken position. Nikken said the following in a very emotional tone when Nittatsu’s disciples asked about the transmission of the heritage between their mentor and Nikken:
“Who in the world received the heritage if, as you insist, I didn’t receive it?”
“Show me proof that I didn’t receive it.”
“I am here as high priest because I did receive the heritage.”
Nikken would not have said such a thing should he have received the heritage from the former high priest. It is clear that Nikken became a high priest simply because no other priests proclaimed that they had received the heritage from the former high priest.
Nikken Is Still Unable to Present Proof of Transmission of the Heritage
It is Nikken himself that feeds people’s doubt of the legitimacy of his inheritance of the heritage from the former high priest. It is simply because even today Nikken cannot prove that he received the heritage from the former high priest. Even in various court trials, Nikken failed to present any evidence he received the heritage.
Nichiren Shoshu has been engaged in legal cases where it demanded that Shoshinkai priests vacate their temples. What became an issue in each trial was whether Nikken was the legitimate high priest or not. The court could not conclude that Nikken was legitimate. The court judged that it could not take the suit by Nichiren Shoshu as a legal case since each case was in essence a religious, doctrinal issue.
This suspicion of the legitimacy of Nikken’s inheritance of the heritage became a point in a legal case even after he retired from the position of high priest.
In December 2008, Nichiren Shoshu filed a suit against the Shoshinkai Group regarding its thirty-four temples that kept the nameplate of Nichiren Shoshu on their doorframes, demanding each temple take down their nameplate.
The Shoshinkai side contended in the first trial:
“Nichinyo Hayase, the chief representative of the Plaintiff, was selected as high priest by Nikken Abe who was not a legitimate high priest. Therefore, Nichinyo Hayase is not a legitimate high priest of the Plaintiff either. He cannot be the Plaintiff’s chief representative. He is not its chief executive officer, either. Accordingly, this lawsuit was brought about by a person who cannot represent the Plaintiff, and therefore, this lawsuit should be dismissed as legal conditions are not met. ”
Nichiren Shoshu rebutted, “High Priest Nichinyo Hayase is a legally selected chief executive officer.” However, again, Nichiren Shoshu could not show any evidence of Nikken’s alleged inheritance of the heritage from the former high priest. As a result, the Tokyo District Court judged that it should dismiss the contention of the Nichiren Shoshu side on December 18, 2009. The court explained its decision as follows:
“It is necessary to examine and judge whether or not Nichinyo Hayase was in the position of high priest in order to decide whether he is in the position of the chief executive officer of the Plaintiff. This means that the court, while clarifying the meaning of the transmission of the heritage, needs to examine whether Hayase Nichinyo did receive the heritage that had been transferred from one high priest to another ever since the days of the Founder. This suit is not suitable for examination by the court” (since this case requires the court to step into the realm of and examine the doctrine and contents of faith).
Dissatisfied over the decision by the court, Nichiren Shoshu immediately appealed the case to the higher court, but the Tokyo High Court upheld the first trial’s judgment, dismissing Nichiren Shoshu’s claim as “inappropriate.”
It was indeed embarrassing for Nichiren Shoshu that the court judged its claim as “inappropriate” in a trial raised by Nichiren Shoshu itself.
From now on as well, no matter who becomes the next high priest of Nichiren Shoshu, the legitimacy of Nikken’s inheritance of the heritage will remain the fundamental issue, and Nichiren Shoshu will be continuously judged as “an inappropriate religious school” in each legal case.
Nikken Attempts to Protect His Untenable Position by Expounding the Erroneous Teaching of Absolute Sanctity of the Office of High Priest
Nikken was in a very insecure position. As a result, to assert his legitimacy, Nikken often had to shout at people, “I’m the high priest!” Hokyo Yamaguchi, a priest of Nichiren Shoshu, one time advised to Nikken,
“Sir, you’d shouldn’t say ‘I’m the high priest’ so often. As human beings we don’t have to say ‘I am a human being.’”
Nikken was angered by this advice from a junior priest. This is a famous story within Nichiren Shoshu.
About a year and a half after Nikken was inaugurated as high priest, Masatomo Yamazaki began to write his memoirs in a weekly magazine stating, “Nikken Abe did not inherit the heritage through a legitimate procedure.”
This memoir by Yamazaki prompted the Shoshinkai, which consisted of the former high priest Nittatsu’s disciples, to publicly criticize Nikken. In January 1981, 184 Shoshinkai priests filed suit in the Shizuoka District Court Fuji Chapter against Nikken that he was not the legitimate high priest of Nichiren Shoshu and requested the termination of his right to execute the authority of that position.
Nikken expelled all these priests from Nichiren Shoshu. The Shoshinkai’s attack on Nikken continued. In the meanwhile, for his protection, there emerged and grew within Nichiren Shoshu, a view that the office of high priest is absolute.
The current Nichiren Shoshu priesthood defines Nikken as the treasure of the Priest in the principle of the three treasures. Today within Nichiren Shoshu, criticizing Nikken denotes the destruction of the treasure of the Priest. And since the three treasures—including the Buddha and the Law— are one, Nichiren Shoshu today teaches that criticizing Nikken is equal to destroying the three treasures.
“However, it is clearly stipulated in the Rules of Nichiren Shoshu that ‘In this school, the Dai-Mandala is the treasure of the Law, the Founder Nichiren Daishonin is the treasure of the Buddha, and Nikko Shonin, the successor who received the heritage from the Founder, is the treasure of the Priest.”
High Priest Nittatsu referred to the role of the high priest of Nichiren Shoshu as follows:
“The three treasures of our school are established in the manner that: the Gohonzon is the treasure of the Law, the Daishonin, the treasure of the Buddha, and Nikko Shonin, the treasure of the Priest. In this context, Nichimoku Shonin is the lord of the chair. As I just said, Nichimoku Shonin’s role was to preside over the Daishonin’s Buddhism. His job was to receive the teachings and administrate them. Namely, he was the chief administrator. Administering and governing were his responsibilities. What all other high priests that came after him do is just to inherit his job just as water is transferred from one vessel to another (19th meeting of the priests’ families, May 26, 1977).”
In this way, High Priest Nittatsu made a clear distinction between Nikko Shonin, the Daishonin’s immediate successor, and Nichimoku Shonin, the chief representative of all Nichiren Shoshu high priests. The successive high priests of Nichiren Shoshu must play a role to protect the three treasures on behalf of Nichimoku Shonin.
This point is reinforced by the position of the seat that the high priest takes at the reception hall at the head temple. The high priest does not sit facing the three treasures. The high priest, viewed from the audience who face the Gohonzon, sits to the left of the Gohonzon, facing eastward. The seat that the high priest takes is actually the seat of Nichimoku Shonin. This seating shows that the high priest is in a position to lead the Daishonin’s guests to the three treasures.
However, the current Nichiren Shoshu priesthood has changed the high priest’s position into one that is absolute in order to protect Nikken. As a result, the teaching of the three treasures was altered to suit the convenience of the priesthood. According to the doctrine of the current Nichiren Shoshu, the high priest is taken as part of the object of devotion. Literally, Nichiren Shoshu has become the Nikken sect in this regard.
Democratization advanced in every field of the world after World War II. Various religious sects in Japan have been promoting democratization for the past several decades. Therefore the same individual does not simultaneously assume the religious role of the high priest that decides the doctrine of the school and the role of the chief administrator that heads the administration of the school. The independence of the school’s council is guaranteed in this system where the roles of high priest and chief administrator are assumed by two different individuals.
However, when it comes to Nichiren Shoshu today, the high priest also performs the role of chief administrator, thus possessing all the powers within the school.
Also, before Nikken took office, the council of Nichiren Shoshu was able recommend a high priest to resign. In fact, on November 20 in the 14th year of Taisho (1925), the council voted no confidence in 58th High Priest Nitchu, passing a resolution to recommend that he resign.
However, Nikken changed the Rules and Bylaws of Nichiren Shoshu, stripping the power of the council. Today, Nichiren Shoshu has no ability to purify itself should an evil high priest like Nikken appear.
Making Sure that All Believers Bow to Him, Nikken Forces Them to Revere Him
After Nikken became high priest, it was suddenly made mandatory that people bow to him with their palms pressed together when they see him. Worshipping Nikken is the way of the Nikken sect where Nikken is treated as the Buddha.
All the acolytes at the head temple, if they see Nikken even in the distance, for instance, 100 meters away, they still have to sit and bow toward him with their palms together in respect. It is prohibited for them to stare into Nikken’s face. Should they look up to see Nikken’s face, he will shout “Hey, you!” hitting them on the face with his chukei fan.
In contrast, 66th High Priest Nittatsu was never authoritarian. He would often share sweet cakes with acolytes after the midnight gongyo. The 65th high priest, Nissho, is said to have spent time together with acolytes, playing sumo wrestling with them.
Why is Nikken so attached to his authority? It is because he is very insecure, suspecting that many people do not think he is the legitimate high priest. Should he be free from the doubt of his legitimacy, he wouldn’t have to force his authority on others to respect him. Other priests would naturally respect him if his position as high priest was secure. However, Nikken is always concerned because he suspects that many people don’t believe in his legitimacy. He exercises his authority to rid himself of anxiety.
Nikken Attempts to Remove Doubt of Authenticity of His Inheritance by Destroying Buildings Built during Former High Priest Nittatsu’s Time
After his inauguration, Nikken began to destroy many structures that High Priest Nittatsu built one after another such as the Six- compartments quarter (Mutsubo), Dai-kejo, and the Grand Reception Hal (Dai-Kyakuden).
Why? His destruction of these structures was revenge against High Priest Nittatsu who did not designate him as his successor. By destroying the buildings built during the time of High Priest Nittatsu, Nikken tried to wipe out all evidence of High Priest Nittatsu.”
At the same time, by destroying these structures, Nikken exercised his authority to counter doubts about his legitimacy that still smolder within Nichiren Shoshu.
Nikken did the same thing toward people. Whenever acolytes caused problems, Nikken lost no time in punishing them. Therefore, he received the infamous nickname “Neck-cutter Nikken.” By punishing priests, Nikken tried to demonstrate his power.
However, doubt about Nikken’s legitimacy persisted in Nichiren Shoshu. As a matter of fact, people wondered why he would destroy the structures built during the time of High Priest Nittatsu, “How could he destroy those structures, symbols of accomplishments made by the former high priest if he had received the heritage from his predecessor?”
Nikken Denies Nichiren Shoshu’s History, As He Opposes the Former High Priest Who Praised the Successive Presidents of the Soka Gakkai
The successive high priests of Nichiren Shoshu, who took office in modern times, were deeply aware of the significance of the appearance of the Soka Gakkai, praising the Gakkai’s accomplishments. The 59th high priest, Nichiko, described the meaning of the emergence of the Soka Gakkai as follows:
“Mr. Toda, without you, Nichiren Shoshu would have collapsed.”
“Nothing will remain of Nichiren Shoshu should the Gakkai be separated from it?”
“The Gakkai is a wonderful organization of kosen-rufu. Nichiren Shoshu and danka families are incomparable to the Gakkai. We must respect the Gakkai. ”
“The Gohonzon became well-known only after the appearance of the Gakkai. I truly appreciate that the Gohonzon began to reveal its genuine power thanks to the Gakkai. Danka families come to me to ask me to transcribe the Gohonzon. I transcribe the Gohonzon for kosen-rufu, but I will never transcribe one for those who request one in return for offerings.”
Also, the 65th high priest, Nichijun deeply trusted first President Makiguchi, stating, “Truly, he was a messenger of the Buddha.”
As to the great accomplishment of the conversion of 750,000 households to Nichiren Buddhism under the leadership of Mr. Toda, the 65th high priest, Nichijun, praised him to the utmost, “He called forth the five and seven characters of Myoho-renge-kyo as 750,000 households on earth”
“Mr. Makiguchi seems to have changed completely through the Lotus Sutra. But the truth is that Mr. Makiguchi, who was by birth a messenger of the Buddha, revealed his true identity through the Lotus Sutra and fulfilled his role. His existence made me think deeply this way. I feel an indescribable dignity in the way he is. Mr. Makiguchi had supporters, but he also had many enemies. I cannot help but put my palms together in respect when I think of his resolute spirit to fight through the thorny paths and honest obedience to the truth (2nd Soka Kyoiku Gakkai general meeting at Tokyo Education Center, October 19, 1947).
Commending the significance of the emergence of the Soka Gakkai, the 66th high priest, Nittatsu, went on to say, “The true spirit of the Hokkeko today lies in the hearts of Gakkai members.”
“Who in the world today protects and embraces the Gohonzon and enables its transmission in accord with the Daishonin’s three exhortations? The Gakkai does so. It is the Gakkai that protects Buddhism, embraces the Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary, and does shakubuku in an unsparing and non-begrudging spirit for the perpetuation of the Law. It is also the Gakkai that refutes all slanderous persecutions, puts the principle of the six difficult and nine easy acts into action, and realizes kosen-rufu in the Latter Day of the Law. The Gakkai is exactly what is called the Hokkeko by the Daishonin. The spirit of the Hokkeko lies in Gakkai members. This is why I asked Ikeda Sensei, the president of the Soka Gakkai to be sokoto, head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations.”
On September 1, 1971, High Priest Nittatsu stated that “President Ikeda is the great leader of the Hokkeko” at the commemoration of the 5th anniversary of the founding of Fuji Community Center in Tokyo. On the same occasion, High Priest Nittatsu praises President Ikeda’s appearance in accord with “the Buddha’s mandate and decree.”
“Today, fortunately, freedom of religion is allowed, and we herald truly democratic times. Also, fortunately, a great leader of our Hokkeko group has emerged. I presume that the Buddha, or Nichiren Daishonin, made him appear to achieve kosen-rufu in this age.”
“Auspicious times are now enveloping us, as we here at the head temple ask for his protection from outside, and the head temple is now increasingly prosperous with our trust in him. This school’s local temples are also becoming prosperous, and their numbers are on the increase.”
“Today, as I have a great leader called Hokkeko sokoto, head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations, I hope, we all are devoted to kosen-rufu in unity, achieving the objective of the Daishonin.”
As exemplified by all these quotes, modern high priests of Nichiren Shoshu took the Soka Gakkai very seriously and praised the three founding presidents’ efforts for kosen-rufu that led to unprecedented propagation of Nichiren Buddhism in the history of Nichiren Shoshu. Nevertheless, Nikken totally denied the meaning of the Soka Gakkai’s appearance and all its deeds that his predecessors deeply acknowledged, attempting to bring back the priesthood-centered, old danka system in modern times.
Nikken Tarnishes Nichiren Shoshu, and His Actions Will Remain As A Dark Spot in Its History, As He Indulged in Wasting Offerings from Believers and Destroyed Contributed Buildings, Causing Nichiren Shoshu to Lose Trust in Society
In his attempt to protect the position of high priest that he stole to realize his ambition, Nikken is actually opposed not only to the guidance of the former high priest but to the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin and Nikko Shonin.
First of all, Nikken unilaterally excommunicated the Soka Gakkai that consists of more than ten million believers. This contradicts Nichiren Daishonin who vowed to save all people. It is an act of breaking harmony in the Buddhist order and hindering the progress of global kosen-rufu.
Next, by revising the Rules of Nichiren Shoshu, Nikken made it impossible for him to be dismissed until he decides to leave the position. This move by Nikken signifies a great sin in light of Nichiren Buddhism, as it is against one of Nikko Shonin’s 26 Admonitions, “Do not follow even the high priest if he goes against the Buddha’s Law and propounds his own views.”
Nikken commented on this particular admonition as follows:
“In case the chief administrator goes by his own self-righteous teaching, you should not use it. I too think such a case could happen. What would you do should I say to you ‘Let’s all chant Namu-amida-butsu together’? Definitely, you won’t use such an absurd teaching. Absolutely not. You’re right. Then, do you expel such a high priest? If I should start chanting Namu-amida-butsu, you’ll kick me out. Definitely, you have to should I do such a thing. OK! (At the nationwide teachers seminar, August 28, 1992).”
Nikken himself says, in effect, “you should expel a high priest should he start expounding his own self-righteous teaching.”
But this does not represent his true voice. Currently, in Nichiren Shoshu, anyone who criticizes the high priest is doomed to be punished. No one is capable of disposing of the high priest due to the new article in the Rules.
Nikken also slights the history of Nichiren Shoshu. After destroying the Grand Reception Hall that was built during the times of High Priest Nittatsu, Nikken built a new reception hall on the same spot. On that occasion, Nikken ordered a time-honored tree referred to as the “cedar tree with child” that is said to have been planted by Nikko Shonin to be uprooted, making its lower part a gigantic display item.
This “cedar tree with child” was designated as a natural asset in Shizuoka prefecture in March 1966. Later on, as many of its branches began to wither, High Priest Nittatsu made every attempt to protect this tree, inviting a tree-specialist to save it. However, the upper part of this tree was cut down in January 1971.
High Priest Nittatsu, in an attempt to leave the name of the “cedar tree with child” to posterity, made those involved keep a few baby saplings that grew out of the original tree. He had it sent to a local nursery to help it grow. In 1974, High Priest Nittatsu arranged for these saplings implanted into the stump of the original cedar tree. The implanted four or five saplings grew into five to six meter trees.
However, Nikken, in total disregard of the former high priest and others’ heartfelt efforts to help the tree survive, decided to uproot the whole thing, creating some sort of decoration.
Nikken’s action, which not only dismissed all the efforts to keep the history alive that dates back to Nikko Shonin but also reflects his tendency to disregard Nikko Shonin. As a priest of the Nikko school, Nikken should be ashamed of his callousness.
Nikken destroyed not only the past of Nichiren Shoshu but also the future of Nichiren Shoshu.
No one will trust Nichiren Shoshu as long as its priests are indulged in secular pleasures using pure-hearted offerings from lay believers, and engaged in destroying the religious buildings built from lay believers’ sincere offerings.
Nowadays, the people will not support an authoritarian religion. The priesthood of the Nikken sect treats believers as subjects, demanding donations. Nikken sect’s priests instinctively take such a discriminatory action because they are arrogantly looking down on lay people. There is no doubt that Nichiren Shoshu will destroy itself through deep-seated arrogance.
The Future of Nichiren Shoshu Is not Promising in Light of the Decadence at Daibo (Quarters for Acolytes) and the Failure of Hokyo-in, Academic Institution That Nikken Opened
It can be said that Nichiren Shoshu destroyed its future in two senses. First, as previously mentioned, it cannot be trusted because it wastes sincere offerings from lay believers. Secondly, Nichiren Shoshu is killing the potential of acolytes that are supposed to shoulder its future.
Nichiren Shoshu’s violent nature is still intact today. Nichiren Shoshu priests, who are supposed to expound the dignity of one’s life, still resort to violence. Violence is the most shameful act contrary to the spirit of Buddhism. It should not ever be tolerated under any circumstances.
In Nichiren Shoshu, acolytes curry favor with their seniors. Seniors use violence toward juniors. Violence is widespread at the lodging quarters for young priests at the head temple. The life-condition of animality prevails at the head temple. Indeed, distortion grows within the character of many priests in Nichiren Shoshu. Acolytes are indeed victims in the world of the priesthood.
In the past, young priests were able to go out of their lodging at the head temple to study at colleges. They were able to learn how to be sociable in the reality of secular society. However, nowadays, the only educational academy that is open to them is Hokyo-in that Nikken founded. Hokyo-in is pretty infamous in Nichiren Shoshu. Why Hokyo-in is not well respected is explained very well in the following account:
- Hokyo-in is merely a private institution. It is not officially recognized as a school by the Ministry of Education. Even if one graduates from this institution, one’s credit there will not be accredited at other schools. Its graduates are not looked upon as college graduates. They are just regarded as high school graduates.
- In the past, some acolytes intended to study at a high school whose standard score level is high. Today, however, the acolytes of Taiseki-ji can have only one choice, that is, Hokyo-in, after graduating from a high school. Under such a circumstance, Taiseki-ji acolytes are losing the desire to study hard, which means their understanding is becoming relatively low.
- Hokyo-in’s teachers are limited to the priests of Nichiren Shoshu except those teachers who teach non-Buddhist general subjects. Therefore, the quality of the classes is poor. Such circumstances of Hokyo-in limit its ability to produce the type of capable priests who can be very effective in society.
- Since Hokyo-in is a very closed community, an extension of daily life at the acolytes’ lodging on the grounds of the head temple, it does not generate sociable individuals.
- The number of priests who cannot have their own temples is on the increase in Nichiren Shoshu, but it needs to continuously accept new acolytes every year to maintain the Hokyo-in.
- The maintenance of Hokyo-in is very expensive, which drains the finances of Nichiren Shoshu.
Each time Hokyo-in is criticized, Nikken always reacts to such criticism very excessively. Some conscientious members of the Council of Nichiren Shoshu once expressed their opinion about Hokyo-in, but Nikken lost no time in rebutting their view by issuing a document titled “To All My Disciples.”
What Nikken fears through the possible closing of Hokyo-in is that his failure will be recorded in the history of Nichiren Shoshu since he is the founder of this academy.
How many priests within Nichiren Shoshu are actually thinking that Hokyo-in is a necessity? None. Hokyo-in embodies Nikken’s conceit, which no one in Nichiren Shoshu gladly shares. There is no doubt that after Nikken’s death, Hokyo-in will be closed.
- Conclusion (Nikken’s Total Defeat)
Nikken Fails in Every Aspect
To achieve total control of the laity, Nikken took measures that he had long cherished in his heart. They were the commencement of the pilgrimage system that requires all participants to obtain approval from the local chief priest of the temple they belong to, refusal to conduct funerals for Gakkai members, and the termination of the conferral of Gohonzon upon Gakkai members.
In the first place, Nikken and his priesthood commenced this tensho (approval document requirement) tozan (pilgrimage) system to align a great number of Gakkai members with the temple side.
Nichiren Shoshu put ads in major newspapers in Japan on June 15, 1991 announcing the commencement of the tensho pilgrimage system on in line with Operation C, starting July 2.
Hayase (Nichinyo), who was General Affairs Bureau Chief in those days, said to an acolyte of Daigan-ji temple on the eve of the commencement of the tensho pilgrimage system.
“Well, from tomorrow, many Gakkai members will come to us.”
However, in effect, most of the Gakkai members remained unshaken. Nikken and his priesthood’s plot to steal Gakkai members was a failure from the onset.
Next, on October 21, Nikken and his priesthood sent the Gakkai a notice in which they threateningly asserted that Gakkai members would fall into hell unless they invite priests to their funerals. However, this resulted in the Gakkai’s strengthening its conviction in the “friendship funeral” with the clear message that “we don’t need corrupted priests for our funerals.” Nikken and his priesthood’s intimidation with regards to funerals also failed to shake the faith of Gakkai members.
On November 28, 1991, Nikken took an incredibly irrational, unprecedented action to excommunicate the Soka Gakkai, the lay organization whose membership around the world exceeds ten million. Nikken and his priesthood thought through this excommunication a great number of Gakkai members would leave the Soka Gakkai and come to Nichiren Shoshu. However, the unity of the Soka Gakkai, centering on Honorary President Ikeda remained unshaken.
Then, Nikken and his priesthood decided to terminate the conferral of the Gohonzon on any members of the Soka Gakkai now that the organization was formerly excommunicated.
Nikken and his priesthood threateningly commented, “No matter how much Gakkai members may respect Honorary President Ikeda, they cannot practice faith without the Gohonzon. This will finish the Soka Gakkai movement.”
However, Nikken and his priesthood’s ultimate action to stop conferring the Gohonzon on Gakkai members could not defeat the faith of the Soka Gakkai that was directly connected with Nichiren Daishonin. Nikken was extremely annoyed just as Hei no Saemon had been when the Atsuhara farmers remained unshaken in their faith no matter how much he threatened them by shooting arrows at them.
What is the cause for Nikken and his priesthood’s defeat? It is because they could not understand Nichiren Buddhism, or faith based on the oneness of mentor and disciple.
Nichiren Daishonin states, “Now, no matter what, strive in faith and be known as a votary of the Lotus Sutra, and remain my disciple for the rest of your life. If you are of the same mind as Nichiren, you must be a Bodhisattva of the Earth” (WND, vol. 1, p. 385). Operation C was no different from dust before the wind, compared to firm faith based on the oneness of mentor and disciple, the kind of faith that, defying every obstacle, is the same as that of Nichiren Daishonin based on a vow for kosen-rufu.
Why could Nikken and his priesthood not understand this point?
It is because the way of mentor and disciple is missing in the current Nichiren Shoshu. The formality of mentor and disciple is all that exists within Nichiren Shoshu. Acolytes of local temples call their chief priests mentors. The priests of Nichiren Shoshu admire the high priest as their mentor while they are absolutely obligated to follow him. However, in their mentor-and-disciple relationship there is neither trust nor respect. It is because priests as mentors do not have faith that is genuine, pure or profound.
In Nichiren Shoshu, priests do not do shakubuku. They don’t chant daimoku assiduously, either. Many of them indulge themselves in playing golf in the daytime. In the evening, they go to nightclubs. Acolytes, who are used to seeing their chief priests indulge in pleasures, despise them deep in their hearts even though they call them mentor. This is the plight of the mentor-and-disciple relationship in Nichiren Shoshu today.
The way of mentor and disciple expounded in Nichiren Shoshu is no different from the institutionalized system of apprenticeship. Acolytes only learn from their mentor about how to professionally conduct ceremonies. Faith is not necessary in such a system.
Allegations against Gohonzon Transcribed by Nichikan Shonin Proved Groundless
Nichiren Daishonin writes, “Although I and my disciples may encounter various difficulties, if we do not harbor doubts in our hearts, we will as a matter of course attain Buddhahood. Do not have doubts simply because heaven does not lend you protection. Do not be discouraged because you do not enjoy an easy and secure existence in this life” (WND, vol. 1, p. 283). If you carry out faith without backsliding even a bit, you will definitely see a path open up for you, receiving protection from the Buddhist gods. This is how things work in the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin.
As if guided by all Gakkai members’ strong faith, Joen-ji temple in Tochigi prefecture seceded from Nichiren Shoshu. On September 7, 1993, it was announced that copies of the Gohonzon transcribed by 26th High Priest Nichikan, which had been stored at this temple as one of its treasures, would be conferred upon members of the Soka Gakkai.
Nikken probably never imagined that the Soka Gakkai would confer the Gohonzon transcribed by High Priest Nichikan. Rumor has is that when Nikken learned about this, he said, “Damn it! There are many Gohonzon transcribed by successive high priests of Nichiren Shoshu at that temple.”
Behind the history of Nichiren Shoshu lies the fact that from olden times local temples printed and conferred Gohonzon transcribed by the high priest closely related to them. For instance, Myoko-ji temple in Shinagawa, Tokyo, used the woodblock (printed) Gohonzon transcribed by 55th High Priest Nippu. Hodo-in in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, conferred the woodblock Gohonzon transcribed by 56th High Priest Nichio. Jozai-ji temple in Tokyo conferred the woodblock Gohonzon transcribed by 57th High Priest Nissho.
Following this tradition, the Soka Gakkai also decided to confer upon its members the Gohonzon transcribed by 26th High Priest Nichikan.
Nichiren Shoshu reacted to the Gakkai’s issuance of the Gohonzon in a vehemently negative manner, alleging that the Gohonzon conferred by the Gakkai is counterfeit because the receiver’s name was deleted from the margin of the original or the Gohonzon issued by the Gakkai is not approved by the high priest. These accusations by Nichiren Shoshu are illegitimate, malicious.
It has been long practiced within Nichiren Shoshu to delete the name of the recipient and the background of the Gohonzon in creating a woodblock Gohonzon transcribed by successive high priests. At time-honored temples of Nichiren Shoshu, there are a number of woodblock Gohonzon transcribed by successive high priests. Quite often, the name of the recipient of the original Gohonzon and other information are deleted from the margins of these Gohonzon. Simply because lay believers are not aware of this historical fact, Nikken and his priesthood use the deletion of the name of the recipient of the original Gohonzon from the woodblock version as a means to intimidate them.
Also, Nichiren Shoshu deleted the name of Honorary President Ikeda from the wooden Gohonzon of some local temples, as he was its original recipient. This fact proves that the deletion of the name of the recipient of the Gohonzon is an accepted practice.
It is, as a matter of fact, Nikken himself who knows best that the Gohonzon that is conferred by the Soka Gakkai is not counterfeit.
After all, all Nikken can say is that it was issued without his permission. His claim is no more than an expression of his frustration.
On one hand, Nikken unilaterally excommunicated the Gakkai, and asserts that the Gakkai is no more related to Nichiren Shoshu, but on the other hand, Nikken condemns the Gakkai’s Gohonzon by saying that it is not approved by the high priest. His logic is childish.
In the first place, Nikken, who is not a legitimate high priest, is not qualified to discuss the issue of the Gohonzon.
Gohonzon Transcribed by Nikken Has Vanished While Gohonzon Transcribed by Nichikan Shonin Has Been Spread Globally. This is Proof of Nikken’s Defeat
Nowadays, the Gohonzon transcribed by Nikken has disappeared from among the members of the Soka Gakkai. Instead, the Gohonzon transcribed by Nichikan Shonin has spread in 192 countries and territories in the world. This fact symbolizes a total defeat for Nikken.
Even within Nichiren Shoshu, Nikken’s Gohonzon is being replaced with the one transcribed by Nichinyo. Using the Gohonzon of the current high priest is a common practice within Nichiren Shoshu. When Nikken was inaugurated, he began to replace the Gohonzon transcribed by Nittatsu with the Gohonzon that he transcribed. Likewise, the Gohonzon transcribed by Nikken is being replaced and disappearing at a steady pace.
Nikken, Who Lost Supreme Court Legal Cases One After Another, Will Surely Have His Name Removed from the Lineage of Nichiren Shoshu High Priests
Was there any other high priest other than Nikken who has been found guilty in the Supreme Court?
Nikken’s behavior was questioned before the Supreme Court seven times.
- Chief Priest Hoshin Nakajima of Myodo-ji Temple was sued by Nichiren Shoshu to evacuate his temple, which he had disassociated from Nichiren Shoshu. The lawsuit was denied (January 24, 2002).
- Chief Priest Tatsudo Yamamoto of Josetsu-ji Temple was sued by Nichiren Shoshu to evacuate his temple. The lawsuit was denied (January 29, 2002).
- Chief Priest Jisai Watanabe of Daikyo-ji Temple was sued by Nichiren Shoshu to evacuate his temple. The lawsuit was denied (February 22, 2002).
In these three lawsuits, Nichiren Shoshu was defeated because the Nikken side could not show any tangible proof of a legitimate claim to be the head of the school. He could not disprove the claim by reformist priests that he did not receive the heritage from the former high priest and does not possess the authority of the chief administrator and high priest, so he has no right to appoint or dismiss the chief priest of a temple.
- This is a case of defamation of a reformist chief priest. Takudo Ikeda, reformist and chief priest of Seo-ji temple in Shiga prefecture, was condemned by Nikken who disparagingly stated that he seceded from Nichiren Shoshu because of money. This statement by Nikken was brought to court as a libel case. Nikken was ordered by court to pay 300,000 yen to Rev. Ikeda (July 15, 2003).
- This is a case of demagogy in conjunction with the Seattle Incident
The Gakkai sued Nichiren Shoshu and Nikken with regards to Nichiren Shoshu having printed a fabricated story that the Soka Gakkai implanted false information of the Seattle Incident into the computer data of the US federal government. Nikken and Nichiren Shoshu were ordered to pay 4 million yen to the Soka Gakkai (September 9, 2003).
- This is a case of Taiseki-ji’s illegal disposal of believers’ ashes. This incident concerns Taiseki-ji’s illegal handling and disposal of believers’ ashes. Taiseki-ji was ordered to pay 500,000 yen compensation to each bereaved family, a total of 2,000,000 yen to four households (on February 24, 2004).
- This is a case of geisha photos. Nichiren Shoshu filed a lawsuit against the Gakkai about photos that show Nikken entertaining geisha girls at a super high-classryoteirestaurant in Akasaka, Tokyo. Nikken, who was afraid that he might have to appear in court, was not included as a Plaintiff despite the fact that the case concerns his personal reputation. He used Nichiren Shoshu and Taiseki-ji as the plaintiffs of this legal case. The Tokyo High Court clearly judged, “This is a legal case where those who are not qualified to sue filed a lawsuit,” turning down the Nikken side’s claim. The Supreme Court also upheld this decision by the Tokyo High Court (February 24, 2004).
Nichiren Shoshu was defeated in the Supreme Court during the time of Nichinyo, also.
- This is a legal case whereEmyo, one of Nichiren Shoshu’s organ newspapers, was sued by a Gakkai member residing in Nagano prefecture, as it published a groundless article that defamed him. The Tokyo District Court pointed out regardingEmyo’s malicious article, “We can’t see any efforts on the part of Emyo to confirm the basis of its contention in the article and gather information to back up the contents of the article.” The Supreme Court turned down the Nikken sect’s appeal. Because of this verdict, Shido Ogawa, chief priest of Rikyo-bo lodging temple and director of Taiseki-ji, who is also a teacher assigned to Myokanko, a lay group of Nichiren Shoshu, and Kazuo Oogusa, head of Myokanko Group and major lay representative of Nichiren Shoshu, were ordered to pay a total of 1,900,000 yen for compensation (February 27, 2009).
It is hard to know how future priests of Nichiren Shoshu will evaluate a high priest who has completely lost the trust of society. There is no doubt that Nikken will be deleted from the list of the legitimate high priests of Nichiren Shoshu.
Nichiren Shoshu Continuously Declines after Excommunicating Soka Gakkai
Nichiren Shoshu’s defeat is obvious in everybody’s eyes. Nichiren Shoshu lost trust in society, as it was repeatedly lost a number of legal cases because of Nikken. Not only that, by excommunicating the Soka Gakkai, the number of lay believers dramatically declined. The current, actual number of temple members is no more than 100,000. Because of this fact, many temple members were forced to participate as many as four times in the 2009 pilgrimage program where Nichiren Shoshu aimed for 500,000 pilgrims. Quite a few temple members went on a pilgrimage in that year over ten times.
Due to the drastic decrease in the number of lay temple members, one third of the temples of Nichiren Shoshu now need financial support from the head temple. In some local temples’ cases, they only have less than ten participants at the New Year’s gongyo meeting or monthly oko lecture meeting.
Also, many of the Hokkeko members of local temples of Nichiren Shoshu are very elderly. Since their propagation efforts are very low, the number of lay temple members is on the steady decrease.
As things stand now, those temples that need financial support will continue to increase, which means that some local temples may either be closed or consolidated in the future.
One more serious problem that Nichiren Shoshu is confronted with is the increasing number of the teacher priests who will not have their own temple. To satisfy Nikken’s ego, Nichiren Shoshu needs to hire a certain number of acolytes every year to keep the institution of Hokyo-in open. This results in increasing the number of teacher priests who do not have their own temples. Today, Nichiren Shoshu has some 250 such teacher priests. As things continue in the same manner, Nichiren Shoshu will soon find that one third of its teacher priests do not have their own temples. There is no other way than closing Hokyo-in in order to stop the increase of non-temple teacher priests. Every priest in Nichiren Shoshu thinks that Hokyo-in will be closed after Nikken’s death.
Soka Gakkai Develops Dynamically after Being Excommunicated by Nichiren Shoshu, President Ikeda Receives 300 Honorary Academic Titles and Degrees
While Nichiren Shoshu is declining, the Soka Gakkai, in contrast, is developing globally after being excommunicated by Nichiren Shoshu.
SGI had spread in 150 countries and territories when it was excommunicated, but today it has spread in 192 countries and territories, gaining trust as a world religion.
On November 29 1991, the Gakkai HQ received a Notice of Excommunication from Nichiren Shoshu and, on the same day, Honorary President Ikeda received “Certificate of Appreciation (for Contribution to Education, Culture and Humanitarian Causes)” from a body of African diplomats consisting of twenty-six countries with relations to Japan.
Nichiren Shoshu cut off Honorary President Ikeda and the Soka Gakkai that were highly regarded by conscientious dignitaries in the world. This fact shows that Nichiren Shoshu cut itself off from those of good conscience in the world. Honorary President Ikeda’s receipt of this award was very symbolic of the righteousness of the Soka Gakkai.
Commendations of Honorary President Ikeda’s meritorious deeds are ceaseless these days. He has been awarded with more than 4,000 special proclamations from various countries in the world, close to 700 titles of honorary citizenship from as many cities the world over, and 22 highest medals from as many countries. He has received 300 honorary academic degrees.
His greatness is reflected not only in the number of these recognitions but also in the fact that those universities that conferred their respective honorary academic titles transcend the boundaries of culture and education on all five major continents of Asia, Europe, Africa, South and North Americas, and Oceania. Among those universities that acknowledged his academic contributions include the world’s most renowned universities such as Moscow State University, Beijing University, Bologna University, Glasgow University and Indonesia University. His receipt of honorary academic titles from this many prestigious institutions is outstanding in the whole world.
Nichiren Shoshu’s temple members are criticizing these accomplishments by Honorary President Ikeda, by making a false accusation that “he is buying these honorary academic titles with money,” but nothing is as offensive to those academic institutions that most respectfully offered their honorary title to Honorary President Ikeda.
A number of levels of procedure are necessary for a decision to confer an honorary title. The candidate’s background and meritorious deeds are exhaustively examined before the actual conferral. For instance, in the case of Indonesia University, each member of the honorary title conferral committee is Muslim, and their unanimous agreement is needed for the realization of this conferral.
Honorary President Ikeda gave 32 lectures at leading universities around the world including Harvard University. These facts cannot be justified simply because of his status in society.
More than 50 books of his dialogues with world scholars and leaders have been published. Among them is Choose Life – Dialogue toward the 21st Century, which is known as one of the most renowned books in the world.
Former Indonesian President Wahid first read Honorary President Ikeda’s Toynbee dialogue book. Deeply impressed by it, President Wahid requested a meeting with the honorary president, which was later realized.
In this regard, Honorary President Ikeda far surpasses Nikken, who puts on airs among several hundred priests, stating “I’m great because I’m high priest.”
Nichiren Shoshu Is Nikken Sect, A Product of Nikken’s Grudge
As we look back to how this second temple issue broke out, we can tell that Nichiren Shoshu was at the crossroads of either carrying on the Daishonin’s teaching of equality between priesthood and laity or choosing the path of discrimination of the laity by the priesthood, the ill effect of the traditional danka system.
If Nichiren Shoshu had been successful in breaking free of the authority of their robes and the arrogance of the priesthood, Nichiren Shoshu could have been reborn as a genuine assembly of the priests of the Nichiren school who carry out the equality of priesthood and laity.
However, Nikken and his priesthood could not do so.
Why? The foremost reason was that they had forgotten the Daishonin’s noble spirit to fight for the people.
Nichiren Daishonin states,
“The heart of the Buddha’s lifetime of teachings in the Lotus Sutra, and the heart of the practice of the Lotus Sutra is found in the ‘Never Disparaging’ chapter. What does Bodhisattva Never Disparaging’s profound respect for people signify? The purpose of the appearance in this world of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, lies in his behavior as a human being” (WND, pp. 851-851).”
Just as Bodhisattva Never Disparaging continued his practice to bow to the innate Buddhahood of every individual even if arrogant people hit him with a sticks or throw stones at him, Nichiren Daishonin, accepting every hardship, fought for the people of the Latter Day of the Law.
In this vein, Nichiren Daishonin made it clear that the whole purpose of Shakyamuni Buddha’s appearance lay in his behavior as a human being based on belief in the Buddhahood inherent in his own life and others’ lives. He was truly devoted to helping them open up their innate Buddhahood.
However, Nikken despised ten million lay believers in the world who inherently possess Buddhahood in their lives, regarding them as inferior to the priesthood. He eventually discarded them all.
Abandoning the Daishonin’s spirit, Nichiren Shoshu sided with Nikken’s Operation C, thus becoming the sect of Nikken that was born of his grudge, Nichinyo, one of the chief plotters of Operation C is, precisely speaking, the second high priest of the Nikken sect.
Nichinyo Hayase, Nikken’s Successor, Admits That He Played Central Role in Carrying Out Operation C
Nichinyo Hayase is very suited to be called the second high priest of the Nikken sect, for he played a central role in executing Operation C.
When the temple issue broke out, Shinso Nanjo, who was working for the Administrative Office, said the following:
“After the questions came from the Gakkai as its reply to our ‘Inquiry’ document, the atmosphere of the head temple was ‘This is not good.’ But because the high priest’s feelings were so strong, the head temple atmosphere turned into ‘We’ll fight against the Gakkai.’”
As evidenced by Nanjo’s statement, the anti-Gakkai, Gakkai-attacking spirit was toned down at the head temple for a while, but Nikken’s hatred of Honorary President Ikeda was so strong that Nichiren Shoshu renewed its fight against the Soka Gakkai.
Under such circumstances, Nichinyo Hayase, who was then General Affairs Bureau Chief, assisted Nikken as a central figure to carry out “Operation C”. To the acolytes of Daigan-ji temple, Nichinyo remarked,
“I did everything to deal with this issue. The General Administrator can’t do his job without me.”
Looking down on the faint-hearted General Administrator Fujimoto behind the scenes, Hayase was bragging about the chief role he played to execute Operation C.
Nikken Sect Will Eternally Rely on Soka Gakkai
Nikken has been attached to the thought that “Nichiren Shoshu can do well without Soka Gakkai’s support.” However, Nichiren Shoshu’s current financial resources are derived from the past offerings of the Soka Gakkai.
It would have made sense if Nikken had returned to the Soka Gakkai all the money Nichiren Shoshu received from it and started again from scratch at the time when he excommunicated the Gakkai. However, the fact is that Nichiren Shoshu is still supported by the offerings made by the Soka Gakkai in the past. While Nichiren Shoshu claims that the Soka Gakkai is slanderous, Nichiren Shoshu has been able to survive thanks to past offerings from the Soka Gakkai.
It is an undeniable fact that the current Nichiren Shoshu can exist because of many years of past support from the Soka Gakkai. Also among the Nichiren Shoshu priests are those priests who would not have become priests without the existence of the Soka Gakkai. Namely, the existence of Nichiren Shoshu itself is possible even today only because of the enormous offerings made by the now excommunicated Soka Gakkai.
No matter how much Nikken cries out, “The priesthood should be in the center,” it is no different from the revelation of his psychological complex that he does not want to admit the greatness of the laity. Just as Devadatta lived his life to simply live up to his deep-seated grudge against Shakyamuni Buddha, the Nikken sect has become a means to help Nikken satisfy his hateful ego.
The only way for Nichiren Shoshu to free itself from Nikken’s jealous and hateful complex is to express its heartfelt apology and gratitude to Honorary President Ikeda and the Soka Gakkai. Only when Nichiren Shoshu can do so, can it overcome the Nikken complex and forge ahead along the path of faith on its own.
Devadatta was saved after he fell into hell, for he accepted the greatness of Shakyamuni Buddha while reflecting upon his arrogance in deep suffering.
Nichiren Shoshu, Whose Name Literally Means Correct School of Nichiren, Is Not Found in Nikken Sect
Nikken excommunicated the Soka Gakkai to which Nichiren Shoshu was deeply indebted, and denied Nichiren Daishonin, the savior of all humanity. By teaching the absolute authority of the high priest, he denied the admonitions of Nikko Shonin. Also by using violence toward acolytes, he denied the spirit of Buddhism. Indeed, Nikken is denying the three treasures.
Also, excommunicating the Soka Gakkai means Nichiren Shoshu gave up its connection with global kosen-rufu. Nichiren Daishonin states,
“Nichiren has been trying to awaken all the people of Japan to faith in the Lotus Sutra so that they too can share the heritage and attain Buddhahood. But instead they have persecuted me in various ways and finally had me banished to this island” (WND, vol. 1. p. 217).
Nichiren Daishonin inscribed the Gohonzon to let the people of the world carry on the heritage that enables them to attain Buddhahood.
However, Nikken excommunicated the Soka Gakkai and gave up the cause of the salvation of the people. Not only that, by refusing to confer Gohonzon to members of the Soka Gakkai, he hindered the efforts for the achievement of the Daishonin’s mandate. No lifeblood of Nichiren Daishonin is today pulsating in Nichiren Shoshu, which is now opposed to the heart and spirit of the Founder. Namely, Nichiren Shoshu, the correct school of Nichiren, does not exist any more.
Nichiren Shoshu Copies Soka Gakkai Today
Twenty years have passed since Nichiren Shoshu put Operation C into action. What Nichiren Shoshu is doing these days is nothing more than copying what the Soka Gakkai has been doing. Shakubuku, chanting daimoku and pilgrimage — all these are the traditions created by the Soka Gakkai.
Before the Soka Gakkai emerged, Nichiren Shoshu did not practice shakubuku. Even chanting daimoku did not exist among lay believers. Even today, elder danto members living near the head temple neither do gongyo nor chant daimoku.
Nikken once stated to those people who became priests at older ages in their youth:
“In the past, those danka families residing in the neighborhood of the head temple were filled with slanderous things. They became much better thanks to the Gakkai’s efforts.”
Nikken too acknowledged in the past that it was the Soka Gakkai that revived Nichiren Shoshu by pulling it out of its slanderous conditions.
Nikken attempted to deny the existence of the Soka Gakkai, but most of the prosperity and buildings at the head temple and most of the local temples were donated by the Soka Gakkai. Also, most danto members that support Nichiren Shoshu today were able to embrace Nichiren Buddhism because of their past connections with the Soka Gakkai.
No matter how much Nikken and his priesthood may deny the Soka Gakkai, the foundation of the current Nichiren Shoshu was built by the Soka Gakkai. All what Nikken and his priesthood are doing today is no more than copying what the Soka Gakkai has been doing.
Soka Gakkai Is the Buddhist Order of Teachers of the Law That Saves All People
The “The Teacher of the Law” (10th) chapter of the Lotus Sutra refers to the teacher of the Law that is beyond the boundary between laity and priesthood”
“Because if good men and good women embrace, read, recite, expound and copy the Lotus Sutra, even one phrase of it, offer various kinds of alms to the sutra, flowers, incense, necklaces, powdered incense, paste incense, incense for burning, silken canopies, streamers and banners, clothing and music, and press their palms together in reverence, then these persons will be looked up to and honored by all the world. Alms will be offered to them such as would be offered to the Thus Come One. You should understand that these persons are great bodhisattvas who have succeeded in attaining anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. Pitying living beings, they have vowed to be born among them where they may broadly expound and make distinctions regarding the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law.” (LSOC, 200)
Those who are devoted to five kinds of practice (accepting, reading, reciting, lecturing and copying) are named the teachers of the Law in this “The Teacher of the Law” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. It is expounded in this chapter that both lay believers and priests who embrace the Lotus Sutra are qualified to receive the utmost offerings.
Nichiren Daishonin too states,
“Embracing the Lotus Sutra and chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in itself encompasses the five practices” (WND, vol. 1, p. 833).
“Now Nichiren and his followers, who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, are the greatest among the teachers of the Law (The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 82).
Namely, those who embrace the Gohonzon are the great teachers of the Law even if they are lay people.
Arrogant priests become fearful when lay teachers of the Law strive hard, as the former think, “Our status as priests will be at risk, and we will lose the source of offerings.”
The priests of the Nikken sect and Nikken, who persecuted Gakkai members, the great teachers of the Law, exactly represent “arrogance and presumption of members of the Buddhist clergy (domon-zojyoman)” and “arrogance and presumption of those who pretend to be sages (sensho-zojoman)” respectively.
It is taught in the writings of Nichiren Daishonin that the devil will appear as arhats 700 years after the Buddha’s demise:
“In the 7th volume of the Nirvana Sutra, the Buddha said to Kashyapa, ‘Seven hundred years after my demise, this devil will surely confuse my True Law. … It will appear as an arhat or carry the body the Buddha. The devil king, while hiding his imperfectness, makes the perfect Buddha body, thus destroying my True Law.’” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 651).
Furthermore, Nichiren Daishonin predicted that the heavenly devil would appear when the global movement of kosen-rufu made progress.
“In the Lotus Sutra the Buddha states that some two thousand, two hundred and more years after his passing, in the last five-hundred-year period, when efforts are made to propagate this sutra throughout the land of Jambudvipa, the heavenly devil will take possession of people and attempt to prevent the dissemination of the sutra. It will happen then that those who have faith in the sutra will be cursed and attacked, driven from one place to another, and perhaps even killed. At that time, those who stand in the vanguard will win benefit as great as though, they had given offerings to the Buddhas of the three existences and the ten directions” (WND, vol. 2, p. 775).”
The three founding presidents of the Soka Gakkai and their disciples who are the members of the Soka Gakkai have been blazing a great trail for worldwide kosen-rufu, overcoming storms of obstacles and devilish functions, as exactly expounded in the Lotus Sutra.
And it was Nikken, the heavenly devil, who appeared to destroy the great path of global kosen-rufu 700 years after the passing of Nichiren Daishonin.
As the sutra reads, “It will happen then that those who have faith in the sutra will be cursed and attacked, driven from one place to another, and perhaps even killed.” Nikken employed Operation C, exhorting all the priests to work on disassociating members from the Soka Gakkai. Nikken eventually excommunicated the Soka Gakkai.
However, the members of the Soka Gakkai, who practiced Nichiren Buddhism as disciples of Honorary President Ikeda, persisted in their faith in the spirit of the oneness of mentor and disciple, taking the initiative for the Soka Gakkai’s religious revolution. Thus they crushed the heavenly devil’s ambition.
As Nichiren Daishonin asserted, “At that time, those who stand in the vanguard will gain benefit as great as though, they had given offerings to the Buddhas of the three existences and the ten directions,” the Soka Gakkai developed to an unprecedented degree, welcoming the 80th anniversary of its founding. Gakkai members are leading blessed and joyful existences all over the world today.
This great actual proof of victory, displayed by Gakkai members the world over, evidence of Nikken’s complete defeat.
We, Youthful Priests of the Association for Reformation, hereby declare Nikken’s total defeat on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Day of World Peace, the day that Honorary President Ikeda commenced his worldwide journey for global kosen-rufu. At the same time, we vow to unsparingly dedicate ourselves to refuting the erroneous teachings and revealing the correct teaching with profound appreciation for the fact that we can walk along the path of mentor and disciple as members of the Soka Gakkai, the Buddhist order that is directly connected with Nichiren Daishonin.
October 2, 2010
All the Members of the Association of Youthful Priests for Reformation
Temple Issue Timeline
Nichiren Shoshu increased the pilgrimage fee from 1,600 yen to 2,300 yen.
Nikken built a family tomb at a Zen temple cemetery.
Nichiren Shoshu criticized the Soka Gakkai at the communication meeting, “The Order of the Garter is a slanderous object.”
At the communication meeting, Nichiren Shoshu unilaterally notified the Gakkai of its decision to doubling the fees for Gohonzon conferral, toba tablet erection and ashes maintenance beginning April 1.
Nikken convened a meeting at the branch office of Taiseki-ji in Nishikata, Tokyo to discuss an operation to annihilate the Soka Gakkai. This meeting is later called the Nishikata Conference. A discussion was made in the direction of ousting Honorary President Ikeda. Nikken vehemently shouted, “Banish Ikeda” and “Prohibit the zaimu (financial contribution) system (of the Gakkai).”
A communication meeting between Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai was held. The Gakkai requested the priesthood to restrain its extravagant lifestyle
Another conference was held at the Daishoin room of Taiseki-ji. A discussion went on along the line of banishing Honorary President Ikeda. Nikken himself gave the letter “C” to the name of this operation to banish Honorary President Ikeda.
At an audience with Honorary President Ikeda and others, Nikken, taking issue with President Akiya’s remark at the last communication conference, said to him, “You’re committing the slander of arrogance!” Also to the honorary president, Nikken rudely said, “You’ll be impeached.”
A teachers guidance meeting was held. The self-restraint policy was announced. After the guidance meeting, Nikken went straight to Nagaoka in Izu, where he enjoyed an overnight stay at a most luxurious hotel.
Nikken and his cohorts discussed the “Inquiry” document at the prestigious hotel at Nagaoka, Izu to accuse Honorary President Ikeda using his November 15 speech.
Nichiren Shoshu tried to submit the “Inquiry” document to the Soka Gakkai at the communication conference. The Gakkai made a request for dialogue to solve any issues that Nichiren Shoshu might have, pointing out to the priesthood, “The general administrator will have to take responsibility should the tape have been altered.” Nichiren Shoshu withdrew the document.
The Administrative Office mailed the “Inquiry” document to the Soka Gakkai under the name of General Administrator Fujimoto that made an issue out of the contents of Honorary President Ikeda’s speech at the 35th headquarters leaders meeting.
The Gakkai mailed Nichiren Shoshu the “Questions” document, in which it made a request for the opportunity of dialogue with Nichiren Shoshu for the solution of the issues the priesthood is raising. In this document, the Gakkai made nine points regarding the authoritarian nature of the priesthood.
Nikken secretly met with five anti-Gakkai individuals including Kojun Takahashi, Isao Dan and Jiro Oshiki to discuss how to attack the Gakkai. Nikken remarked, “We will be OK if 200,000 Gakkai members come to our side after cutting off the honorary president.”
The 130th session of the council of Nichiren Shoshu was held. It was decided to dismiss Honorary President Ikeda from the position of sokoto, head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations, and President Akiya and others from the position of daikoto, lay senior representatives. Nichiren Shoshu explained to mass media that the loss of their positions simply resulted from the change of the Rules of Nichiren Shoshu. (Two years later, however, Nikken revealed that their dismissal carried the significance of punishment.)
The Gakkai mailed a letter of protest to Nichiren Shoshu. In it, the Gakkai requested Nichiren Shoshu to: 1. Be Open; 2. Correct its condescending attitude toward lay believers; 3. Establish an atmosphere of humbleness throughout Nichiren Shoshu.
The Gakkai pointed out Nichiren Shoshu’s mistakes in the transcription of the tape that served as the basis of the “Inquiry” document.
Nikken refused to meet President Akiya and General Director Morita, saying that they do not deserve an audience with him.
Kido Fukuda, secretary of the Overseas Bureau of the Administrative Office of Nichiren Shoshu, faxed his impression of Operation C to a staff person of the SGI HQ.
At the nationwide teachers guidance meeting, Nikken revised the meaning of the Sho-Hondo, denying his past position and criticizing Honorary President Ikeda as arrogant.
The Gakkai points out Nichiren Shoshu’s mistakes in the transcription of the tape that served as the basis of the “Inquiry” document. Nichiren Shoshu withdrew the vital part of its inquiry, which resulted in the collapse of the basis of Nichiren Shoshu’s justification of the dismissal of Honorary President Ikeda from the position of sokoto.
Two corrections were made at Dai-Nichiren about Nikken’s sermon on the Sho-Hondo (his remarks on January 6 and 10).
Nichiren Shoshu sent the Gakkai HQ a notice abolishing its policy of relying on the honorary president’s leadership in guiding overseas members in faith. In the audience with Rev. Gen’ei Kudo and Rev. Shojun Ohashi, Nikken confessed that the purpose of Operation C lay in punishing the honorary president, saying to them, “It is about cutting off the neck of that bastard (Honorary President Ikeda).”
Nichiren Shoshu, under the name of General Administrator Fujimoto, sent a document to the Gakkai HQ, notifying the Gakkai of Nichiren Shoshu’s decision to correct two parts in Nikken’s sermons on the Sho-Hondo.
Nichiren Shoshu notified the Gakkai of the commencement of the tensho (application-form-attached) pilgrimage system in which one who desires to visit Taiseki-ji needs to have a prior approval from the chief of the temple one belongs to.
Nichiren Shoshu put an ad of its new tensho pilgrimage system in major newspapers in Japan.
A vice president of the bus company O-Fuji Kaihatsu took his life, as his company suffered heavy losses due to Nichiren Shoshu’s unilateral abolishment of the conventional pilgrimage system and commencement of the new tensho pilgrimage system.
Nichiren Shoshu commenced the new tensho pilgrimage system.
During his lecture at the practice and study seminar for acolytes, Kido Fukuda, secretary of the Overseas Bureau, defended himself by saying that all he did was to type out the document of Operation C. He also confessed that he was placed on punishment leave because he had faxed the Operation C document to the SGI HQ by mistake.
During an audience with acolytes, Nikken boasted, “I allowed kosen-rufu to be promoted around the world.”
At a teachers guidance meeting at Taiseki-ji, Nikken, when asked by a chief priest about how to guide temple members at his local temple, Nikken mercilessly stated, “Whether they get tired of faith or not, it’s none of your business. All you have to do is challenge them, ‘What’s the matter with you.’”
Nichiren Shoshu sent the Gakkai HQ a letter of notification to the effect that one will fall into hell unless one’s funeral is conducted in the presence of a priest.
A signature-collecting campaign to request Nikken to resign got under way.
During the audience with Rev. Yuki Okazaki, Nikken stated, “I can’t tolerate the fact that Ikeda is more respected than I.”
Nichiren Shoshu sent the Gakkai a document of “Order to Disband Soka Gakkai.”
Nichiren Shoshu sent the Gakkai the document “Notice of Excommunication.”
Nichiren Shoshu announces its decision to terminate the conferral of Gohonzon upon Gakkai members.
Nichiren Shoshu refuses to accept 16,049,638 signatures gathered the world over to request the resignation of the high priest.
The Association for the Reformation of Nichiren Shoshu was formed. Seven reformist priests sent the document of “Remonstration to Nikken,” thus seceding from Nichiren Shoshu. Their courageous actions were followed by many other priests.
The Association of Youthful Priests for the Reformation of Nichiren Shoshu was formed.
At a non-teachers guidance meeting, Nikken made a defamatory remark, “Takudo Ikeda (a member of the Association for the Reformation of Nichiren Shoshu) seceded from Nichiren Shoshu because he received money from the Gakkai.”
The Association Concerned about the Plight of Nichiren Shoshu was formed.
The Seattle Prostitution Incident came to the surface.
Nichiren Shoshu punished Honorary President Ikeda by dispelling him from the lay membership of Nichiren Shoshu.
152 cherry trees were cut down in the area stretching from the General Gate to the Sanmon Gate at the head temple, Taiseki-ji.
Keido Hosoi, chief priest of Jisshu-ji temple in Tokyo and son of the former high priest, Nittatsu, sent Nikken a document for the renovation of Nichiren Shoshu. In it, Rev. Hosoi stated, “You were once talking about the incident in Seattle after you returned to Japan, as you had been helped by a women’s division member over there when you drank liquor and got lost on a street.”
Rev. Keido Hosoi left Nichiren Shoshu.
The Geisha Photo Issue came to the surface. A photo with a happy Nikken in the center and surrounded by geisha girls was printed in the Soka Shimpo.
The Disguised Temple Incident occurred in Korea. Nichiren Shoshu built a temple in Korea by Nikken’s decision and support. Nichiren Shoshu opened it, disguising the building as a structure for the purpose of social welfare.
During an audience with Hokkeko members, Nikken defended himself by saying to the effect that he did not remember that he had posed for a photo with geisha girls and that the photo had been retouched.
Nichiren Shoshu, using Emyo, one of its organ newspapers, printed a defensive article, referring to the geisha photo as a doctored photo with the head of the high priest placed artificially for composition and mentioning that the high priest does not possess the type of kimono in the photo.
An additional 66 cherry trees were cut down in the area of the head temple covering the space between the Somon Gate and the Sanmon Gate (a total of 218 cherry trees were cut down thus far at the head temple).
An additional 60 cherry trees were cut down in the same area as above (a total of 278 cherry trees were cut down at the head temple).
Rev. Hosho Shiina testified that he took the geisha photo.
Dai-Nichiren carried an article of a strange rebuttal by Nichiren Shoshu against the geisha photo, which states in part, “Playing with geisha girls is an expression of compassion to save all people equally.”
Nichiren Shoshu filed a lawsuit at the Tokyo District Court against the Soka Gakkai and Honorary President Ikeda, demanding an apology be published in major newspapers, alleging that they were responsible for the false geisha photo in question.
At an audience held during the nationwide teachers seminar, Nikken totally denied the Seattle Incident, saying, “I never stepped out of the hotel.”
It was announced at the 70th Soka Gakkai HQ leaders meeting that a decision was made to start conferring Nichikan Gohonzon upon Gakkai members.
Nichiren Shoshu suffered lost the case of the Temple Disguise Incident in Korea, as the court judged, “The permission to use the facility should be taken away due to the false report of its use.”
Jitoku Kawabe’s secret memo of Operation C leaked out within and without Nichiren Shoshu.
During an audience with overseas members, Nikken confessed that he was opposed in 1954 to the Gakkai becoming an independent religious corporation.
The Association Concerned about the Plight of Nichiren Shoshu published a book to reveal the ills of Nikken under the title of “The Ugliest Story of the High Priest (Hossu no Daishumon).”
At a meeting with the wives of priests, Nikken made a careless remark: “The priesthood’s corruption was brought about by lay believers’ offerings.”
Three individuals including a Nichiren Shoshu priest, Hakudo Mori, were sentenced in Korea in violation of the foreign current exchange law. Hakudo Mori and others were guilty of illegally bringing in a huge amount of money into Korea for the construction of a temple in Korea. Nikken was involved in this matter.
Nikken declared, “If the Seattle Incident were true, I would resign immediately.
Nikken made a rude remark at the nationwide teachers guidance meeting, “You know, you can’t expound the True Law if you’ve got no pride in yourself, as you bow to silly lay believers.”
Nichiren Shoshu began to erase the name of Honorary President Ikeda from the wooden Gohonzons of local temples. His name was engraved in such wooden Gohonzons as he was their recipient.
Three priests of Nichiren Shoshu were prosecuted in Korea in violation of the law. They were severely sentenced to pay fines and be deported.
Nichiren Shoshu Office of Republic of Korea was investigated by the authorities on suspicion of the violation of the immigration law. Korean mass media covered this story, pointing out that it was a case of illegal propagation in Korean society conducted under Nikken’s direction.
The lawsuit involving Ichijo-ji temple in Brazil came to an end, as the court judged in favor of the Soka Gakkai.
The high priest and other priests of Ikegami Honmon-ji, which belongs to the Minobu sect, visited Taiseki-ji.
Nichiren Shoshu made an announcement of its plan to tear down the Grand Reception Hall.
Hakudo Mori was fined in violation of the foreign currency exchange law even in Japan in conjunction with the hidden temple structure issue.
Nikken admitted in the legal case of the Seattle Incident that he had stepped out of the hotel.
The Hokkeko Spring general pilgrimage was carried out in the midst of the extremely bad weather that included a major storm, flooding and gusty wind.
Nikken did not attend the ushitora (midnight) gongyo for 26 days in a row due to his physical condition.
Some 30 priests of the Minobu sect paid a visit to Taiseki-ji.
It was decided in conjunction with the lawsuit of the Seattle Incident that Nikken would appear in court to testify as a witness.
Nikken appeared in court with regards to the legal case of the Seattle Incident. All he did in court was tell lies and make excuses.
Nikken lost the legal case filed against him by Chief Priest Takudo Ikeda for defamation regarding the high priest’s lies.
Nikken appeared in court in the legal case of the Seattle Incident. Nikken had to testify painfully as to his pocket calendar in question.
Shinwa Goto, a top disciple of Nikken, was arrested for sexual assault on a junior high school girl. He was rearrested on June 5 on charges of violence.
Nikken started tearing down the Sho-Hondo.
The Ministry of Religion in Argentina cancelled the Nikken sect’s registration as a religious corporation.
Nikken was hospitalized for a month.
Domei Tsushin #87, an organ newspaper of the Association for the Reformation of Nichiren Shoshu, carried a report that Nikken once determined the Dai-Gohonzon to be a forgery. This incident caused three more priests to secede from Nichiren Shoshu.
In his sermon, Nikken stated “In 1990, I made one decision,” revealing the fact that he played a chief role on executing Operation C.
The Tokyo District Court acknowledged in the Seattle Incident case that the incident actually did happen, a total defeat for Nichiren Shoshu.
The Tokyo High Court ruled against Nichiren Shoshu in the geisha photo case.
September 27 – October 1
A typhoon hit Taiwan when Nikken visited it. Local mass media reported that a Japanese prostitution monk (Nikken) was on an extravagant journey to Taiwan.
Emyo, Nikken sect’s organ, published an irrational article, stating, “The 9/11 terrorist attack was a case of wrath on the part of Buddhist gods as a result of the Gakkai’s persecution of the Nikken sect.”
Nichiren Shoshu lost at the Supreme Court in the law suite filed by Nichiren Shoshu to demand Hoshin Nakajima, chief priest of Myodo-ji in Nagoya, to vacate the temple.
Nichiren Shoshu lost at the Supreme Court in the law suite filed by Nichiren Shoshu to demand Tatsudo Yamamoto, chief priest of Josetsu-ji in Iwate, to vacate the temple.
Nichiren Shoshu withdrew all its claims in the Seattle Incident case, reaching an agreement with the Gakkai. The case came to an end with a total victory on the part of the Gakkai.
Nichiren Shoshu lost in the Supreme Court in the law suite filed by Nichiren Shoshu to demand Jisai Watanabe, chief priest of Daikyo-ji in Kanagawa, to vacate the temple. Nichiren Shoshu lost three similar cases in a row at the Supreme Court because it could not prove the legitimacy of Nikken as high priest of Nichiren Shoshu.
The Tokyo District Court ordered Nichiren Shoshu to pay compensation of 4 million yen for defamation in the Seattle Incident.
The High Court ordered Nikken and Nichiren Shoshu to pay compensation of 4 million yen for defamation in the Seattle Incident.
The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal by Nikken in conjunction with his defamation of Chief Priest Takudo Ikeda through the Seattle Incident.
The Association Concerned about the Plight of Nichiren Shoshu published “Revealing the Truth of Nikken Abe, an Illegitimate High Priest (Hossu Sasho Abe Nikken no Shotai o Abaku).”
The Supreme Court dismissed Nichiren Shoshu’s appeal in the legal case of the geisha photo. The suit came to an end as Nichiren Shoshu’s defeat.
Nichiren Shoshu made a major revision of its Rules, stipulating anew that “A high priest will not resign from his position for reasons other than his own death or on his own volition.
The Supreme Court ruled against the danto members of the Nikken sect in the legal case of defamation through flyers or Internet.
General Administrator Fujimoto resigned. Nichinyo Hayase was promoted to the position of general administrator.
Nikken expressed his intent to resign from the seat of high priest.
A transfer ceremony took place between Nikken Abe and Nichinyo Hayase. (The heritage was not transferred from High Priest Nittatsu to Nikken.)
Nichinyo Hayase was selected as the chief administrator of Nichiren Shoshu.
Operation to Separate Soka Gakkai (Operation C)
The objective of this operation is to remove Honorary President Ikeda from the position of sokoto, head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations, to publicly announce to Japanese society and the world that Nichiren Shoshu is a religious organization that has nothing to do with the Soka Gakkai any more, to completely annihilate the lay organization of the Soka Gakkai, and thus by restructuring the current organization, to create an completely impeccable, new structure based upon pure faith.
Operation Execution Procedure
On August 28, 1990, the special session of the Council will make a resolution on this matter. The following articles of the Rules of this school need to be amended: Article 158, Article 223, Article 226, Article 227 and Article 228.
A resolution at the special session of the Council will be presented to the Soka Gakkai at the communication meeting on August 13, 1990. On the same day, following the instructions of the Administrative Office, all local temples will have an oko lecture throughout Japan to share the same contents to enhance the authority of the three treasures and lay believers’ obligation to commit themselves to the three treasures.
Dismissing Honorary President Ikeda from the position of sokoto, head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations and notifying Soka Gakkai top leaders of his dismissal.
Issuance of Order of Discharge under Chief Administrator’s Name.
(It is to be handed to a representative of the Soka Gakkai. A letter of acceptance is to be submitted from Soka Gakkai to Nichiren Shoshu on the same day.)
Remarks to Honorary President Ikeda, head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations (Proposed Contents)
“You have been assuming the important position of the head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations for many years past. We sincerely appreciate all your efforts. As this year marks the 700th anniversary of the opening of Taiseki-ji, we would like to make a fresh start for kosen-rufu toward a new era under a new leadership. We would like to present you a copy of the Gosho as a token of our gratitude.”
Notice to Soka Gakkai Top Leaders (Attention to President Einosuke Akiya and General Director Morita)
(This is to be handed to the recipients. Their response deadline: August 20, Noon.)
Proposed Contents of This Notice:
The contents of this notice had better be hard for the Soka Gakkai to accept.)
High Priest Nikken, the lord of the Law, has expressed his determination to commence a fresh start for kosen-rufu under a new leadership in rhythm with the 700th anniversary of the opening of the head temple, Taiseki-ji.
We ask the Soka Gakkai to faithfully follow the Rule of the Soka Gakkai, center on its president and general director, and operate itself in one with Nichiren Shoshu as an organization to protect Nichiren Shoshu from the outside. We ask Mr. Daisaku Ikeda to act only to suit the title of honorary president. I would like him to stay at his home all the time except only when Nichiren Shoshu asks for his instructions.
You can pay Mr. Daisaku Ikeda his salary as you have been.
We order Daiichi Shomu to disband.
We order half of the officers of the corporation of the Soka Gakkai to be replaced with the priests designated by the chief administrator of Nichiren Shoshu.
We prohibit all newspapers and magazines published by the Gakkai including Seikyo Shimbun from printing articles related to Honorary President Ikeda.
We order the Soka Gakkai to request the attendance of responsible priests of the Administrative Office at every Soka Gakkai central executive committee meeting and headquarters leaders meeting.
We order the Soka Gakkai to make sure to hold a communication meeting of Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai in every prefecture at least once a month.
As to the operation of Soka Gakkai organizations abroad, we order the Soka Gakkai to directly receive instructions from the Overseas Bureau of the Administrative Office.
This operation will be completed at the point when the Gakkai accepts all orders from Nichiren Shoshu unconditionally. However, there is almost no possibility that the Gakkai will accept all these orders from Nichiren Shoshu. Also, even if the Gakkai should accept part of these orders, Nichiren Shoshu will most likely not be satisfied with such a response from the Gakkai, which means that it is unavoidable for Nichiren Shoshu to go on to the next stage with regards to the execution of this operation.
Within the Administrative Office Nichiren Shoshu opens an operation committee that is tentatively called “Urgent Action Headquarters.” This committee will be commissioned to take on every authority that the Administrative Office is equipped with and also the power to give directions for the execution of the operation until the day when Nichiren Shoshu Chief Administrator will declare the end of this operation.
Nichiren Shoshu will declare in the name of the chief administrator of Nichiren Shoshu to the general public and to the Soka Gakkai that the Soka Gakkai no longer has anything to do with Nichiren Shoshu. Furthermore, Nichiren Shoshu will conduct a press conference at the Administrative Office and proclaim the inherent justice of the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood to the people of Japan via television and radio.
Soka Gakkai members will be allowed to freely choose whether they will come to Nichiren Shoshu or stay with the Gakkai. In case they elect to come to Nichiren Shoshu, they are instructed to submit their membership form to the local temple they want to belong to, and their disassociation form to the Soka Gakkai. (They should use the official membership form created by the Administrative Office.)
All of the above information will be conveyed to the public in Japan through an article signed by Nichiren Shoshu Chief Administrator in a nationwide page in the four major newspapers (Asahi, Yomiuri, Mainichi and Sankei). This article will be printed for three consecutive days (9/2, 9/3 and 9/4) in the above four major newspapers. The expense for printing this article for three days in these newspapers will be 120 million yen. 100,000 to 200,000 Gakkai members will rush to the temples they wish to belong to for enrollment.
With the lapse of one or two years, the ex-Gakkai members who now belong to their local temples should be organized. A district-based communication network should be created so that the nationwide federation of ex-Gakkai members can be organized.
As to overseas organizations, we should allow each country to decide whether it will side with Nichiren Shoshu or Soka Gakkai. The Overseas Bureau should directly connect with, administrate, and give guidance to, those countries that choose to come with Nichiren Shoshu.
Points that need to be considered in carrying out Operation C:
Using the means of mass media, we need to quiet unjust rage, grudges and hatred toward the chief administrator on the part of 1.2 to 1.8 million Gakkai members (some 80 to 90% of the total membership of the Gakkai, that is, 1.5 to 2 million people even though the Gakkai publicly announces its total membership as 10 millions).
Japan is a country where the law rules, but it is not permitted to imprison insane individuals burning with religious grudges before they commit a crime. It can be predicted that there would appear martyrs out of quite a few priests and their family members who reside at local temples (or the head temple), as they may become targets of violence by insane Gakkai members. Since crazy Gakkai members could easily focus on the high priest and other executive priests, it is necessary to provide tight security protection for them for a longer time period.
There may appear from among those Gakkai members whose faith is not strong or cannot judge rationally such people that fall into depression or experience family tragedies including suicide. This type of incident through the reports of mass media will cause people in society to question, doubt or even get angry over the value of this religious strife between Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai
A group of Gakkai lawyers who have been involved in legal cases for Nichiren Shoshu may pull themselves out of their current support of our school, which means that we might most likely lose in these lawsuits. Also, those professors who are from Soka University and now teach at University Department of Fuji Academy will spontaneously pull themselves out of this teaching commitment. As a result, the class of the University Department of Fuji Academy may have to be temporarily closed until the issue with the Gakkai settles down since the teachers of this academy who are also assuming the responsibility of chief priest at local temples will be very much tied up with their overwhelming duties.
Construction or repair work that is going on at local temples for their main Gohonzon room or lodging quarter has to be placed temporarily on hold. The same is true with cemetery construction projects. Local temples may find it difficult to pay back the money they borrowed from the Temple Construction Fund. It may happen that local temples’ chief representatives who are Gakkai members will cause the temples’ administration and accounting matters to become dysfunctional. It is necessary to urgently revise the rules of the administration of local temples.
Note: This entire document of Operation C came out of a Nichiren Shoshu source. This operation was mapped out by Kaido Seki, then chief staff of the Overseas Bureau and typed out by his assistant, Kido Fukuda. On January 2, 1991, right after the temple issue broke out, Kido Fukuda, secretary of the Overseas Bureau, sent a fax to a staff of the SGI HQ, in which he states, “As I typed, using a word-processor, all by myself at night in the office of the Overseas Bureau a draft of Operation C that came to a deadlock last year. I was crying in tears, as I was typing this document.” Some priests also testified that they knew the existence of this Operation C document.
 The “Expedient Means” (second) chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, “The Buddhas appear in evil worlds of five impurities…. In this evil world of the five impurities those who merely delight in and are attached to the desires, living beings such as this in the end will never seek the Buddha way.” (1) Impurity of the age includes repeated disruptions of the social or natural environment. (2) Impurity of desire is the tendency to be ruled by the five delusive inclinations, i.e., greed, anger, foolishness, arrogance, and doubt. (3) Impurity of living beings is the physical and spiritual decline of human beings. (4) Impurity of thought, or impurity of view, is the prevalence of wrong views such as the five false views. (5) Impurity of life span is the shortening of the life spans of living beings. According to The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra, the most fundamental of these five are the impurities of thought and desire, which result in the impurity of living beings and the impurity of life span. These in turn give rise to the impurity of the age.