Succession NST Fuji School Soka Gakkai Nichiren Buddhism NST Issues
Fuji Lineage Timeline Nittatsu shonin Nikko Shonin Daisaku Ikeda Shoshinkai Rev. Tono

The High Priest in Nichiren Shoshu Teachings

The High Priest of Nichiren Shoshu is the current leader of the Nichiren Shoshu sect of the Fuji School of Nichiren Buddhism and is also seen as somewhat more than simply a man in the top position. His position was described by a predecessor as the "possessor of the Chair of the Seat of the Law." Because of Nichiren Shoshu's claim to being the only orthodox lineage of Nichiren teachings with an unbroken chain of transferage dating back to Nichiren himself efforts have been made by some to invest his position with popelike claims. This has been expecially true with the current high priest Nikken Shonin. For more on this subject visit these pages: heritage.html, kechimyaku, also mentor.html.

High Priest Duties

The High priest, besides being head of the sect, is also the chief administrator (So Kanzo) of Taisekiji temple, where he has a number of traditional duties, most noteworthy of which is the tradition, which dates back to shortly after the Nichiren Daishonin died, of praying for Kosenrufu in the middle of the night. This ceremony is probably what Nichiren Daishonin intended when he insisted that his leading disciples take turns tending his grave after he died. He wanted them to spend time in reflection, chanting daimoku, and study as well as actively propagating the teachings of Nichiren Buddhism. Their refusal to take this admonition seriously was one of the reasons for the first schism in Nichiren Buddhism Every night he, or a stand-in do Gongyo at this time for the sake of Kosenrufu. It is said that Nikko Shonin had begun the practice, and that every priest from his time to the present has continued it.(for more on this visit their page at

High Priestly succession

The High Priest is usually seconded by a staff of senior priests with a rank called "noke." Unless matters are "urgent and unavoidable", the High Priest is usually expected to select his successor from this group of priests with the rank Noke. Once he has designated a successor (according to the bylaws of Nichiren Shoshu), that successor is then elevated to a rank known as "Gakuto". Wise high priests then engage in a ceremonial transfer during which they share a "secret teaching" known as the "Golden Utterance." The tradition of Nichiren Shoshu is that when a High Priest passes on the Heritage, he immediately steps down, becoming a Zen-Hossu (retired High Priest), while the designated successor immediately assumes the role of High Priest (Hossu). According to Nichiko Hori isn't anything all that special in our day and age that people don't know about. Nichiko Hori should know, he received the transfer of the heritage, and then as soon as he could he transfered it on and retired. But the current High Priest insists that it is a mystical source for his authority. This claim is controversial for two reasons. To examine the issues visit these two pages (or any of the other embedded links):

heritage.html, succession.html
also: Shoshinkai page

Further Readings and additional links:

Taisekiji Nichiren literal issues Dai Gohonzon Gosho sources
Fuji Lineage Timeline Fuji School Authenticity Issues Issues of disputed Gosho Shoshinkai Rev. Tono
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Original sources (these were at dejanews but now are google):*&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&group=alt.religion.buddhism.nichiren.*&safe=off&
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