The High Priest as “Absolute”:

The Priesthood :

                         “Absolute Obedience” in the person of the High Priest should be the attitude of lay believers. (DaiNichiren magazine, III, p. 13) 


        The demand of Strict Obedience and Absolute Faith” in the person of the High Priest goes against Nichiren’s teachings and against the admonitions of his successor, Nikko Shonin.  High Priests can make disastrous mistakes. A clear example was Nikkyo, the High Priest who openly supported the aggression of the Japanese military during the II W War:

        “Today His Majesty [Emperor Hirohito] declared war…. I can hardly suppress

        my awe and joy at this.... I ask that all believers summon forth the faith and

        practice …and ensure victory in this great, unprecedented battle..”

        Nichiren ShoShu High Priest’s communiqué, 8 Dec. 1941

SGI rejection of the doctrine of “Absolute Obedience and Strict Faith” in the High Priest -  mirrors its founders’ (Mr. Makiguchi and Mr. Toda’s) rejection (in 1941) of the High Priest’s instruction to add Shinto talismans to the place of prayers where the Gohonzon was enshrined , an instruction, which signified submission to military authorities and Shinto’s belief in emperor’s worship.

The record of deviation of the priesthood from Nichiren spirit includes also deletion

from Nichiren writings several passages which offended the militarist authority, an act of compromise aimed at pleasing the government on account of the Buddha’s teachings.


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