Nichizo (日像)

Nichizo (September 14, 1269 - December 19, 1342) was a Buddhist priest of the Nichiren sect who lived from the late Kamakura period to the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan). His secular surname was HIRAGA. He was born in Shimosa Province. His bogo (priest title) was Higobo. He was called Higo Ajari. He was the patriarch of the Shijo Monryu lineage.

At first, he studied under Nichiro, one of the Nichiren roku roso (the Six Senior Disciples of Nichiren). Later, he became a disciple of Nichiren, and he was given the name Kyoichimaru and honzon (principal image of Buddha). He carried out the propagation in Kyoto in 1293 according to dead Nichiren's will. He went to Kyoto and accepted influential people in Kyoto as they became Buddhism believers. But he was oppressed by Mt. Hiei (Enryaku-ji Temple) and so on, and he received inzen (a decree from the retired Emperor) three times between 1307 and 1321 to oust him from Kyoto. He was forgiven each time, and he erected Myoken-ji Temple at Shijo Kushige in 1321. Afterward, praying for Emperor Kogen of the Northern Court (Japan) while praying for Kyoto Kanko (the Emperor returning to Kyoto) of Emperor Godaigo of the Southern Court (Japan), he influenced the religious belief of court noble and Samurai.

Ideologically Nichizo was different from Nichiren, who was critical of all power, in that he took Daigaku, who was a court noble, as a disciple and approached the Southern Court and the Northern Court.