Nichizon (1265 – 1346) was a disciple of Nikko. Nichizon was a priest of the Nichiren sect during the mid and late Kamakura period. Nichizon was the fourth leader of the Nichiren-hon sect. Nichizon was from the Kikegawa family of Oshu (Mutsu Province). Nichizon was referred to as Tayu Ajari. He founded Kyoto Yobo-ji Temple.
Nichizon shonin's stool stone (a stone to sit on) is in the temple grounds of Omosu-dansho (Kitayama Honmon-ji Temple). Striving to develop his disciples at Omosu-dansho, in the fall of 1299 Nikko excommunicated Nichizon who was distracted by the leaves falling from pear trees outside the window during a lecture. The excommunicated Nichizon allegedly made a commitment to himself to turn over a new leaf and visited various regions, building 36 temples. Even after being excommunicated Nichizon always made a pilgrimage to Omosu-dansho for the anniversary of the Founder's death (memorial service) every year. However, as Nichizon was not allowed to enter the main hall, he secretly made his pilgrimage, sitting on a stone outside the gate. It is said that, lifting Nichizon's anathema later on, Nikko gave him 36 Mandala. After the passing of Nikko, after accompanying Nichimoku for Tenso (to preach the Buddhism to the Emperor), Nichizon subsequently performed Tenso by the wishes of Nichimoku. Afterwards, Nichizon was engaged in missionary work in the Kyoto area.
Brief personal history
Nichizon was born in 1265. He became a priest of the Tendai sect as a child.
In 1283, Nichizon became a disciple of Nichimoku at a station of the lord of a manor at Misako 6-chome in Mutsu Province (at age 19).
In 1284, the third anniversary of the death of Nichiren Daishonin was commemorated. Nichizon went to Kuon-ji Temple with Nichimoku and became a disciple of Nikko.
In 1290, in conjunction with the construction of Taiseki-ji Temple, Nichizon founded a tacchu (a sub-temple on the premises of a large temple) named Kujo-bo Temple.
In 1299, Nichizon was excommunicated by Nikko at Omosu.
In 1308, Nichizon traveled around Japan, founding Hokkedo (the latter-day Yoho-ji Temple) in Yamashiro in Kyoto.
In the spring of 1333, while traveling with his teacher Nichimoku, who was to preach Buddhism to the Emperor in Kyoto, Nichimoku died in Tarui in Mino Province along the way and, taking over Nichimoku's will, Nichizon entered Kyoto.
In the spring of 1334, Nichizon preached Buddhism to Emperor Godaigo. In recognition of this service, the Imperial Family made a donation of temple land located at Rokkaku Aburano-koji Street to Nichizon.
In 1336, Nichizon founded Hokkedo (the latter-day Jogyo-in) at Rokkaku Aburano-koji Street.
On October 13, 1342, Nichizon invited his disciple Nichiin over from Jitsujo-ji Temple in Aizu to give him Jogyo-in.