Today I drove down to Kamakura to visit my friend Robert Hughes (well, being one of those jaded, elitist nihontō pricks, I don’t have any real friends, but Bob is the next best thing). After some hearty lunch next to a beautifully maintained Japanese garden
we strolled to the Hongakuji Temple (本覚寺) of the Nichiren sect (日蓮宗).
Ashikaga Mochiuji (足利持氏) built, and then donated, this temple to the priest Nisshutsu (日出) on the site where Nichiren stayed at after returning from his exile to Sado (佐渡島); the temple houses some of the ashes of Nichiren.
A stone monument stands near the main temple in honor of Okazaki Gorō Masamune (岡崎五郎正宗). The story goes that when Okazaki Gorō, still a boy, came to Kamakura, Nichiren had already taken up residence in the Ebisudō (夷堂) Hall. Gorō 's father brought him to Nichiren to learn his teachings, and in return Nichiren gave the boy a new name, Masamune - which implies the rightness of the teachings of Nichiren himself.
Nearby is a prayer column dedicated to Masamune, dating from the Muromachi period
and finally there are the gravestones of Masamune and his son Sadamune; they date from the Nambokuchō period, and all inscriptions are eroded.
To be fair, there are (yet) no hard facts or documents to support all this, only circumstantial evidence. Further research is needed to corroborate all of this.
See, Bob, you censuring me for taking photos while you explained all this to me was totally uncalled for – I actually *can* multitask! Oh, and if I got something wrong, it’s only because you didn’t explain it correctly.