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The Atsuhara Affair: The Lotus Sutra, Persecution, and Religious Identity in the Early Nichiren Tradition
Author Stone, Jacqueline I.
Source Japanese Journal of Religious Studies
Volumev.41 n.1
Pages153 - 189
PublisherNanzan Institute for Religion and Culture=南山宗教文化研究所
Publisher Url
Location名古屋, 日本 [Nagoya, Japan]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article
NoteJacqueline I. Stone is a professor of Japanese Religions in the Department of Religion at
Princeton University.
KeywordLotus Sutra; Atsuhara; Nichiren; Nikkō; persecution; martyrdom
AbstractIn 1279, twenty peasants who were lay followers of the Buddhist teacher Nichiren were summarily arrested at Atsuhara in the Fuji district of Suruga province and were sent for trial to Kamakura, where three of them were beheaded. This incident is known in the history of Nichiren Buddhism as the
Atsuhara persecution. The first part of this article outlines the circumstances of the persecution and the political and religious tensions that fueled it and considers how Nichiren was able to persuade his followers to remain steadfast in the face of a grave threat. The second part examines links between Nichiren’s interpretation of the persecution and larger themes in his teaching of exclusive devotion to the Lotus Sutra, especially that offering one’s life for the sutra’s sake
guarantees one’s attainment of buddhahood. Lastly, the article touches on how later accounts of the Atsuhara persecution shaped a normative ideal within the Nichiren tradition of how Lotus devotees should meet opposition from those in power.
ISSN03041042 (P)
Created date2014.07.14
Modified date2017.09.14

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