The history of Buddhism reveals a range of attitudes toward language and the written word. Some voices within the tradition revere the words of the sutras as the direct expression of the Buddha’s enlightenment, while others are critical of the limits of language and hold that the Buddha’s insight transcends the scriptural text. This article examines the attitude toward language, especially the language of the Lotus Sutra, found in the writings of Nichiren (1222–1282). In particular, it analyzes Nichiren’s claim that each character of the Lotus Sutra is a living Buddha and contains the entirety of the Buddha’s teachings within itself. Nichiren argued on the basis of the nonduality of form and mind that the written words of the Lotus Sutra are the Buddha’s mind or intent made visible, a conviction that informed his equating of the Lotus with the primordial Śākyamuni Buddha himself.