First we recommend to read the essay of Dr. Jaqueline Stone and second the article “Why did Ikeda quit?” Mr. Daniel A. Métraux that can be downloaded HERE.
Finally please find our own artcile, a follow-up to the previous essay.
In order to full understand this essay, the following document must be read by all means. It explains the actual facts from a neutral and unbiased point of view:
The title of this document is “Did Aum Change Everything?” and is an important report that will be useful for affiliates of SGI as well as other Nichiren groups to understand what happened in Japanese society and why devotees of any Nichiren congregation shall not be manipulated against each other.
After you have read the lengthy document, we would like to drive your attention to the video linked to this post HERE.
It shows a young woman, a third generation SōkaGakkai Buddhist, that is disconnected to the belief to which her family is affiliated, in the same way as most youth in her generation is disenchanted with their parents religion. However, since SōkaGakkai is still considered a negative group in Japanese society, she also feels a little alienated from the rest in general.
The video shows a few scenes of Buddhist meetings with people sharing their experiences and the young woman thinks that this is not for her, as she is not the type to tell her private matters in front of others. A few memories of her grandmother encouraging her, are shown and successively she is invited to a meeting, where most of the participants are obviously her neighbors and people who have known her since childhood.
Then the grandmother has an accident and is hospitalized. The SōkaGakkai members gather to pray for swift recovery and this young woman finds herself chanting Daimoku with the group, wondering why she is there, what she’s doing anyway, why all this people is praying for someone who is not their immediate family, but they do it spontaneously and matter-of-factly. Then a phone call is coming (interesting enough to the YWD who is leading the prayer, not to the granddaughter) and the grandmother has recovered. The final scene shows the grandmother in a hospital making the sign of victory and the young woman finally understands what the purpose of chanting is and the organization, which is portrayed as an ideal group based on human bonding.
This video is clearly showing the actual activity of SōkaGakkai at the current time. Since due to the massive proselytization campaigns of the past decades, after the 1990s there has been practically nobody that has never attended an SōkaGakkai meeting or at least had one or several hour long discussion with a group of members. In Japan, introducing someone to SōkaGakkai has been rarely done from one person to another, but mostly a group of 4 or 5 people literally surrounding the “candidate” to convince them to sign a membership form
Such practices, even though they were conducted with the best of intentions, ultimately lead to the alienation of SōkaGakkai members from “civil society” (in the sense that most Japanese wants to consider themselves as being “average”). In addition to this come campaigns for Seikyō newspaper subscription and political activities. Sustained by bad publicity of tabloid (and in order to understand this point, please READ the whole document that we linked), the image of SōkaGakkai in Japanese society is very negative. The biggest hindrance however, as enunciated in the linked document published in the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, has been the terrorist attack perpetrated by the Aum Shinrikyō sect, which created an aura of religious group equals danger. In this contest SōkaGakkai policies have proven to be an extremely poor PR management. The attempt to kill Daisaku Ikeda is realistically one of the reasons why he disappeared from all activities.
The “anti-Nikken” campaigns during the first half of the 1990s created a fertile ground for suspicions of sectarianism, versus preaching peace through dialogue. Asking its membership to actively “pray for the bankruptcy” of certain anti- SōkaGakkai tabloids and for the “defeat” of another Nichiren-related organization had only created a circle of negative feelings. The fact that controversial political decisions were backed (or had to be, in order to “contain damages”) by the party associated with SōkaGakkai, no clear stance against nuclear power or death penalty, no real engagement in alternative energy policies, were also not positive in public view.
Due to the above situation, SōkaGakkai expansion policy has changed drastically. First of all, real growth could be achieved only outside of Japan, especially in Asian countries that are traditionally Buddhist and where SōkaGakkai image has always been positive. The expansion in Taiwan, Thailand, South-Korea, Singapore and Malaysia has been remarkable indeed.
Domestically SōkaGakkai hence mainly focused in fostering the third generation of members who, as clearly shown in the video, feel that they “belong” to SōkaGakkai because it’s their family religion, but at the same time they feel totally alienated from the group.
In this sense, these youths are in no way different from their peers, whose families traditionally belong to the Jōdo Shinshū Buddhist school of Shinran, but have absolutely no idea about who Shinran was, the core beliefs of his teachings and of course about Buddhism in general.
Basically SōkaGakkai I is expanding overseas with joy and high spirit and in Japan trying to strengthen and foster the new generations. This phenomenon is not an exclusivity of SōkaGakkai, but is being adapted more or less to the same extent by other lay organizations such as the Risshō Kōsei Kai, which is in most aspects very similar to SG SōkaGakkai.
Following this preamble, we would like to examine the wooden mandala enshrined in the “Hall of the Great Vow” located within the area in Tokyo’s Shinanomachi block, largely owned by the SōkaGakkai .
According to published reports, this wooden mandala is the only remnant of a batch of planks that had been commissioned by SōkaGakkai to the company Akazawa Chōyo, the manufacturer that provides all the altars and Buddhist religious accessories to SōkaGakkai and at that time to Nichiren Shōshū as well.
In the early 1980s SōkaGakkai decided to produce plank mandalas independently and commissioned several wooden Gohonzon to Akazawa Chōyo.
Major plan was to have copies made of the original Nichiren mandala Nr. 16 (see “The Mandala in Nichiren Buddhism” first volume), said to have been bestowed upon Byakuren Ajari Nikkō, stored at Hota Myōhon-ji in Chiba. This independent temple had been actually converted to join the Taiseki-ji group by an affiliate member of SōkaGakkai. In addition SōkaGakkai had the personal mandala of Daisaku Ikeda copied, enlarged and carved into wood.
Originally SōkaGakkai had asked permission to have only the mandala of Mizutani Nisshō carved into wood and here is the point where probably the misunderstanding occurred.
The 66th Abbot Hosoi Nittatsu was invited to a commemorative ceremony where the Nisshō wooden Gohonzon had been already installed and hence – according to their doctrinal view – performed the “eye opening” or in other words had no choice, but to sanction the plank. All other carvings however were ordered to be taken to the Taiseki-ji premises and basically confiscated.
The episode is at the origin of the split between the two religious groups, although the real cause lies in the disagreement between Hosoi and Ikeda, when the latter gave his inaugural speech for the Shō-Hondō opening in 1972. In this occasion the fundamental doctrinal differences became evident. While the priesthood maintained the ancient vision that the imperial household had to convert to Nichiren Shōshū (along with other confraternities such as Myōshinkō, later Kenshōkai), Ikeda affirmed a more open position, stating that in a democracy the “Emperor” is represented by common people and hence only one third of the population was needed to convert, while another third would be friendly towards Nichiren Buddhism. This represented a clear paradigm shift from most “absolutistic” religions that want to convert the whole planet and from the clergy that insisted to convert the imperial household.
Following the dispute, Ikeda was later also ousted by his own fellow senior leaders and had consequently to look for propagating his vision outside Japan, where perhaps a few Japanese affiliates were living for private or professional reasons. Prior to the SGI, a more broad encompassing organization with the name of International Buddhist League (IBL) had been founded and held a first meeting in Guam. The local leadership of the first foreign affiliates participated to this gathering; even though under strict supervision of SōkaGakkai own senior leaders, who were not really interested in overseas expansion and it is doubtful that those in the higher echelons of SōkaGakkai were willing to engage in international operations of such scale. Nevertheless, Hosoi Nittatsu was invited to the opening ceremony and participated to the event. The name IBL might have been suggestive that a much broader Buddhist platform was planned by Ikeda, encompassing also all other schools of Buddhism in order to have a real huge impact in history as advocated by SōkaGakkai. The plan was probably downsized and SGI was created from the ashes of IBL and Ikeda could then transmit his own vision and ideas to his foreign followers, free from the restrictions he had in Japan due to cultural factors, political activities of Kōmeito, fear of the anti-Gakkai press and perhaps other internal forces within SōkaGakkai.
Returning to the original paper Gohonzon, the scroll had been bestowed upon Jōsei Toda on behalf of SōkaGakkai in occasion of the famous “Kansai campaign” where the organization set the seemingly impossible objective of converting 750,000 families. As it is very well known, the goal was reached and since then “Kansai spirit” is synonymous with SōkaGakkai spirit, master-disciple relationship and considered Ikeda’s historical achievement for the spread of Nichiren’s Buddhism in Japan.
Membership is hence given the opportunity to connect with SōkaGakkai mentor Ikeda (but indirectly also with Jōsei Toda) by reciting the Sūtra to the plank version of this mandala together with a recorded voice of Ikeda. The whole experience is built in a similar way of a Disneyland attraction, because it touches some fundamental chords of human feelings and had been probably deemed the best way for the affiliated membership to experience a sort of “pilgrimage”. The methods are a very clear reminder of the times when all believers went to visit the wooden plank known as “Dai-Gohonzon”, an experience that was supposed to be unique and mystical.
A huge difference however is that the Taiseki-ji pilgrimage has been also an enormous commercial operation, since the ceremony at the Shō-Hondō came with a price-tag for the 6,500 participants multiplied for at least three to four sessions each day, 360 days a year, while the Daiseidō visit is completely free of charge.
Any religious organization needs their own sacred space, in this case the SōkaGakkai compound in Shinanomachi, a sacred relic related to their own history, here represented by this very mandala. The coronation will be the re-issue of an own particular Gohonzon mandala to their membership. This would be a printed copy of the Nisshō Gohonzon which will be copyright free in the year 2021 or 2026, from their point of view, SōkaGakkai is therefore right on track. The actual Nichikan Gohonzon will be dismissed as “expedient means” and perhaps by that time, harmonic relationships with other Nichiren groups (Nichiren-shū and Risshō Kōsei-kai) might be considered. The Taiseki-ji group will have also undergone a modernization process, which might be made possible by the 69th or 70th Abbot. The typical rhetoric of Japanese Buddhist groups, affirming one principle today and the complete opposite tomorrow, will make this process relatively easy.
Historical perspective is very important in this context. The first Sōka Kyōiku Gakkai was an organization of educators who, represented by Makigchi Tsunesaburō, found a matching philosophy in the interpretation of Nichiren’s teaching by Horigome Nichijun, (1898-1959), later the 65th Abbot of Taiseki-ji.
It is actually the osmosis process of these two minds that originated what is known today as the SōkaGakkai.
The prohibition of photographing the Gohonzon was set by Hosoi Nittatsu for two reasons: first to impede technical reproduction and hence independence from the priesthood, second and most important to avoid that common membership (outside scholarly and academic circles) realize that the so-called “Dai-Gohonzon” is the mere patchwork of more Nichiren mandalas and in fact the very “false amulet” that Taiseki-ji so harshly condemns. About this point please consult our previous essay .
This is the very reason that prompted our group of independent researchers, known as the Nichiren Mandala Study Workshop. The books and essay published were conceived solely to inform and support all non-Japanese speakers.
In the second part of this issue we will publish the mandala diagram of the SōkaGakkai Gohonzon inscribed by Mizutani Nisshō as well as a photo from the SōkaGakkai study magazine Daibyakurenge Nr. 81, to show that at that time it was unproblematic to show pictures of the mandala Gohonzon. This part of the essay will be published on our Facebook page.
Il libro "Il mandala nella tradizione del Buddhismo Nichiren, Prima parte: Introduzione, mandala nei periodi Bun’ei e Kenji" è disponibile in Italiano. Per ordinare seguire il LINK: http://tinyurl.com/oap76aj
This is a special feature regarding the plank mandala known as Daigohonzon.
The scope of <The mandala in Nichiren Tradition> book series is to enable the reader to to gain a glimpse of Nichiren as an actual person and identify many people who had a direct relation to Nichiren through his lifetime work, the mandala Gohonzon. For this very reason the Nichiren Mandala Study Workshop does not discuss doctrine.
Here is an excerpt from the book (volume one):
On the 13th and 14th day of the eighth month in 1276, Nichiren inscribed three almost identical mandalas. These were granted to relatives of the same family. Their names were Kamehime, Kameya and Kamewaka, presumably two brothers and a sister. This Gohonzon is known as Kamewaka Gosankō Yōraku Honzon. Go is meant for protection, Yōraku refers to the decoration on top. In Buddhism, it is a kind of diadem often used to adorn statues of Bodhisattvas. It is believed that the painting has been added very early on.
Kamewaka was the second son of Chiba Yoritane (千葉頼胤 1239~1275). He was only eight years old at the time he received his Gohonzon. The Chiba household was closely related to the ruling Hōjō clan. The family resided in Shimofusa province and was acquainted with Toki Jōnin, Soya Kyōshin and Ōta Jōmyō. It seems that their father Yoritane was a superior of Toki. Kamewaka-maru was the childhood name of Yoritane. Prof. Nakao points out in Nichiren Shōnin no Hokke Mandara that the son of Yoritane, Chiba Tanemune (千葉胤宗 1268~1312) was also named Kamewaka as a child. The Nihonjin jinmei daijiten however, lists the name as Kameya-maru. According to the Hondo-ji records, Yoritane died during the Mongol invasion in 1275, exactly one year before this mandala was inscribed and Tanemune succeeded him. It is therefore admissible that the three siblings went to Minobu to commemorate the first year of their father’s passing. Yoritane is said to have died on the 16th day of the eighth month in 1275.
All the three mandala bear the inscription < for protection of > after the recipient’s name placed inside Nichiren’s seal and it is indeed fortunate that they have been preserved intact, although one of these inscriptions has been cancelled early on. A classic passage from the Medicine King chapter of the Lotus Sūtra < 病即消滅 > and < 不老不死 >, translated as < Sickness will be cured immediately > and < Not grow old, not die > has been added to these three Gohonzon.
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Daikyō Ajari Nichirin Shonin (大経阿闍梨日輪聖人), Ikegami Honmon-ji Reihōdenshū, Tokyo 2008
Daimoku Itabi to Hōtō (題目板碑と宝塔: 中世池上の法華信仰と供養: 池上本門寺霊宝殿特別展), Ikegami Honmon-ji Reihōdenshū, Tokyo 2013
Daimoku Itabi no Sekai (題目板碑の世界: 立正大学博物館第6回特別展), Risshō Daigaku, Risshō Daigaku Hakubutsukan-shū, Kumagaya 2009
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Gohonzon shashinchō (御本尊写真帖), Inada Kaiso, Suharaya Shoten 1913
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Kyoto Yōhōji Enkaku to Tendai (京都要法寺の沿革と展開), Azuma Yusuke 2008
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Mikkyō to mandara (密教と曼荼羅), Yoritomi Motohiro, NHK Library 2003
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Nichiren Hokkekyō no gyōja (日蓮法華経の行者), Shizaki Shōji, Hakubunkan 1933
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Nichiren shōnin (日蓮上人), Kumata Ijō, Chūwa Shoin 1928
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Nichiren shōnin shinseki no keitai to tenrai (日蓮聖人真蹟の形態と伝来), Terao Eiichi, Yūzankaku, Tokyo 1997
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Nichiren shōnin shinseki no sekai (日蓮聖人真蹟の世界), Yamanaka Kihachi, Yūzankakusha 1992
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Nichirenshū Jiin Taikan (日蓮宗寺院大鑑) Nichirenshū Jiin Taikan Henshū Iinkai, Daihonzan Ikegami Honmonji, Tokyo 1981
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Nichiren shōnin ten (日蓮聖人展), Nichiren shōnin Monka Rengokai, Yomiuri Shinbunsha 1981
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Nichiren to Sado (日蓮と佐渡), Tanaka Kei’ichi, Heian Shuppan 2004
Nichiren to Sado Echigo iseki meguri no tabi (日蓮と佐渡越後遺跡巡りの旅), Honma Shusetsu, Niigata Nippō Jigyōsha 1989
Nichiren to sono deshi (日蓮とその弟子), Miyazaki Eishū, Heiraku Shoten 1997
Nichiren to sono kyōdan (日蓮とその教団), Yutaka Takagi/Kanmuri Kenichi, Yoshikawa Kōbunkan 1999
Nichirenshōshū Fuji nenpyō (日蓮正宗富士年表), Hayase Nichiji, Fuji Gakurin 1981
Nichirenshōshūshi no kisoteki kenkyū (日蓮正宗史の基礎的研究), Yamaguchi Norimichi, Sankibō Busshorin 1993
Nichirenshōshū no shinwa (日蓮正宗の神話), Matsuoka Mikio, Ronsōsha 2006
Nichirenshōshū Taisekiji (日蓮正宗大石寺) Shinohara Zentarō/ Nichirenshōshū Taisekiji Henshū Iinkai, Tōzai Tetsugaku Shoin 1970
Nichirenshū Jiin Taikan shūso dai nanahyaku en'i kinen shuppan (日蓮宗事院大鑑 宗祖第七百遠忌記念出版), Henshū Iinkai, Ikegami Honmon-ji, Tokyo 1981
Nichirenshū Jiten (日蓮宗事典), Nichirenshū Kankō Iinkai Henshu, Nichirenshū Shinbunsha 1999
Nichirenshū shūgaku zensho dai 2 kan kōson zenshō (日蓮宗宗学全書第２巻興尊全書), Risshō Daigaku, Sankibō Busshrin 1959
Nichiren tanjōron: seinaru monogatari no kōzō bunseki (日蓮誕生論: 聖なる物語の構造分析), Okubo Masayuki, Sankibō Busshorin 2001
Nikkō honzon juyogaki ni miru Nikkō to sono montei (日興本尊授与書にみる日興とその門弟) Honma Toshifumi, Risshō University 2009
Nikkō to sono montei (日興とその門弟), Takagi Yutaka, Heirakuji Shoten 1981
Nikkō to sono montei: “Byakuren deshi bunyōmōsu o’fude no Gohonzon mokuroku no koto” no kōsatsu (日興とその門弟: 白蓮弟子分与申御筆御本尊目録事 の考察), Honma Toshifumi, Nichiren Bukkyō Kenkyū Kiyō 35:106-116, Tokyo 2007.
NikkōShōnin Gohonzonshū (日興上人御本尊集), NikkōShōnin Gohonzonshū Hensan Iinkai, Kōfudanjo, Okayama 1996
Nishiyama Honmonji gohonzon no kōsatsu (西山本門寺本尊の考察), Yanagisawa Kōdō, Honji Myōhō Sankyōkai 1994
Nishiyama Honmonji no enkaku to tenkai (西山本門寺の沿革と展開), AzumaYusuke, AzumaYusuke 2008
Ōtaku no bunkazai sōran dai 11 shū (大田区の文化財第11集), Shakai Kyōiku Iinkai, Ōtaku Shakai Kyōikuka 1975
Ōtaku no bunkazai sōran dai 35 shū (大田区の文化財第35集 大田区の古文書・書跡・典籍) Ōtaku Kyōiku Iinkai, Ōtaku Shakai Kyōikuka 1986
Rekishi to hōmotsu, Hokkeshū daihonzan Honkō-ji (歴史と宝物法華宗大本山本興寺), Onishi Nisshū, Daihonzan Honkōji 1981
Rokurōsō Nichiji Shōnin Senka Shutsudo Goibutsu Zuroku (六老僧日持上人宣化出土御遺物図録), Miyazaki Eishū, Sanyō Sekiyu K.K.., Tokyo 1987
Ryūhonji monjo (立本寺文書), Ryūhonji Monjo Henshūkai, Ryūhonji 2001
Ryūka Gogonzonshū (龍華御本尊集) Nagaoka Atsumasa, Benridō, Kyoto 1984
Sado Ajari Nikō Shōnin (佐渡阿闍梨日向上人), Dainanahyaku onki kinenshi henshū iinkai, Minobusan Kuonji, Yamanashi 2013.
Saichō to Tendai no kokuhō (最澄と天台の国宝), Kyoto National Museum, Yomiuri Shinbunsha 2005
Sei Nakayama Hokekyōji Goreihō Mokuroku ni tsuite (「正中山法華経寺御霊宝目録」について)
Seishin kenkyū kiyō Nr. 60, 61, 65, 66, 67 (棲神研究紀要第), Miyazaki Eishū et al., Minobusan Tankidaigaku Gakkai 1996
Sekizan honzon no kenkyū (石山本尊の研究), Yanagisawa Kōdō, Kachisu Bunkō 1999
Shinran, Nichiren no sho (親鸞・日蓮の書), Nishiyama Atsushi, Shibundō 1995
Shishi 14, Ōtaku no kōmonjo (史誌１４大田区の古文書), Ōtaku Kyōiku Iinkai, Ōtaku Kyōiku Iinkai 1968
Shōwa teihon Nichiren shōnin ibun (昭和定本日蓮聖人遺文), Risshō Daigaku Shūgaku Kenkyūshohen, Minobu Kuonji 1952-1959
Shūchūzan Hokkekyōji shi (正中山法華経寺誌) Ishikura Shigetsugu, Ishikura Shigetsugu 1903
Sōgenji Hōmotsu mokuroku (藻原寺宝物目録), Risshōdaigaku Nichiren Kyōgaku Kenkyūjohen, Honzan Sōgenji, Chiba 2013
Taisekiji Kyōgaku no Kenkyū (大石寺教学の研究), Azuma Yūsuke, Heieakuji Shoten, Kyoto 2004
Teishōzan Ren’ei-ji yuisho engi (貞松山蓮永寺由緒縁起), Matsumura juken henshū, Ren’ei-ji, Shizuoka 1970
Tōyō Bunka Kenkyūjoshohō (東洋文化研究所所報), Endo Asai et al., Minobusan Daigaku, Yamanashi 1999-2000
Yōhō-ji Monjo Nichiren Shōnin monka shoji monjo shūeii (要法寺文書日蓮聖人門下諸寺文書集影), Yōhō-ji Monjo Hensankai/Hashida Bunmyō, Yōhō-ji, Kochi 1990
Few Good Men: The Bodhisattva Path according to The Inquiry of Ugra, Jan Nattier, University of Hawaii 2003
A Medieval Japanese Reading of the Mo-ho chih-kuan, Paul Groner, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 1995
A Sourcebook in Chinese Philosophy, Wing-Tsit Chan, Princeton University Press 1972
Biographical Studies of Nichiren, Dr. Jaqueline Stone, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 1999
Bodily Reading of the Lotus Sūtra, Prof. Ruben Habito, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 1999
Canonization and Decanonization, Arie.van der Koji et al., Leiden Institute for the Study of Religions, Boston 1998
Conceiving The Indian Buddhist patriarchs of medieval China, Stuart Young, (dissertation) Princeton University 2008
Criticism and Appropriation: Nichiren’s Attitude toward Esoteric Buddhism, Prof. Lucia Dolce, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 1999
Critical Considerations on the Lotus Sūtra Discrimination or Anti-Discrimination, Shiro Matsumoto, London 2005
Culture of Civil war in Kyoto (University of California Press pages 166~167) Mary Elisabeth Berry
Faces of compassion: classic Bodhisattva archetypes and their modern expression, Taigen Daniel Leighton, Wisdom Publication 2012
Gukanshō: a Religious View of Japanese History, Charles H. Hambrick, dissertation 1971
Humanity, Earth and the Universe: A Viewpoint of Mahayana Buddhism, Yoichi Kawada (undated article)
India and China: Beyond and the within, Lokesh Chandram Gyan Publishing House 1998
Japanese Mandalas: Representations of Sacred Geography Elizabeth Ten Grotenhuis, University of Hawai’i Press, 1999
Japanese Temple Buddhism: Worldliness in a Religion of Renunciation, Stephen G. Covell, University of Hawaii Press 2005
Jōkei and Buddhist Devotion in Early Medieval Japan, James L. Ford, Oxford University Press, 2006
Kanbun, Histories of Japanese Literature and Japanologists, John Timothy Wixted, Arizona State University 1998
Kō: Japanese Confraternities, Lucy S. Itō, Monumenta Nipponica 1952
Localizing Paradise: Kumano Pilgrimage and the Religious Landscape of Premodern Japan, Max D. Moerman, Harvard Un. Press 2005
Lotus Lectures, the Hokke Hakko in the Heian Period, Willa Jane Tanabe, Monumenta Nipponica 1984
Mandala Symbolism, C.G. Jung, Princeton University Press 1972
Mapping from a different direction: mandala as sacred spatial visualization, Susan Walcott, ed. Taylor & Francis 2006
Medieval Tendai Hongaku Thought and the New Kamakura Buddhism, Dr. Jacqueline Stone, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 1995
Nichiren’s Perspectives on the Enlightenment of Women, Kurihara Toshie, Institute of Oriental Philosophy Bulletin, 1998
Nichiren’s Problematic Works, Prof. Sueki Fumihiko, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 1999
Nichiren Shonin’s View of Humanity, Prof. Endō Asai/Dr. Jaqueline Stone, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 1999
Nichiren’s view of women, Rev. Mori Ichiu, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 2003
On the Hokkedo Kompon Mandala in the Boston Museum, Prof. Yashiro Yukio, Bijutsu Kenkyū (Abstract) 1935
Original Enlightenment and the Transformation of Medieval Japanese Buddhism, Dr. Jacqueline Stone, University of Hawai’i Press 1999
Placing Nichiren in the “Big Picture”, Dr. Jaqueline Stone, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 1999
Rebuking the enemies of the Lotus: Nichirenist exclusivism in historical perspective, Dr. J. Stone, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 1994
Revisiting Nichiren, Dr. Jaqueline Stone/Prof. Ruben Habito, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 1999
Rising from the Lotus: two Bodhisattvas from the Lotus Sūtra as psychodynamic paradigm for Nichiren, P. Jaffe, Jap. Journal of Rel. Stud. 1986
Saichō and Kūkai A Conflict of Interpretations, Abe Ryūichi, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 1995
Sannō Miya Mandara: The Iconography of Pure Land on this Earth, Arichi Meri, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 2006
Shinran’s Philosophy of Salvation by absolute Power, Alfred Bloom, University of Oregon 1964
The Art of Japanese Calligraphy, Nakata Yūjirō, Weatherhill 1973
The Characteristics of Japanese Tendai, Hazama Jikō, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 1987
The Culture of Secrecy in Japanese Religion, Bernhard Scheid and Mark Teeuwen, Routledge 2006
The Emperor System and Japanese religion, Shigemoto Tokoro, Dento to Gendaisha 1973
The Heritage of the Bhikkhu: The Buddhist Tradition of Service, Prof. Walpola Sri Rāhula Maha Thera, Groove Press 2003
The Iconography of Shaka's Sermon on the Vulture Peak and Its Art Historical Meaning, Matsumoto Moritaka, Museum Rietberg et al. 1993
The Iconography of Nepalese Buddhism, Mīnabahādura Śākya et al., Handicraft Association of Nepal et al. 1994
The Lotus Sūtra, Kumārajīva (translated by) Burton Watson, Columbia University Press 1993
The Lotus Sūtra and the rhetoric of legitimization in 11th century Japanese Buddhism, William E. Deal, Japanese Journal of Rel. Studies 1993
The Mandala in Nichiren Buddhism Vol. 1-2, The Nichiren Mandala Study Workshop, Tokyo 2013-2014
The Philosophy and Psychology of the Oriental Mandala, Grace E. Cairns, University of Hawai’i Press 1962
The Principles of Shrine Shintō, Prof. Hirai Naofusa, Contemporary Religions in Japan 1960
The Reception of the Lotus Sūtra in Japan, Kannō Hiroshi, The Journal of Oriental Studies 2000
The Tradition of the Lotus Sūtra Faith in Japan, Watanabe Hōyō, International Association of Buddhist Studies 2005
The World of Dangisho: Educating Monks in Medieval Japan, Watanabe Mariko, CSJR Newsletter Research notes 2008
Training through debates in medieval Tendai and Seizan-ha temples, Paul Groner, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 2011
What is Shintō? Prof. Miyaji Naokazu, Contemporary Religions in Japan (article) 1966
Writings of Nichiren Daishonin Vol. 1-2, Gosho Hon’yaku Iinkai (Gosho Translation Comitee), Sokagakkai, Tokyo 2006
Writings of Nichiren Shōnin Vol. 1 Doctrine, Hori Kyōtsū et al, NOPPA, University of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu 2002
Writings of Nichiren Shōnin Vol. 2 Doctrine, Hori Kyōtsū et al, NOPPA, University of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu 2002
Writings of Nichiren Shōnin Vol. 3 Doctrine, Hori Kyōtsū et al, NOPPA, University of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu 2004
Writings of Nichiren Shōnin Vol. 4 Faith and Practice, Hori Kyōtsū et al, NOPPA, University of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu 2007
Über Mandalasymbolik, Gestaltungen des Unbewussten, C. G. Jung, Rascher 1950
Der Mensch und seine Symbole, C.G. Jung, Düsseldorf Patmos 2009
The Nichiren Mandala Workshop is a non-sectarian study group that analyzes original and extant works of Nichiren