The Kansho Accord

Shortly after the Myomanji regulations were drawn up, the Nichiren temples of Kyoto, in the face of external threats from the Tendai sect, reached a general agreement among themsleves concerning some of the main issues of contention (only Nisshin's Hompoji did not concur). This is known as the Kansho Accord because it was signed in 1466, during the era of that name.

An Accord on the Principles of the Dharma

Translated by Jeffrey Hunter, Ph.D.

From ancient times there have been disagreements concerning the doctrines of our sect. This and that position have been taken, with no agreement, and differences of opinion exist to today. Further, these have become an obstacle to the prosperity of the Buddha-Dharma. This is too lamentable for words and sad indeed to consider. So it is that now the worthy heads of the temples of all lines have discussed this situation and determined that as we try to propagate our teachings far and wide it will not do for our teachings to lack unity. . . . For this reason we here synthesize the ancient disagreements of our past masters to express our intent to repay our debt of gratitude to our teachers. With glad hearts we declare the unity of main and branch temples alike and realize a unified harmony that will last forever. We wish from now on to be as inseparable as a fish and water, and that this firm covenant will never wither or be defiled. Let the lamp of the Dharma shine for more than ten thousand years and the blessed life of the enlightenment of the three assemblies endure forever.

1. Our sect's founder taught the identity (ittai) of the essential and theoretical teachings; yet one or the other can be regarded as superior depending upon a person's capacities and level of understanding.

2. Monks and lay followers alike should join forces in adopting the sole practice of shakubuku.

3. We all agree to strictly observe the prohibition against making pilgrimages to the temples and shrines of slanderers of the Dharma.

4. The offerings of slanderers of the Dharma may not be accepted, with the sole exception of donations made as an expression of secular virtues such as humanity, righteousness, love and propriety.

5. Though the Dharma principle comprises both aggressive and accommodating approaches, the aggressive approach is the proper one.

6. As for the laity, they should not forsake their original teacher under whom they first roused the thought of enlightenment, and if they should try to do so, the new temple should not permit it. If, however, in consultation all parties agree, both temples may receive alms from that person.

Though the accord certainly affirms the ascendency of the hardline faction emphasizing shakubuku, it conspicuously does not revoke the exemption of the ruling class from the prohibition against making offerings to and receiving offerings from nonbelievers, and in fact legitimizes it. But by the last decades of the fifteenth century, the Nichiren sect had begun to take the first step toward revoking that exemption. In 1492, the shogunate sent the "Lotus Sect" (as the Nichiren sect was commonly known) an official letter of exemption from even government-sponsored religious services and fundraising compaigns. The wording of the letter shows that it was based on an earlier precedent, and so another such letter had probably been given to the Nichiren sect somewhat earlier.

While the Nichiren temples in Kyoto gradually extended the application of the fuju fuse principle, the compromise reached in the Kansho Accord resolved sectarian contention and allowed them to consolidate and extend their influence in the capital. With their active following among the Kyoto merchants and the aristocracy, combined with the disarry of secular authority in this period, the Nichiren temples and the congregations acted as a de facto government in the capital for several decades, defending it against attacks by armed peasants and the Tendai monasteries. The main temples took on the appearance and role of armed fortresses, with moats and defense walls, and they possessed considerable stores of weapons. This came to an end in 1536, when warrior-monks from Mount Hiei descended on the city and burned all twenty-one Nichiren-sect temples in it, destroying half of the city. The monks fled to Sakai, a port city near Osaka, but returned in 1542 and reestablished fifteen temples. In the ensuing years, the head monks of the various Nichiren temples sought to reduce sectarian animosities and concentrate on rebuilding their Kyoto base.

Visit Ryuei's History of the Hokke Shu to learn what happened next...

For more on this subject, you can obtain Dr. Hunter's doctoral dissertation:
The Fuju Fuse Contraversy in Nichiren Buddhism: the Debate Between Busshoin Nichio and Jakushoin Nichiken. by Jeffrey Robert Hunter, pages 113-118. University of Wisconsin: Madison. 1989. Available thru UMI Dissertation Services for loose-leaf copies; or call 1-800-521-0600 to obtain a soft- or hard-bound volume: Order #9105837.

The Fuju Fuse Debate Ryuei
Myokakuji Regulations 1413
Myomanji Regulations 1451
Fuju Fuse Articles Nichio
Life in Kyoto & the Lotus Uprising 1532
Refuting Nichio and the Niike Gosho 1629

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