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Nichiren: Leader of Buddhist Reformation in Japan [Paperback]

J. A. Christensen
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 1, 2001 0875730868 978-0875730868
Nichiren Shonin was born in a turbulent time in Japanese history. Born as a fisherman's son in a small village, Nichiren was thrust into a world of deceit and treachery. He would be the object of the government's displeasure because of his calls for reform in Japanese society and a return to the truth of the Buddhist Dharma. Here is a chronicle of this important figure of Japanese Buddhism which tells of his conflicts with the rulers of his time and of his teachings. Nichiren was a Buddhist reformer, who saw the Lotus Sutra as the cornerstone of the Dharma. His life and teachings continue to serve as an inspiration and guide for people's lives today.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Jain Pub Co (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875730868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875730868
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,848,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3.8 out of 5 stars
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the read! May 28, 2007
This book is the best English language resource on the life of Nichiren available today. The author makes use of a broad range of truly scholarly sources, and yet his writing style is so engaging and dynamic that one almost feels like they are actually witnessing the events being described by the author. The author goes to the trouble of making a clear disticntion between the events in the life of Nichiren which are actually historical and the events attributed to his life which are based on popular traditional hagiography. Nichiren is a much misunderstood person; being seen quite often as someone who was intolerant of other religions only for the sake of establishing his own. This book clarifies that Nichiren's intolerance was towards religious and government policies that oppressed the common people. In this regard, the book almost reads like a "theology of liberation." It is well worth the read.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Biography on Nichiren Shonin January 8, 2007
This small book contains an engaging biography of Nichiren Shonin, a Buddhist master who founded the Hokke (Lotus) school in 13th century Japan. In addition to the text itself, the book also contains glossy pages showing the life of Nichiren by way of painting, and is a nice addition. The writing-style of this book is quick, enjoyable, and easy to read. It is not overly technical or laden with terms, but does provide historical background to place Nichiren's life in context. One not need be a scholar to understand it, and it is very accessible to the beginning student of Buddhism.

This book contains only the orthodox views and teachings of Nichiren, and is one of the few biographies in English that are reliable on this account. Nichiren's teachings are also explored in this work, and his devotion to the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni comes through clearly. It can be said that this book is more of a devotional piece or a hagiography than an academic work. Nichiren Shonin emerges as a powerful figure at the center of this book, propagating the Lotus Sutra under the most stressful conditions imaginable.

This is an excellent introduction to Nichiren Shonin and his teachings, who is often misunderstood not only in popular culture, but academic circles as well! I do hope to see a larger and more in depth biography of Nichiren published in English in the near future to complement this enjoyable book.
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7 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars THIS SCHOOL NEVER UNDERSTOOD NICHIREN November 22, 2009
This is a one of the Buddhist Schools that immediately departed from Nichiren Daishonin\s doctrine upon his death, and started having Buddha statues and hiding Nichiren\s mandala. They only view them as the founder of the school not recognizing who he really was. This is not a good biography of Nichiren. Not a trustworthy one.
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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nichiren: Diary of a Madman April 19, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was an excellent book historically but what I learned was very sad. Adorn The Lotus Sutra or you are wrong and bad things will happen. I have been studying Buddhism for 9 years and this statement is atrocious. The Buddha taught that there are 84,000 paths to liberation not only one. Nichiren's way was to "Do It
My Way or No Way at All". I don't understand the mentality of the followers of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. Perhaps we are all doomed to the Realms of Hell.

Las Vegas, NV
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5 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unconventional treatment January 4, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This volume on Nichiren, the 13th century Buddhist who founded a revolutionary school of Buddhism, is a work with certain merits. There are wonderful reproductions of rare prints depicting Nichiren in his time. I know of better source information on the life of Nichiren Daishonin available through the Soka Gakkai International organization.
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