The Verenable Nichijo And Naki-Icho (The Crying Ginkgo)
The Verenable Nichijo And Naki-Icho (The Crying Ginkgo)
In the north of the Soshi-do hall
, there is a tall statue standing, it is the statue of the verenable Nichijo
who was the first abbot of Nakayama Hokekyo-ji. And behind the Ema-do hall
that stands on the east side of approch the Soshi-do hall, there is a
big ginkgo tree satanding up to the sky is called 'Naki-Icho' (the crying Ginkgo)
that also has a legend connecting to the venerable Nichijo and his son.
And Next to the ginkgo tree, Komagata-do that he buried his horse there
stands, so he dedicated it and built this small shrine.
The history of the venerable Nichijo
||He was born in Toki-gun, Inaba-no-kuni (Tottori prefecture)
||He became the faithful believer of Nichiren
|The Founder Nichiren escaped to Nakayama as he met the fire at Matsubagaya, then Jonin Toki
(later he became a priest, and he named Nichijo) built the Hokke-do for
him, This was the begining of Nakayama Hokekyo-ji Temple.
|He was given the statue of Kishibojin (goddess of children) carved by Nichiren when he escaped to Nakayama again as he was attacked at Komatsubara.
|Nichiren wrote him 'Monchu-Tokui-no-Sho'. (Nichiren gave him how to behave in front of the officers at Kamakura Bakufu (The Shogun's Office)
||Nichiren wrote to him 'Teradomarigosho'.
||Nichiren wrote to him 'Kanjin-honzon-sho'. (the national treasure)
||Nichiren wrote to him 'Hokkeshuyosho'.
||His mother passed. Nichiren wrote to him 'Bojikyoji'.
||Nichiren wrote to him 'Shishingohonsho'.
||The Founder Nichiren passed.
||He built Hokke-ji Temple and changed his name from Jonin to Nichijo.
|He wrote 'Hioki-no-humi' in March 2nd, 'Nichijo-Shuin-honzon-shogyo-no-koto' (the list of letters and important writings written by the founder Nichiren) in March 6th. In March 20th, he passed at 84 years old.
In 1284, the disciple of the founder Nichiren gathered at Ikegami in Tokyo
to hold a Buddhist memorial service for the second anniversary of his death since two years after he had passed. Nichiro from Kamakura, Nikko from Minobu, Nikko from Fuji, Nichijo from Nakayama and so many disciples with their supporters and believers came from throughtout Japan. However, Niccho, the son of Nichijo, had not come yet. Niccho was appointed one of 'Roku-rososo' (the six great disciples of Nichiren) by the founder Nichiren himself as leaders to mission. The father Nichijo was worried about him and waited for him impatiently. But it was time to start the ceremony at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, but he didn't come.
Niccho had a debate about Buddhism with priests belonging to the other
sect on his way to Ikegami. Their discussed all day long for three days.
Finally, he out-argued them down. Then he delightfully started to walk
to Ikegami again. However, it was so late that his father had left for
Nakayam when he reached at there.
He immediately chased after him to go to Nakayama to beg his forgiveness of his
lateness, so he believed that his father would forgive him cheerfully and
praised him of defeating other sect. Though Niccho explained the reason, the
father said that he could discuss anytime you like, but the day of the second
anniversary would never come. The father scolded his son that it might be his
ingratitude to his master Nichiren since he had not attend the ceremony on
Niccho deeply examined himself. And he chanted sutras with tears while walking
around and around a ginkgo tree to beg his forgiveness. Though he chanted the
repentance for seven days with his crying, his father did not forgive him.
Finally, Niccho disappeared. This is the legend that the gingko tree behind the
Ema-do is called 'Naki-Icho' (the crying gingko tree).
17 years had passed, Niccho heard that his father fell into critical condition.
He immediately rushed to Nakayam and begged his forgiveness, but the father did
not. Nichiro, one of the Roku-Rouso (the great disciple of Nichiren) was
touched with pity for them, he asked Nichijo to forgive deeply regretted his
son. However, the father said that it would be an instruction for supporters
and believers in future to tell how the anniversary of their masters and
parents would be important. Nichiro understood the father's heartbreaking
thought. The father did not see his son anymore again. Niccho held his father's
shirts and cried outside of his father's room. He heard from his younger sister
that the father passed. Niccho could had not seen been forgiven for whole his
life. After that, he went to Mt.Fuji to live in seclusion, and he never came
This story is not only to tell how important the Buddhist service for the
founder Nichiren is, but also to give the instruction to hold the anniversary
services for ancestors. Don't forget your ancestors and those days for
The Map to the statue of Nichijo and Naki Icho Tree
The statue of Nichijo and Naki Icho Gingko Tree
- The statue of Nichijo and Naki Icho Gingko Tree in Hokekyouji Temple have great accessibilities from both Narita and Haneda International Airport.
- From Narita International Airport, take Keisei-line and get off Keisei-Nakayama Sta, take minimally 40 minutes from Narita Airport.. And also take JR Sobu-express line, transfer the line at Funabashi to Sobu-Local line, get off Shimousa-Nakayama Sta.
- From Haneda International Airport, take Keikyu-line bound to Narita, and get off Keisei-Nakayama Sta.
- From Tokyo Sta, take Sobu-Express line bound to Chiba or Narita, transfer the line to Sobu-Local line bound to Chiba, Tsudanuma, or Nishi-Funabashi at Ichikawa Sta, get off Shimousa-Nakayama Sta.
- From Akihabara Sta, take Sobu line bound to Chiba, get off Shimousa-Nakayama Sta.
- Take 4 minute walk from Keisei-Nakayama Sta, and take 7 minutes walk from
- 2-10-1 Nakayama, Ichikawa-shi, Chiba-pref, Japan
Huge Gingko Trees on Legends
There are some huge gingko trees having some legends and stories in Ichikawa
city. The National Natural Treasure Senbon Icho (the gingko tree having
thousands trunks) in Katsushika Hachimangu Shrine in Yawata, Naki Icho
(The Crying Gingko Tree) in Hokekyoji Temple in Nakayama and the gingko
tree where Oguri Hangan stopped his horse in Shinmeiji Temple in Onigoe.
Each tree has interesting story.
Why don't you visit and see those huge gingko trees?
Katsushika Hachimangu Shiren has some historical sceneries.
The temple has the story about the samurai worrier in middle age Oguri Hangan.
The Landmarks in Nakayama Hokekyouji Temple
Takikyakuden is the main hall of Hokekyoji and it has the business office and Kishibojindo Hall dedicated to the goddess of children on the end of the long corrido of the main hall.
In spring, there is millions of cherry blossoms in Hokekyoji and in summer, lotus blooms on ryuo-ike pond. In fall, there are beautiful colored leaves. Every season, visitors could enjoy seeing the sights.
It is characterized the twin hip-and-gable roof structure (hiyoku-irimoya-style), and hengaku written by Koetsu Honami hangs in front.
It was built in early Edo period (1622) by request of Koshitsu Honami supported by Maeda Family in Kaga.
It was built in Kamakura period.
It was moved from Aizen-dou in Kamakura 700 years ago.
It was designed by the famous architect Chuta Ito, it stores many scripts
written by the Founder Nichiren.
It enshrines Kiyomasa Kato, one of the most famous daimyo in Sengoku period.
From Nov 1 to Feb 10, hundreds of Buddhist priests practice severly every year.
The henguku hunged in front of the gate was written by Koetsu Honami, famous artist in Momoyama Period.
It was built for worshipping Jurasetsunyo, Kishibozin, Daikokusama.
It is also called Sou-mon (the main gate).
The founder Nichiren built the small shrine to dedicate the dragon god
to pray for rain.
It enshrins Ugazin who is the guardian deity of Hokekyou-ji Temple.
It dedicates Hokushin Myouken Star that the Chiba Family deeply believed
in , Hokekyoji traditionally succeeds. In November, Tori-no-ich is held
in the site to dedicate the star.
The founder Nichiren preached first time at the Toki's castle called Wkakamiya Yakata. And Toki built a temple 'Hokkeji', it is the origin of Oku no In.
It was built in 1719 by famous caster Ota Suruga-no-kami in Kanda. It is the bigest great Buddha in Chiba prefecture.
Nichijo was the first abbot of Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple and Naki Icho is a gingko tree having a sad legend.
There are some other landmarks in Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple.
Koetsu Honami specially remained his calligraphy in Hokekyo-ji Temple, and Shiki Masaoka, Kafu Nagai discribed it well.
Cherry blossoms in Hokekyoji are amazingly wonderful.