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   Chronology of Events  

 

Date

Events

 

Prior to 1989

 

Numerous reports continuously been received about the authoritative conduct and misbehaviour of priests.

 

 

1989

 

 

February

 

Nichiren Shoshu announced intention to increase the obligatory offering for Gokaihi (worshipping the Dai-Gohonzon at the Head Temple) by a hefty 43.8%.

 

 

 

March

 

Honorary President Ikeda and President Akiya met the 67th High Priest Nikken to request Nichiren Shoshu to withdraw the decision for the increase in obligatory offering as this would increase the financial burden of lay believers.  Their request was turned down.

 

 

 

July

 

High Priest Nikken established a tomb for his ancestors at a Zen temple in Fukushima, and conducted a rite there.  His action clearly goes against the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin. 

 

 

1990

 

March

 

Nichiren Shoshu notified the Soka Gakkai of its intention to increase obligatory offering for receiving the Gohonzon by 100%.  The Soka Gakkai expressed concern and request Nichiren Shoshu to reconsider this decision.

 

 

 

July

 

Soka Gakkai highlighted the growing cases of authoritative conduct and misbehaviour of priests and strongly request Nichiren Shoshu to instruct its priests to abide by its code of discipline.  The priesthood were angered by what they considered as act of insubordination of the laity.

 

A meeting of top senior priests was held.  Operation C was conceived.

 

 

 

August

 

Nichiren Shoshu at its regular nation-wide teachersf seminar for priest instructs all priests to strictly abide by its code of discipline.

 

 

 

October

 

Nichiren Shoshu presented Certificate of Appreciation to Honorary President Ikeda during the ceremony commemorating the 700th anniversary of the establishment of the Head Temple.

 

 

 

November

 

The Soka Gakkai 35th Headquarters Leaders meeting was held during which a choral rendition of Beethovenfs gOde to Joyh was performed.

 

 

 

December

 

Nichiren Shoshu submitted 7 questions to the Soka Gakkai.  The questions are based on a surreptitiously obtained tape of the meeting.  The questions accused President Ikeda of criticizing the high priest at the meeting and claimed that the choral performance of gOde to Joyh amounted to promoting non-Buddhist teachings and is a slander.

 

Without any discussion Nichiren Shoshu effectively removed Honourary President Ikeda  of his position as Head of Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations and President Akiya and several other Soka Gakkai leaders of their positions as senior lay representatives.

 

The Soka Gakkai requested that any misunderstanding be resolved through a dialogue but this request was turned down by Nichiren Shoshu.

 

Because of Nichiren Shoshufs refusal to have a dialogue, the Soka Gakkai send a letter in which they pointed out inaccuracies in the transcription of the tape.

 

 

1991

 

January

 

The then secretary of the Nichiren Shoshu Overseas Department, Kido Fukuda, sent a fax message to the SGI Headquarters which revealed the existence of Operation C.

 

Nichiren Shoshu admitted to inaccuracies in the transcription of the tape and withdrew four of the questions.  The remaining questions were shown to have been taken out of context and grossly misinterpreted.  Despite this, the priesthood persisted in their plan to remove President Ikeda and the other Soka Gakkai leaders.

 

 

 

March

 

Nichiren Shoshu issued a ecommuniqueh to President Ikeda dismissing his responsibilities of providing guidance in faith for all overseas lay believers.  Subsequently, Nichiren Shoshu send letters to all SGI organizations informing them of this decision.  This signaled the beginning of the Nichiren Shoshufs danto movement campaign in overseas countries.  (Danto is a term which refer to lay believers who are directly affiliated with the Head Temple. This is a  movement by the priesthood to get members to leave their SGI organizations and follow Nichiren Shoshu.)  

 

 

 

May

 

Nichiren Shoshu denied permission to all Soka Gakkai and SGI members to make pilgrimage to the Head Temple and canvassed for members to leave the Soka Gakkai and SGI.

 

 

 

October

 

The Soka Gakkai and SGI initiated a campaign to collect signatures to petition for the resignation of High Priest Nikken.

 

 

 

November

 

Nichiren Shoshu issued gOrder of Dissolutionh and gNotice of Excommunicationh to the Soka Gakkai.

 

Nichiren Shoshu announced decision to stop the conferral of Gohonzon on Soka Gakkai and SGI members.

 

 

 

December

 

High Priest Nikken refused to accept the petition for his resignation which carried the

16,049,638 signatures of members from throughout the world.

 

 

1992

 

February

 

Seven priests, consisting six chief priests and one assistant priest, announced their secession from Nichiren Shoshu.  They also announced the formation of an association of priests seeking the reformation of Nichiren Shoshu called, gAssociation for the Reformation of Nichiren Shoshuh.

 

 

 

March

 

Ten young priest submitted their gLetter of Disassociationh to High Priest Nikken and announced the formation of gThe Association of Youthful Priest dedicated to the Reformation of Nichiren Shoshuh.

 

 

 

June

 

 

gThe Seattle Incidenth was uncovered.  The publication, Soka Shimpo reported on the discovery of a disturbing incident that occurred in 1963 when Nikken went to Seattle, USA to conduct Gohonzon conferral ceremony for USA members.  The USA Women Divisionfs member, Mrs Clow, who was Nikkenfs official interpreter, revealed that at that time, she was asked to report to the police station where she found that Nikken had been involved in an incident with some prostitutes.  She had kept this disturbing secret up till then.  Nikken denied the incident and publicly called Mrs Clow a liar.  Nikken claimed that he did not even set foot out of his hotel on that particular night.

 

 

 

July

 

Nichiren Shoshu officially expelled Honorary President Ikeda as a lay believer of Nichiren Shoshu.

 

 

 

September

 

Mrs Clow filed a libel suit against Nikken for defamation in a court in USA.

 

 

 

October

 

Another priest, who is the second son of the late 66th High Priest Nittatsu Shonin, sent a letter of secession from Nichiren Shoshu, in which he disclosed having heard Nikken

personally disclosed that he had in fact went out of the hotel in Seattle for a drink.

 

 

 

November

 

Soka Shimpo reported another disturbing news concerning Nikken in which photographs of Nikken surrounded by geisha girls were published.  The Nichiren Shoshu asserted that the photographs were fabrications and filed lawsuits against the Soka Gakkai and President Ikeda for defamation

 

Nichiren Shoshu illegally set up a temple in South Korea, disguised as a welfare facility.  When the residents in the area discovered this, they staged a strong protest and the incident was given wide coverage in the mass media in South Korea.

 

 

 

December

 

 

The Fujiyama Police charged Nichiren Shoshu for illegally setting up 1350 tombs in its cemetery.

 

 

1993

 

September

 

 

The Soka Gakkai announced the decision to confer upon its members, the Gohonzon transcribed by 26th High Priest Nichikan Shonin.  The decision received the support of the Association for the Reformation of Nichiren Shoshu and The Association of Youthful Priest dedicated to the Reformation of Nichiren Shoshu.

 

Nichiren Shoshu claimed that the Gohonzons conferred by the Soka Gakkai are counterfeits.

 

 

 

November

 

 

The South Korean authority withdrew permission for the change of use and Nichiren Shoshu failed in their application for a temple in South Korea.

 

 

 

December

 

 

Nichiren Shoshu filed a suit of defamation against the Soka Gakkai in Tokyo for the report of the Seattle Incident.

 

 

1994

 

 

April

 

The Head Temple was found to have disposed of the ashes of deceased members entrusted to their care as part of the contractual agreement made between the temple and the deceasedfs families.  Subsequently many Nichiren Shoshu temples were also found to be guilty of such  wrongful acts.  Family members filed suit against the temples and won the cases and Nichiren Shoshu was ordered to pay damages .

 

 

 

 

July

 

The new compilation of the Gosho (writings of Nichiren Daishonin) published by Nichiren Shoshu were found to contained as many as 900 mistakes.

 

The South Korean court convicted three Nichiren Shoshu priests for illegally bringing into the country large sum of money meant for the building of the temple. 

 

 

 

August

 

 

High Priest Nikken declared that he would step down if the court find the Seattle Incident to be true.

 

 

1995

 

 

June

 

The current 48th High Priest of Nichiren Shu (a sect which Nichiren Shoshu has claimed to have deviated from Nichiren Daishoninfs Buddhism) was allowed by Nichiren Shoshu to pay homage at the Head Temple.

 

 

 

August

 

 

High Priest Nikken announced the demolition of the Grand Reception Hall which were build with the sincere offerings of Soka Gakkai.  The Soka Gakkaifs protests were ignored.

 

 

 

September

 

 

Nikken change his earlier denial and admitted that he has in fact left the hotel in Seattle

to take a walk in downtown and get some drinks.

 

 

 

October

 

Mrs Clow testifies in court.  Nikken lawyers tried but failed to demolish Mrs Clowfs testimony.

 

 

1996

 

March

 

 

The Grand Reception Hall was completely demolished.

 

 

 

April

 

High Priest Nikken conducted a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new Reception Hall.

 

 

 

August

 

 

Nichire Shoshu priest Shinga Takigawa, was dispatched to be the resident priest in Singapore to take lead of the various groups of danto believers in the country.

 

 

 

September & October

 

 

In the court case on the Seattle Incident, a former Seattle police officer, Mr Sprinkle who was present during the incident in 1963 testified as witness.  Nichiren Shoshufs lawyers tried but failed to destroy the testimonies of the key witness.  Mr Sprnklefs testimony substantiated the testimony made by Mrs Clow.

 

Another Seattle police officer present at the scene at that time, Mr Maley submitted a disposition to the court which support the testimonies made by Mrs Clow and Mr Sprinkle.

 

These developments further strengthened the proof of the truth of the Seattle Incident.

 

 

1997

 

 

August

 

High Priest Nikken in a special lecture for priests declared that he is equal to the original Buddha, Nichiren Daishonin.

 

 

 

 

September

 

The Tokyo court summons High Priest Nikken to appear in court in regard to the law suit against the Soka Gakkai and President Ikeda. 

 

Thirty priests from the Minobu sect (which Nichiren Shoshu has all along declared to be a sect that slandered Nichiren Daishoninfs Buddhism) was allowed to visit the Head Temple.

 

Nichiren Shoshu issued a notice that all members must leave the Soka Gakkai and the SGI by November 30, 1997 or be disqualified from being believers of Nichiren Shoshu.

 

 

 

December

 

 

High Priest Nikken appeared in court.

 

1998

 

 

February

 

High Priest Nikken appeared in court for the second time.  Nikkenfs testimonies were full of inconsistencies and contradictions.

 

Three Nichiren Shoshu priests who went to Ghana, Africa to prepare for the temple opening were interrogated by the Ghana Police for more than a hour.  The interrogation came about as a result of the many negative reports in the Ghanafs mass media of Nichiren Shoshufs dubious activities in Japan and other countries.  As a result of this development, Nikken cancelled his planned visit to Ghana.

 

 

 

April

 

 

Nichiren Shoshu issued notification to transfer the Dai-Gohonzon from the Sho-hondo to the Hoan-den.

 

Nichiren Shoshu issued a notification for the demolition of Sho-hondo at a estimated

cost of S$60 million.

 

 

 

May

 

 

A Nichiren Shoshu priest, Shinwa Goto who is also a direct disciple of Nikken was arrested by the police in Japan for having sex with two 14-years old girls.  Goto confessed to the crime.

 

Nichiren Shoshu issued a notification informing the arrest and confession of Goto.

 

After a six-and-a half year court battle, the Brazil Federal Court ruled that Nichiren Shoshu in Brazil has illegally taken possession of a building belonging to the members of SGI-Brazil.  The Nichiren Shoshu priest and lay believers were evicted from the premises.

 

 

June

Priest Shinwa Goto was charged with another crime of raping a 16-years old girl.

 

Nichiren Shoshu issued a notification of Goto's dismissal from the rank of priest.  It further states that Goto has been severed of all ties as a disciple of Nikken.

 

 

 

July

 

The Bureau of Religious Affairs Argentina passed a resolution to strike the name of Nichiren Shoshufs local organization from its registry.  The gazetted resolution states that gall religious activities of Nichiren Shoshu in Argentina will henceforth be banned.h

 

The decision was based on two reasons :

1)The Nichiren Shoshu priest resident in Argentina has made remarks, published in its organ paper, that Nobel Peace laureate Mother Theresa was ga devil who led the people to hell.h  This remark was widely reported in the mass media and developed into a social issue.

2)Nichiren Shoshu established an office for propagation without obtaining permission from the relevant authorities.

 

The Nichiren Shoshu priest in Argentina was expelled from the country.

 

 

 

December

 

 

Nichiren Shoshu announce plans to build a new Ho-an-do at the same site where the Sho-hondo once stood at an estimated cost of S$104 million.

 

A Hokkeko member (lay believer of Nichiren Shoshu) brought a charge of fraud in Tokyo against a Nichiren Shoshu priest who promised to appoint the believer as a leader if he made a donation of 3 million yen.  After the donation, the believer was not appointed and he made a report to the police.

 

 

1999

 

 

April

 

Ho-on-ji Temple in Japan Chiba prefecture, a major temple belonging to Nichiren Shoshu issued a notice of secession. In the open letter signed by chief priest Kaido Kasamatsu and the three head lay representatives they declared that Nichiren Shoshu practices "high priest worshipping" and has become a place where "genuine faith does not exist when one is compelled or forced to do something".    Chief Priest Kasamatsu is a disciple of the 66th High Priest Nittatsu Shonin.

 

 

 

 

 

July

 

On July 7, 1999 in Domei Tsushin, a publication published by the gAssociation of Priests Concerned About the Reality of Nichiren Shoshu, Dedicated to Protecting of the Lawh it was revealed that in 1978, when Nikken was still the study department chief, he commented at a meeting between himself and a senior Nichiren Shoshu priest, Jitoku Kawabe that the Dai-Gohonzon is a fake.  Notes taken of this meeting by Kawabe were made public in Domei Tsushin.  

 

 

 

July

 

 

On July 22, 1999 the Tokyo High Court dismissed appeals filed by Nobuko Nobuhira and her husband, Junko Nobuhira, against SGI President Daisaku Ikeda. 

 

The original lawsuit was brought to the Tokyo District Court in June 5, 1996, in which Mrs. Nobuhira alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by Mr. Ikeda in three separate occasions since 1973.  Defense lawyers  submitted strong evidences and sworn testimonies refuting all allegations made and the Tokyo District Court eventually dismissed the Nobuhirasf allegations in May 1998.  The Nobuhiras then filed an appeal at the Tokyo High Court.  The latest decision of the High Court in dismissing the appeal confirmed the false and fabricated allegations made by the Nobihiras.

 

Nobuko Nobuhira is a former Soka Gakkai womenfs division leader in Hokkaido.  She left the Soka Gakkai more than 6 years ago after she was asked to step down from her position when it was discovered that she and her husband had borrowed and refused to repay more than 50 million yen from ten members whom Mrs. Nobuhira was looking after.  Three of these members sued the Nobuhiras in separate cases.  The civil courts ruled in each case that her husband, in whose name the debts had been made, must repay back the loans.  From November 1992 through May 1996, there were altogether nine court decisions made against the Nobuhiras whereby they were ordered by the court to repay their debts.                  

 

 

August

On August 20, Zencho-ji temple in Miyoshi Prefecture in Hiroshima announced its secession from Nichiren Shoshu citing Nikkenfs slander against the Dai-Gohonzon as the reason.

 

In his letter, Zencho-ji templefs Chief Priest Fujita stated that he has come to the decision to secede upon learning about Nikkenfs great heresy in calling the Dai-Gohonzon a counterfeit.  He is of the view that that justice no longer exists in the priesthood.  He explained that the fundamental reason for his secession is to fulfill his responsibility as a priest to relentlessly reprimand Nikken.

 

He also revealed that the various wrongs committed by Nikken, such as the sudden decision to transfer the Dai-Gohonzon and the destruction of the Sho-hondo are extremely malicious plots of Nichiren Shoshu.  He strongly asked for the earliest possible resignation of Nikken.  He further states that the righteousness of the Daishoninfs Buddhism exists only in the SGI, which is flourishing and developing despite the priesthood issue.

 

 

December

 

On December 6, 1999 the Tokyo District Court passed its decision which effectively demolished Nichiren Shoshu's claim that Nikken's geishas photos were fabrications.  The court states that the Soka Gakkai do not need to publish any public apology and that it can freely make use of the photographs in all its organ papers. 

 

 

2000

 

 

March

 

After 27 court sessions over nearly 7 years, the final decision on the Seattle Trial was announced. The Three judges of the Tokyo District Court conclude that the reports that Nikken had asked a prostitute if he can take nude photos of her, that he had sexual intercourse with her and that he then became involved in an argument with the prostitutes over payment to be factual truths The Court also ordered Nichiren Shoshu to pay all court costs.

 

In the 250-paged judgement on March 21, the court states, gAfter assessing four statements by Mr Abe we cannot trusts his statements.h In his summary, Chief Judge Shimoda said, gAbe is the center of faith and the highest leader of Nichiren Shoshu.  The factuality of the incident is closely related to his qualification as the highest leader.  Abe himself, stated that he would resign as the high priest if the incident is truecConsidering these perspectives, this incident crelates to public interest.h

 

 

 

 

April

 

On April 22, Hisako Hirasawa, wife of the Hokkeko United Federation's first chairperson, the late Masukichi Hirasawa, wrote a letter admonishing High Priest Nikken Abe for bringing the decline of Nichiren Shoshu.  She cites the destruction of the Grand Reception Hall, the demolition of Sho-Hondo, the Seattle Incident and the extravagant and luxurious life-style of Nikken as indication of the high priest's degradation.

 

 

 

May

 

The case of how Nichiren Shoshu ran foul of the law in Ghana was widely publicized in  The Ghanaian Times (Ghanafs Biggest Selling newspaper).  The Accra Circuit Court has ruled that Madam Beatrice Oyoe Quatey is the rightful owner of a piece of land situated at Sowutuom on which the local branch of Nichiren Shoshu, has constructed its temple.  The court awarded c 1 million damages against the defendants for trespassing on Madam Oyoefs land.  It also awarded cost of c 1.5 million against the defendants.  The court said the defendants also admitted that when they started developing the land, Madam Oyoe confronted them and  asked them to stop work since they were trespassing on her land but they refused and the matter was taken to the Amasaman District Assembly.

 

 

 

July

 

On July 18, the Overseas Bureau Administrator secedes from Nichiren Shoshu and asks Nikken to take responsibility for decline in Head Temple.  Priest Endo Ishida has for the past three years worked closely with Overseas Bureau Chief Kotoku Obayashi on the development of Nichiren Shoshu's international movement. 

 

In his letter, Mr Ishida asks Nikken to take full responsibility for the decline of the head temple, Taiseki-ji, stating that the pure current of faith has dried up and the spirit of Nichiren Daishonin and Nikko Shonin have completely been lost.  He cites the high priest's excessive attachments to monetary offerings and his jealousy of President Ikeda as the main cause for him to destroy the harmonious unity between the priesthood and the laity of the SGI.  He revealed that Nikken do not show any interest in how Nichiren Shoshu temples are being managed in Asia or South America and he do not even care how believers in those countries practice the Daishonin's Buddhism. 

 

He named Nikken as the embodiment of the Third Powerful Enemy described in the Lotus Sutra who obstructs the progress of kosen-rufu.  Citing the Seattle Incident, the destruction of the Sho-hondo and Nikken's several luxurious apartments as evidence of the high priest's degradation, he expresses his conviction that "taking action for justice together with 10 million believers with correct faith is the way to regain the purity of the Fuji Schoolc"