Shinto Tsuru Shinmon - A Toynbee Analysis of the Fuji School (Incomplete)
1. What is the crane symbol for Nichiren Shoshu?
2. Where did it come from?
3. Who originally gave it to the Fuji School?
4. And more importantly, under what authority was it bestowed?
All of these questions have been answered by a thorough analysis and a mountain of evidence.
The summary answer is that mixing slander with the Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra is entirely Shinto, and Shinto is entirely the creature of toxic Zen.
____ Background for Toxic Zen Stories _______________________
In 1888, Rudyard Kipling wrote a short story called "A Man Who Would Be King". It was about a couple of paramilitary adventurists out of the British Army, who had decided to set up shop in Afghanistan and become kings. Their plan was to offer their services to a local tribal chief as mercenaries to defeat his neighbors and after amassing a large enough kingdom, to betray him and take it over.
From the Wikipedia synopsis (slightly edited):
... Dravot and Carnehan succeeded in becoming kings: finding
... the Afghans, who turn out to be white ("so hairy and
... white and fair it was just shaking hands with old
... friends"), mustering an army, taking over villages, and
... dreaming of building a unified nation. These Afghans,
... who were pagans, not Moslems, acclaimed Dravot as a god
... (the son of Alexander the Great). They practiced a form
... of Masonic ritual and the adventurers knew Masonic
... secrets that only the oldest priest remembered.
... Their schemes were dashed when Dravot decided to marry
... an Afghan girl. Terrified at marrying a god, the girl
... bit Dravot when he tried to kiss her. Seeing him bleed,
... the priests cried that he was "Neither God nor Devil but
... a man!"
Things went south abruptly for the two after that. People don't like it when their Gods turn out to be flesh and blood. (The movie starring Sean Connery as Dravot and Michael Caine as Carnehan is the finest depiction of Kipling's fiction on film.)
The real problem of Dravot and Carnehan was that they had not learned the fine art of historical revisionism as perfected by the academy of Shinto priests under the Tokugawa and the Meiji after them.
After the Meiji restored the Imperial family to "rule" as a front to yet another military government (bakufu), and before their experimentation with Western-style parliamentary administration of political and bureaucratic affairs proceeded, they first had to reconcile some public relations problems cropping up from the history of the past 268 years of Tokugawa rule.
For the past few centuries, there had been a Shinto cult which had been operating, but only for the elites: the royal family, the important members of the court, the fudai and tozama daimyo lords who headed all the major fiefs of the Tokugawa Shogunate and its allies, and the high priests of the major and some minor schools of Buddhism along with a selection of chief priests of important shrines.
The name of that cult was Sanno Ichijitsu (One Truth) Shinto. In that very exclusive form of Shinto, the object of worship was a person, or rather the ashes of a person: Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate. For hundreds of years, the emperor and important members of the court and all the rest traveled during their Sankin Kotai pilgrimages through Edo northwards to do tozan at an enormous shrine at a place called Mt. Nikko to worship Ieyasu's ashes.
Sanno Ichijitsu Shinto declared that not only was Ieyasu a god, but in fact he was the avatar of God above all the gods, deities and Buddhas, the original one and only (Jehovah-like). This particular Shinto had been formulated by an ancient Tendai monk named Tenkai, continuing in a long tradition of Dengyo's followers of tailoring Buddhism by inserting ever more inventive lies into the mouth of the founder (Dengyo) to say whatever would please the emperor and now the Shogunate by making them into divine figures (avatars of this or that deity). Tenkai had made the final step, to make Ieyasu's avatar supreme over all, in the words of Dengyo, of course. Nichiren would not have appreciated this: he had declared himself a follower of Saicho, the personal name of Dengyo, who had brought the Lotus Sutra to Japan, thereby saving the country.
Previously, Nobunaga and Hideyoshi had made the mistake of trying to make their own divine cults the cult of all of the people, whereas Tokugawa Iemitsu (Ieyasu's grandson, seeking inherited divinity) realized that an exclusive cult just for the elites would minimize the effort while guaranteeing the same effect of reducing the threat of attack, by subjugating the heads and letting the bodies (everyone else down to the peasantry) practice their funeral Buddhism according to their locale, under the heavily regulated umbrella of this new Shinto embracing all of those temples as branches of a greater Honmatsu-ji (temple hierarchy).
The wily Shogun Iemitsu had somehow grasped the principle that you cannot defeat the things that you bow to in prayer. Put another way: the practice of faith, however shallow or distorted, undermines the ability to challenge that faith in a direct way.
There were those advisors to Iemitsu who counseled the eradication of the imperial line, for complete safety (indeed, the later restoration of the emperor system was the end of the Tokugawa). However, the lessons of the history of this tactic were too bleak: during the Muromachi era the Ashikaga Shogunate (just after the death of Nikko Shonin and Nichimoku Shonin in the early 14th century) had started off with the overthrow of emperor Go-Daigo by his former supporter Ashikaga Takauji, and that had launched the Nanboku-cho period, 60 years of struggle between the Northern line of the Jimyoin-to emperor, Go-Komyo enthroned by the Ashikaga at Kyoto, and the Southern line of Go-Daigo at Yoshino.
Instead of taking that rash course, the method chosen by Iemitsu was to continually undermine the Imperial authority and prestige at the court in Kyoto and enhance that of his own family, holding court in Edo. The imperial princes were made Shinto priests in the Ieyasu cult. In 1619, Ieyasu's granddaughter Kazuko was made the imperial consort. In 1629, emperor Go-Mizunoo was forced to abdicate in favor of Ieyasu's 7-year-old great-granddaughter, the empress Meisho. This was an astounding act of groveling imperial submission to Ieyasu's magnificence.
And then, inevitably, 268 years after the careful beginnings of the Tokugawa, the light went out and they were overthrown by a revolution launched far away from the controlled center of the realm, from the furthest reaches of Japan.
The problem for those subsequent Meiji Shinto 'historians' of re-framing the new narrative of history just past was: if the emperor was a god descended from Amaterasu, and had merely handed power over to the Tokugawa to be temporary custodians for the emperor and the court … how to explain the absolute grinding and humiliating subjugation of the imperial family and the court under the Tokugawa for 2½ centuries? (After all, God does not bleed.)
The course chosen was simple enough: since it was an elite cult, wipe out all memory of it, and any trace of it in a thorough revision of history. The most obvious remnants of that time are the shrine at Mt. Nikko, and the Tokugawa-standardized mon-tsuki (round emblems identifying the daimyo lords in their continuous passing through the heart of the Kanto region to Edo and through to do tozan pilgrimage at the Sanno Ichijitsu Shinto shrine).
How the crane emblem went from a tracking badge for the Fuji School identification by agents and spies of the Tokugawa … to cover the altar butsugu and the backing paper of Nichiren Shoshu Gohonzon is anyone's guess. Poison in a human body will congeal into the vesicles of white blood cells as those white cells congeal into pustules rising to the surface of the skin (if all the toxins that were consumed had to be processed by the liver and kidneys, we probably would only live to be fifteen). Maybe this is a similar effect, I don't know.
Howsoever that may have come to pass, what is now clearly and unambiguously known is the original source of this evil accretion. The Nichiren Shoshu crane symbol is the Shinto badge worn by as many as seven high priests of the Fuji School (all statue-worshippers from Yobo-ji) during the 17th century on their way to do their Shinto tozan worshipping the ashes of Ieyasu the God at the Sanno Ichijitsu Shinto shrine at Mt. Nikko after passing through Edo. They were members of an elite Shinto cult, which (it is assumed) we members of the SGI no longer support.
That case is proven in the attached document, which has three forms. The first version has highlights and underlines to help the reader focus on this difficult material, the second version has underlines for those who can't stand my highlighting and the third version is pristine text. The heart of the case evidence (in all three versions) is shown in Appendix B6 starting from the bottom of page 91 to the middle of page 97 and the whole of the case is laid out in Appendix B8, pages 126-131. If you want to navigate the document by sections, set Adobe Reader to view the navigation panels for bookmarks.
Here is Appendix B8 of the document, presenting the summary and main argument, in full:
____ Appendix B8 __________________________________________
Appendix B8 – The Fuji School as a Branch of the Minobu School under State Shinto: A Shinmon for the Fuji School
In the summer of 2002, I had a conversation with Shin Yatomi at the FNCC. I asked him the following question:
"What's with the crane symbol for Nichiren Shoshu? It appears to be an accretion. Some of my old Japanese members say that it's the family crest for Nichiren Daishonin's family. That doesn't make sense, because Internet articles on Kamon (family crests) state categorically that during Nichiren's time they were reserved for nobility only, and only came into use for daimyo later."
Shin said, "No, they appear with the Tokugawa Shogunate and Sankin Kotai. The high priest traveling to Edo on a litter. This is what the reform priests say." He mentioned that he didn't know anything more about it.
I assured him that I would find out the truth of it.
By performing this [the URLs at bottom] Toynbee analysis of the history of the Fuji School, I have stumbled upon what apparently is the fulfillment of the promise that I gave to Shin, so many years ago. (I had given up any hope of finding objective evidence relating to this, since I don't read Japanese or have any access to materials on this topic.)
I also discovered what a profound genius Shin Yatomi was, sadly, only after his death. That one sentence of his: "The high priest traveling to Edo on a litter," turned out to be the highly accurate and pivotal, but extremely subtle, focus and indicator of the ongoing Shinto corruption of Nichiren Daishonin's Fuji School.
Here's what can be deduced (based on a mountain of evidence, primarily from the Untold History of the Fuji School, Herman Ooms' Tokugawa Ideology, John Whitney Hall's Government and Local Power in Japan (500 to 1700), the Gosho and Ongi Kuden, and the World Tribune, and a tiny bit of poking around on the internet):
(1) There was a steady disintegration of the Fuji School after Nichimoku's death, which was accelerated by four elite children high priests appointing each other in their old age, and which bottomed out with the series of nine statue-worshipping high priests from Yobo-ji at precisely the worst time in history. I maintain that the history outside Taisekiji is caused by the slander inside Taisekiji, but that is a side issue.
(2) Before and during the Ashikaga Shogunate, Mt. Hiei (Tendai) slandered their mentor Dengyo to create a new Sanno Shinto redefining Amaterasu (the Imperial ancestor) as Shaka, the kami (god) of the highest truth, which was redefined as the suijaku (avatar) of a great Buddha, to curry favor with the Imperial court and the Ise shrine.
(3) Nobunaga's creation of the Tendo (Heavenly Way) cult at Azuchi Castle.
(3a.) Nobunaga institutionalized the system of bakufu house rules and regulations written by Gozan Rinzai Zen scribes. These effectively became the Zen precepts, the basis of the new, strong and malignant group mind 'harmoniously' dominating Japanese life and holding each person in bondage in his place in a completely stratified society for the next three centuries.
(3b.) Nobunaga crushed many sects of Buddhism and began the process of the bakufu control over the temples. In the final period of his rule, he led the way to a new centralization of religious thought under a distortion of Buddhism (loosely modeled on the Ikko sect's Honganji): his Tendo cult (Heavenly Way) centered on Azuchi castle, which was an abomination of a slander of the Lotus Sutra. The Tendo slanderous political and religious dominion over the temples and religious life would later evolve into the Honmatsu-ji (temple hierarchy). He made a ban on Shoju and Shakubuku and died a year later in a temple fire, betrayed by a retainer.
(3c.) In his final months, Nobunaga innovated the basis for the Daimyojin (Great August Deity) strategy for ruler self-deification, which would later be used by Hideyoshi to create his Daimyojin cult and at the last his Sanno Daigongen cult. This would later evolve into the Tosho daigongen cult of the Tokugawa.
(4) Hideyoshi's creation of the Daimyojin (Great August Deity) cult shrine at Hokokuji.
(4a.) Hideyoshi asked the temples to contribute their time, people and support for his Kyoto Great Buddha, and also for his Yoshida Shinto Daimyojin (Great August Deity) cult Shrine at Hokokuji in 1595 (after the utter dependence of the temples was guaranteed through land confiscation). The Fuji School went along with this, even though other sects successfully resisted Hideyoshi's requests. After Hideyoshi's death, the Shrine at Hokokuji would posthumously host a Sanno Daigongen (Great Avatar) cult that worshipped Hideyoshi, which would be stamped out when that theme was adopted as the Ieyasu-deification method of the Tokugawa.
(4b.) Hideyoshi tied the people to the land by law, destroying any mobility of the peasants, and began to establish dominion over the temples, which would later evolve into the Honmatsu-ji (temple hierarchy).
(4c.) Hideyoshi created a permanent hostage taking and hostage maintenance system for the tozama (untrusted daimyo allies), and began the process of moving the tozama and fudai (trusted and kin-related daimyo) around to break their ties to the land and communities, both of which would evolve into the permanent road trip that was the Sankin Kotai under the Tokugawa.
(5) Ieyasu and Tenkai's creation of the Tosho Daigongen (Great Avatar Shining over the East) cult at the great shrine at Mt. Nikko.
(5a.) Ieyasu established an expanding system of Shogunate regulations written by Gozan Rinzai Zen scribes: Regulations for the Military Houses (Buke shohatto), the Regulations for the Court, Seven-clause regulations issued to Hieizan in 1608, the 1609 and 1613 laws for the Shingon sect in the Kanto area, and in 1615 the first nationwide Shogunate laws for all the sects. The intent politically was to separate the court and the temples, but also to suppress the Ikko and Nichiren sects. Included in 1615 were a permanent and total legal ban on both Shakubuku and Shoju. Ieyasu died the next year, repeating Nobunaga's experience. Nevertheless, these bakufu Zen precepts would come to horribly and directly affect the Fuji School.
(5b.) Hideyoshi's kenchi (land re-surveys) caused temple land generally to be confiscated to daimyo control in 1594, which means that he stole land from the Fuji School. Ieyasu did not return this land stolen from the Fuji School, and rather re-granted it to his fudai. Ieyasu's kenchi was solely for the purpose of reminding the Fuji School that their remaining sharply reduced land grant could be confiscated at any time, with the result of further subjugating Taisekiji to his evil will.
(5c.) While destroying Hideyoshi's Shinto Daimyojin cult and some of his shrines, Ieyasu created his own Shinto Tosho Daigongen cult centered on the great shrine at Mt. Nikko. This was the life accomplishment of the victor in the struggle between Ieyasu's scholar priests, the Tendai monk Tenkai. Tenkai was a vast distorter of Buddhism in the Muromachi and Tokugawa era Tendai syncretic (fusion) tradition of evolving Buddhist-Shinto beliefs for the powers that be, specifically by the invention of new quotes for Dengyo, the founder of the Tendai School. Nichiren named himself a follower of Dengyo, so this was an attack on him and the Fuji School, as well.
(5d.) In 1599 Ieyasu asked the temples to contribute 1000 priests for prayers for himself and his family. When the slanderous Fujufuse Nichiren sect refused, banishment was the result, and Mt. Minobu became the center of Nichiren Buddhism as a reward for throwing them under the bus. As the Honmatsu-ji (temple hierarchy) became law, the Nichiren branch fell under the control of Minobuzan, the disciples of the Five Senior Priests. The Fuji School became a subsidiary branch of Mt. Minobu's Nichiren School, a fate that would have upset Nikko Shonin greatly. The Fuji School went along with this to escape persecution, even though the leaders of other Nichiren sects successfully resisted Ieyasu's requests, and were persecuted and banished. Being a subsidiary branch of the Honmatsu-ji under their masters at Mt. Minobu would come to horribly and directly affect the Fuji School.
(5e.) The final legacy of Ieyasu was to convert a semi-permanent state of oath and hostage taking into a permanent living arrangement at Edo for hostage families, which required the daimyo to be away from their domain for half the time visiting their hostage families. The Sankin Kotai pilgrimage, which would evolve from this in 1635, would come to include the high priests of branch temples, including the Fuji School.
(6) Iemitsu and Tenkai's creation of the Sanno Ichijitsu (One Truth) cult at the greatly expanded shrine at Mt. Nikko.
(6a.) Iemitsu continued Tenkai's scholarly campaign for Ieyasu, to distort Buddhism by corrupted writings and the forging of Ieyasu's Testament (which Ieyasu neither wrote, nor read). Ieyasu's Testament mixed Confucian, Shinto, and Buddhist terminology to sanctify the political order. Ieyasu's life story was retroactively re-written first by Tenkai's efforts to change his religious faith at the end of Ieyasu's life, and then the final intent of his will regarding the shrine at Mt. Nikko. These steps were necessary for the creation of a tozan trap for the Fuji School high priests.
(6b.) Under Iemitsu, the system of Shogunate regulations written by Gozan Rinzai Zen scribes became a river affecting all aspects of the lives of common people and completing the total control of religious life: the 1616 death penalty for wrongful believers, the 1631 nationwide decree requiring ordering all Buddhist sects to submit lists of their head and branch temples, dispatching inspectors (spies) to check on the status reported in the annual guarantee of religious orthodoxy starting in 1633, the 1639 code for Christians, the 1640 creation of the office of religious inspector, the 1664 religious registration of families (terauke) and religious census-taking, the code governing sects and temples in 1665 and the code governing shrines and priests in the same year, and the final code for Buddhist sects and priests prohibiting any changes in the status quo in 1722. These bakufu Zen precepts completely isolated the Fuji School for centuries, with the exception of the periodic outing for the tozan of the high priests to worship Ieyasu's ashes at the Nikkozan Shinto shrine, just north of Edo.
(6c.) Iemitsu threatened to remove the land grant of the Fuji School due to a rift between Kyodai-in and Nissei, and to reduce the Fuji School to a branch temple of another school. This caused Kyodai-in to appoint the next high priest
Nisshun in 1641, violating Nikko Shonin's admonitions one more time. The Fuji School was already at the time, under Mt. Minobu in the temple hierarchy, with Shinto at the top.
(6d.) Fostered by Iemitsu, Tenkai completed his final atrocity against the founder of his Tendai faith, Dengyo, by inserting even more manufactured distortions into his mouth, placing the Buddhist gods above the Buddhas and making Ieyasu the avatar of the greatest god of all. Nichiren Daishonin, who called himself a follower of Saicho (Dengyo), would have found this grievous. This is the obscenity that is the basis of Sanno Ichijitsu (One Truth) Shinto, which is centered at the Mt. Nikko shrine, where the Fuji School fell to its greatest defeat.
(6e.) The 1634 massive rebuilding of Ieyasu's shrine at Mt. Nikko, which was finished in 1636 for Tenkai's 100th birthday, completed the tozan trap for the Fuji School high priests. It was so massive and exorbitantly expensive that attendance by the elite daimyo, high priests and foreign dignitaries was compulsory. Figuring in the grasping social climbing of Nissei 17th and the propensity of the six high priests from Yobo-ji who followed him to completely ignore Nichiren Daishonin and Nikko Shonin in slandering Buddhism, this guaranteed at least a half century of continuous tozan pilgrimages by high priests of the Fuji School to worship and participate in Sanno Ichijitsu Shinto ceremonies at Nikkozan.
(6f.) In the 1660s, the fudai in the heart of Tokugawa strength in the Kanto region attempted to purge Buddhism in favor of Shinto, closing many temples. This enterprise, which merely continued the traditions of Iemitsu, Tenkai and Suzuki Shosan, faltered and was discarded, because it had become unnecessary at that point in time: the Fuji School was now completely subjugated under the sixth of nine high priests from Yobo-ji, and a mountain of regulations and inspectors. That burning desire to destroy the Fuji School had flamed out as the school was finally lying prostrate and helpless as a component of the Tenkai's invented Shinto.
(6g.) During his reign, Iemitsu and successors continually asked the temples to contribute priests to participate in ceremonies and prayers at the shrine at Mt. Nikko. Whenever the slanderous Fujufuse sect refused to participate, persecution and banishment resulted, until they were finally eradicated (of course, they were not really followers of Nichiren Daishonin and Nikko Shonin's Fuji School, but instead followed heritage of the five senior priests school at Minobuzan, who betrayed them repeatedly). Mt. Minobu became ever more the center of Nichiren Buddhism, for its cringing support of the bakufu as a dutiful major branch of the temple hierarchy (Honmatsu-ji). The Fuji School turned their backs on their founders and participated in these slanderous activities, even though the leaders of other Nichiren sects successfully resisted Iemitsu's requests, and were persecuted and banished, until their sects were eradicated: the complete absence of such persecution and banishment proves the complicity of the Fuji School during this entire time. The priests of the Fuji School, which was now a subsidiary branch of Mt. Minobu's Nichiren School, subsequently developed a desire to curry favor and climb the ladder to gain the same prominence as their mentors at Minobuzan, by prostrating themselves to Tenkai's Shinto abomination.
(6h.) The major accomplishment of Iemitsu in the bakufu's war against the Fuji School was to accomplish total participation in the Sankin Kotai pilgrimage, including the high priests of branch temples, specifically the Fuji School. Like a stone falling down the side of Mt. Fuji, this would only encourage Yobo-ji social climbers starting with Nissei the 17th high priest of the Fuji School in 1637 to commit the ultimate atrocity: Tozan by the Fuji School high priest from the Head Temple at Taiseki-ji through Edo to the Sanno Ichijitsu (One Truth) Shinto shrine at Mt. Nikko to worship the ashes of Ieyasu the god. "The high priest riding to Edo on a litter"- Shin Yatomi.
(7) Sankin Kotai was a custom for the daimyo elites before 1633, then became a Shogunal requirement for them in that year (appearing in the revised set of Regulations for the Military Houses for 1633). However, only the elites were intended to travel through Edo to worship the ashes of Ieyasu at the growing shrine at Mt. Nikko, housemen and bannermen were prohibited. In 1642, Sankin Kotai was expanded to include all fudai and vassal daimyo, without the loyalty oaths demanded of the elites, but worshipping Ieyasu's ashes at Mt. Nikko was still not for those of lower rank.
(8) In 1637, the Shogunal visit of Nissei 17th of the Fuji School became a tozan to the Sanno Ichijitsu Shinto shrine at Nikkozan (whether this was foreseen or not, he went), whose major expansion had completed in 1636. There is no historic record of persecution and banishment of the Fuji School of Nissei 17th to provide evidence that the Fuji School high priest refused to participate. However, there is abundant evidence of other slanderous Nichiren sects, who did refuse to participate in Tenkai's new Shinto, suffering profound and public persecution and banishment. Also, there is no evidence of Nissei 17th following the correct practice of Nichiren Daishonin and Nikko Shonin, which would have precluded his participation in the slanderous Shinto tozan, either. Quite the contrary, Nissei 17th was the worst high priest of all in the history of the Fuji School. Whether the crime of prostration to evil by the Fuji School high priest was premeditated or unpremeditated is not clear, but there is no question, that Nissei 17th bowed to the ashes of Ieyasu the god at the Sanno Ichijitsu shrine at Mt. Nikko, while wearing the robes of the high priest of the Fuji School.
(9) The six Fuji School high priests from Yobo-ji after Nissei 17th also participated in many Shinto tozan visits to the shrine at Nikkozan. There is no evidence of any persecution and banishment of them to say otherwise, either. And there is little evidence of a correct practice and following Nichiren Daishonin and Nikko Shonin, which would preclude participation in a slanderous Shinto tozan, either. These crimes against true Buddhism were undoubtedly premeditated. And there can be no question that Nichiei 18th, Nisshun 19th, Nitten 20th, Nichinin 21st, Nisshun 22nd, and Nikkei 23rd all bowed to the ashes of Ieyasu the god at the Sanno Ichijitsu shrine at Mt. Nikko, while wearing the robes of the high priest of the Fuji School. They were simply not the kind to challenge authority in the face of the direct and public example of what was happening to the Fujufuse, who were finally outlawed in 1665 [the punishment for not having a valid and legal terauke (temple certificate) for your family was beheading].
(10) Before the Ashikaga, kamon (family crests) were for the nobility, such as the chrysanthemum kamon for the Imperial house. During the Age of warring states (Sengoku Jidai), kamon reflected daimyo league association under a powerful leader's banner or hatamoto, for the purpose of identification of friend and foe during battle (and sometimes misidentification on purpose). These were irregularly shaped and non-standardized, sometimes like a string of colored cubes, or shaped like a natural object (leaf, etc.) to make them easy to spot in battle, just by the shape. The Tokugawa standardized and regulated the kamon for daimyo houses to be round and a specific size (1.8 inches for a men's tunic kamon, 2 inches for the tunic kamon of a powerful lord, etc.). Round and standardized kamon and shinmon (Shinto divine or shrine crests, such as that for the Fuji School) that were not from noble families before the Sengoku Jidai period, and which would be fairly useless for speedy identification in battle, simply cannot have appeared widely in the Sengoku Daimyo period, before the Pax Tokugawica-standardized kamon and shinmon were mandated by the Shogunate. Their subtlety of design reflected a profound absence of warfare in Japan. The Shogunate-decreed universal style was called mon-tsuki, which means "moon crest".
(11) Modern kamon books for clans can be confusing, because some daimyo clans later reverted to their original non-standardized Sengoku Jidai kamon after the Meiji Restoration covered all of this history up. (Making the Emperor back into a god required wiping out the history showing that the royals had been bowing to the elite Ieyasu cult, worshipping him as the highest of the gods, and even making the princes priests of his cult.) Also, in the latter part of the Shogunate (18th century and after), there was an increase in adoption of kamon by rich merchant families, who became more prominent and wealthy than the Samurai, who had previously been their masters. After Meiji (1868), everyone had to get a family name and a symbol for signing documents legally. The Fuji School Shinmon was clearly not one of the kamon from the period after the Meiji Restoration (as we shall see in #16). Since the Fuji School shinmon could not have occurred before or after the Tokugawa period, it can only be a Tokugawa period shinmon ( mon-tsuki), and this has extremely strong implications about what authority dispensed it and what was its purpose.
(12) The Tokugawa bakufu kamon standards existed for the purpose of identification of the mandatory participation of daimyo and their retainers in Sankin Kotai (alternate attendance) processions through the heart of Tokugawa strength, the Kanto region, on their way to Edo. And as we now know from Herman Ooms, the elites traveled through Edo the last few miles North to the Sanno Ichijitsu shrine at Mt. Nikko, after the death of Ieyasu, and especially after it was enlarged into a mega-shrine in 1636. These were large military processions going through lightly defended Shogunal lands (both Hall and Ooms describe how the loyal fudai were thinly distributed and stretched to cover the Tokugawa Shogunal lands).
(13) The Tokugawa-standardized kamon (mon-tsuki) for daimyo were all recorded in a published book, which held all the Shogunate-accepted kamon by decree, so that reports coming in from spies could be used to track both procession movement (to keep an eye out for the ominous massing of units) and to assess and track Sankin Kotai participation (Iemitsu wanted everyone out there expending their resources on the road, especially to keep the potential rival tozama, from the extremities of the realm, perpetually exhausted). The published book was maintained, of course, by Gozan Rinzai scribes.
(14) Shinmon were stylized according to the shrine, a food shrine would have noodles or other food images in its design, etc. Since some sects were banned later on, having the appropriate shinmon was part of a survival strategy, and being unaffiliated was just deadly while traveling the roads through the Kanto region. Since the Fuji School were under Mt. Minobu in the Honmatsu-ji (temple hierarchy), this means that they had to receive the final authorization to use the design of the tsuru (crane) shinmon, because designs were regulated, so that they could be quickly discerned by agents and spies.
(15) Since Sankin Kotai began with the daimyo (they were the first to receive the focus of Tokugawa regulations of all sorts), they were the first to display Tokugawa-standardized mon-tsuki, sometime after the death of Ieyasu. The temples would have displayed their standardized mon-tsuki shinmon when traveling the roads sometime later.
(16) The Sasaki clan were originally retainers of Nobunaga, and were located just outside the area were the Fuji School is found near Fujinomiya (inside the Takeda domain at that time). The Sasaki would have then become retainers of Hideyoshi and finally the Tokugawa in turn. The Sasaki duck kamon is identical to the Fuji School crane shinmon, all the way up through the neck, but the head is different, with a shorter and flatter bill. This almost certainly explains how the Fuji School arrived at this design, through poaching, but that is actually a side issue to my major argument, which is based on the standardized round appearance of mon-tsuki. I'm grateful for the fact that the two websites below are still Web 1.0 (for now), so you can still cherry pick the images via a URL, without having to open their corrupted websites:
(16a.) Nichiren Shoshu tsuru (crane) Shinmon:
(16b.) Sasaki and Rokkaku duck kamon:
(17) My major argument here, is that continued possession of a Tokugawa shinmon has the following implications for the Fuji School:
(17a.) The crane shinmon is the Sankin Kotai identification for the Fuji School.
(17b.) That implies that the Fuji School complied with the Tenkai-Tokugawa Sanno Ichijitsu Shinto tozan program, which would require them to travel the roads. Small-fry temples did not travel the roads during this era, and did not require a shinmon of their own.
(17c.) The Fuji School did not refuse to participate in Shinto tozan ceremonies at Nikko, because there was no record of the persecution and the banishment that came with refusal, like there was with the Fujufuse (who were icchantika/issendai, no doubt).
(17d.) The Fuji School high priests from Yobo-ji did their Sankin Kotai, which implied that they also passed through Edo and did their tozan to the shrine at Nikkozan like everyone else in the elite cult, because there is no record of persecution, banishment and attempts at eradication, like there is with the Fujufuse. (The Fuji School would not have been eradicated; of this I have no doubt. The lion's cubs are protected, if they are not cowardly.)
(17e.) Perhaps not with Nissei 17th, but undoubtedly later on with the six successive high priests from Yobo-ji: when they went on tozan to bow and pray for Ieyasu's ashes at the altar in the Sanno Ichijitsu Shinto shrine, they were wearing their crane shinmon for the Fuji School on their high priest's robes, or at least on the banner they flew on their small procession of armed retainers. It was a regulation and running afoul of the regulations was dangerous.
(17f.) Hence, in the Shinto umbrella temple hierarchy (Honmatsu-ji), Mt. Minobu was the master of the Fuji School. That entire context is captured in the easily recognized crane shinmon for the Fuji School, and that organizational position, as a minor temple under a Shinto hierarchy, which was controlled by our Honmatsu-ji masters at Minobuzan, is represented by that symbol of the crane.
(17g.) Retaining the crane shinmon accretion almost 400 years after this great evil was done to the Fuji School, is (1) keeping a permanent physical relic of our captivity, (2) of our subjugation under Tenkai's distortions and the lies forced into the mouth of Dengyo, (3) the bullying of the Suzuki Shosan demagoguery, (4) the murderous oppression of bakufu Zen, (5) the mind-numbing regulatory hell delivered by the Gozan Rinzai Zen scribes, (6) the bewildering embarrassment of being forced under the authority of Mt. Minobu and the Nichiren Shu gang of Five Senior Priests … and (7) a relic of our breaking with the oneness of mentor and disciple. Now … just exactly why would that be good?
The SGI, because of President Makiguchi and Toda's true-hearted sincerity and fearless determination, effectively escaped the slanderous fragments accreted from the 1943 explosion of defilement (the Shinto Talismans from the ultranationalist Imperial Way Shinto variant with Suika Shinto ancestry leading back to Yamazaki Ansai and Tenkai).
The SGI did not escape the slanderous fragments accreted from the original 1637 explosion of defilement [the Shinto tsuru shinmon resulting from the Nissei 17th Shinto tozan to worship at Tenkai's Sanno Ichijitsu (One Truth) Shinto shrine at Mt. Nikko].
Now, I know there are many Buddhists with their entire life wrapped around this profoundly evil Shinto accretion. I have heard all the stories and comments:
"It's the family crest of Nichiren Daishonin."
"The crane and the Lotus wheel are neutral."
"It's just a formality."
"Top leaders have them, founders had them."
"Why wouldn't they tell us if it was bad?"
This is a human problem, and these are the ways that human beings try to deal with these problems, with compassion.
However, once the truth comes out, the circumstances are forever changed.
This is an objective analysis, executed with correct logic, against a mountain of historical facts.
Go look for yourself if you doubt my results. You may question or alter a fact or two, but the conclusions are not based on one or two details. This circumstantial case is enormously weighted in favor of guilty, and I've identified the major culprits in this criminal conspiracy.
This analysis will hold up, I was very thorough and took the necessary time to sift through the details.
You can shoot the messenger all you want, but that will not change this one overriding fact: The Nichiren Shoshu crane emblem is the shinmon, or temple crest of the Sanno Ichijitsu (One Truth) Shinto Fuji School. It should not be in the altar of a practicing Nichiren Buddhist. [Or quite frankly, anywhere in the home of anyone. Or anywhere at all.]
An altar with butsugu embossed with the Shinto tsuru/crane shinmon sanctified by Nichiren Shu at Mt. Minobu, on behalf of the central Shinto shrine for the Ieyasu cult at Mt. Nikko: is effectively a Shinto altar.
A butsudan containing stands embossed with the Shinto tsuru/crane shinmon: is effectively a Shinto butsudan.
Finally, a Nichiren Shoshu Gohonzon made with background paper embossed with the Shinto tsuru/crane sanctified by Nichiren Shu at Mt. Minobu, on behalf of the central Shinto shrine for the Ieyasu cult at Mt. Nikko: is effectively a Shinto Gohonzon.
The crane symbol represents the hellishness of the syncretic Imperial State Zen - Shinto that gave us the Pacific War, and every bad thing that has ever been done to a Nichiren Buddhist in Japan since the death of 3rd high priest Nichimoku Shonin on the road to Kyoto, where this conspiracy was originally hatched.
This thing is blocking Kosen Rufu, and it needs to go away completely. I can only point this out in writing, I cannot force anyone to read it and face this horror.
Of course, if the members and leaders of the SGI are not serious about finishing this fight with the Shinto-Nikkenist contingent occupying our Head Temple at Taisekiji, they will keep bowing to these Shinto accretions in their practice of faith, which is no way to ever defeat Shinto. If we cannot defeat this NST guardian at the gate, how can we get outside our baby pen where the real monsters roam that are destroying this planet (the 4 dictums, etc.) They are armed and will actually come after us and try to shut us down, once we threaten their domain of political-religious power. Are we up to it? I know that I am. I am not afraid of them.
Some kinds of enterprises cannot be pursued without incurring the hatred of others. I seem to specialize in those enterprises. This crane problem took me seven years to crack, just pulling the spaghetti of chronologies together was the hardest thing that I have ever done.
I am not afraid of this evil or anyone's attachment to it. I will weather the storm of criticism and come out the other side.
____ End of Appendix B8 ___________________________________
How events, external and internal, conspired to position the successive high priests to stumble into a perfect sequence of errors resulting in a catastrophe for the Fuji School will require reading the whole thing. We are still inside that catastrophe, but the method of permanent exit is near at hand.
I am not seeking to be refuted, because there is a mountain of evidence supporting what is an irrefutable case.
The incomplete analysis (131 pages) is contained in a bookmarked Adobe PDF file (turn on the bookmarks pane for ease of navigation through the nine appendices), stored as a Google Doc. The title is:
Shinto Tsuru Shinmon - A Toynbee Analysis of the Fuji School (Incomplete)
There are three versions of the file:
1. With underlines, bolding and highlights for ease of quick reading:
2. With underlines only (if the highlighting bothers you):
3. Plain text (if you like it pristine):
Google docs can't search these files, but you can download them and search them in Adobe Reader.
LS Chap. 16 .....
All harbor thoughts of yearning
and in their minds thirst to gaze at me.
When living beings have become truly faithful,
honest and upright, gentle in intent,
single-mindedly desiring to see the Buddha
not hesitating even if it costs them their lives,
then I and the assembly of monks
appear together on Holy Eagle Peak.
At that time I tell the living beings
that I am always here, never entering extinction,
but that because of the power of an expedient means
at times I appear to be extinct, at other times not,
and that if there are living beings in other lands
who are reverent and sincere in their wish to believe,
then among them too
I will preach the unsurpassed Law.