Nichiren Shonin, at his age of seventeen, set out on a journey of Buddhist study seeking after true Buddhism. And then, he finally found that the teaching preached in Honmon Happon in the Lotus Sutra can save us, ordinary people (foolish beings) who live in the latter days of Buddhism (Mappo period) and we need to chant the Odaimoku, Honnin-Geshu no Namu-Myohorengekyo as a Buddhist training for salvation.
On April 28, 1253 (the fifth year of Kencho period), when Nichiren Shonin was thirty-two, he stood on the top of Mt. Seicho (present Chiba pref.) and chanted the Odaimoku, Namumyohorengekyo in a loud voice for the first time in this world facing the morning sun appearing on the horizon of the Pacific Ocean. This is the beginning of the school of the Odaimoku based on Honmon Happon teachings and we call the auspicious day “Rikkyo Kaishu Kinen-bi.” Rikkyo literally means “establishing a new concept of Buddhism,” Kaishu means “opening a new Buddhist school,” and Kinen-bi is “a memorial day.”
Advocating a new theory of Buddhism and making a direct denial of other sect’s teachings require a lot of courage. Unlike the pressure from other religious sects today, Nichiren Shonin had to be ready to lay down his life for propagation of the Odaimoku at the time. Thanks to his grim determination, we are now having the faith in the Odaimoku and walking the path to Buddhahood that the primordial Buddha has provided for us.
HBS temples usually hold a Kusho-kai on Rikkyo Kaishu Kinen-bi, April 28. Kusho means “chantinig the Odiamoku,” and Kai means “a Buddhist service.” Kusho-kai is a Busshist service in which chanting the Odaimoku is regarded highly, so HBS members chant the Odiamoku enthusiastically for a few hours commemorating Nichiren Shonin’s hardship on Rikkyo Kaishu and propagation.