Yuseiji, the head temple of Honmon Butsuryu Shu, is the oldest temple of all Nichiren Buddhism sects in the Kansai region (south-western half of Japan, including Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe). Originally, it was called Seiryu Zushi (the “green willow shrine”) Honmonji temple and established by Nichiben Shonin in 1308 (the first year of Enkei era) who was one of Nichiren Shonin’s direct disciples. The temple is said to originate from the home of a descendent of Lord Sadaie Fujiwara who was converted by Nichiben Shonin, and it was first located in Nijo-Aoyagi in Kyoto. The temple later moved to Onmae-dori, Ichijo-sagaru, and its name was changed to Seiryuzan Yuseiji Temple. In 1869 (the second year of Meiji era), Nissen Shonin borrowed Yuseiji, which was almost in ruin at the time, and started using it as a place for studying Buddhist doctrines. As his missionary work conducted actively, Yuseiji was newly built in 1931 (the sixth year of Showa era) in response to both priests’ and lay followers’ demand and it is the recent building that is sublime and splendid. Yuseiji is now the only head temple where all HBS priests and followers respect and worship.
Among of these historical characteristics, it is notable that the Nichiren Shonin Gosonzo (the Statue of Nichiren Shonin) that has been worshiped in Yuseiji is one of three statues which Nippo Shonin, a direct disciple of Nichiren Shonin, had carved from one piece of wood when Nichiren Shonin was in life. The Gosonzo underwent “Kaigen” (“Opening the Spiritual Eyes” ceremony) by Nichiren Shonin himself. This Statue is called “Tejikaigen,” which means Nichiren Shonin conducted the Kaigen ceremony himself. Recently, It was scientifically recognized through research that the statue had been carved in Kamakura period and it is the oldest Nichiren Shoninstatue among those enshrined in all temples of Nichiren Buddhism sects. Nissen Shonin, the founder of HBS, sincerely rejoiced that the Tejikaigen gosonzo had been invited into Yuseiji and he could directly serve Nichiren Shonin everyday. It is our honor for serving the most admirable Nichiren Shonin gosonzo.