Fudo Kankenki



Fudo Myo-O Gallery


Fudo and Aizen Kankenki 不動感見記
不動・愛染感見記 (ふどうあいぜんかんけんき)

Nichiren Sect and Fudo Myo-O

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The deity on the right is Fudo Myo'o (Sanskrit: Arcalanatha).
Nichiren is recording his visitation by Aizen and Fudo
Dated the 25th day of the 6th month of the 6th year of Kencho (1254).
Newly authenticated and added to the Gohonzonshu in the 1999 edition.

Fudo Myouou
(Skt: Acalanatha) Fudo is a Buddhist deity who serves practitioners by defeating the obstacles and devils which hinder Buddhist practice. He is regarded as the head of five great deities, the other four being Gosanze, Gundari, Daiitoku and Kongoyasha, as well as of eight great deities (the above five plus Ususama, Munsosho, and Mezu). It is said he enters into a flame-emitting meditation (Jap: kasho zammai) in which he exudes flames and destroys all karmic hindrances.
Because he never yields to obstacles, he is called Fudo (Immovable).

He is popularly depicted as an angry figure surrounded by flames, holding a rope and a sword. His name is inscribed in Siddha, a medieval Sanskrit orthography, on the right side of the Gohonzon as one faces it, signifying that the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana (Jap: Shoji Soku Nehan).
Source: A Dictionary of Buddhist Terms and Concepts. NSIC: Tokyo. 1983. 1990.


The Sutra Spoken by
the Buddha on Arya-Acalanatha

Bussetsu Shou Fudou Kyou
An apocryphal text used in Tendai Shugendo

At that time in the Great Assembly, there was one Vidyaraja. This Great Vidyaraja possesses great majestic strength. He has the virtue of great compassion, thus he appears in a bluish-black body. He has the virtue of great meditative stillness, thus he sits on a vajra-rock. He has great wisdom, thus he manifests great flames. He grips the sword of great wisdom to destroy greed, anger, and ignorance. He holds the rope of samadhi to bind those who are difficult to tame.

He is the markless Dharmakaya, identical with [all-encompassing] space itself, thus he has no dwelling. His only dwelling is in the minds and thoughts of living beings. The minds and inclinations of all beings are different. In accordance with the minds of living beings, benefit is given and what is sought for is attained. At that time, all in that great assembly heard this teaching and were filled with joy. Faithfully receiving it, they reverently put it into practice.
Source: Tendai@yahoogroups: 12/8/2000

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The "Pedigree" of the Aizen -  Fudo Kankenki
In 1334, after the passing of Nitta Nichimoku , Nitta Nichido, who was Nichimoku's nephew, became the Chief Priest of Taisekiji. However, Saisho Nichigo, with the support of the Nanjo Clan, received the deed to Nichimoku's Residential Temple, the Renzo-bo, thought to be at Koizumi Village. Nichido also received several treasures. It now appears these must have included:

***The Dai-Honzon of 1274; Mandala #016 ... see also: The Actual Dai-[Go]-Honzon?
***An image of Nichiren.
***Copies {prints} of the Aizen & Fudo Kankenki.
***Mandala Gohonzon # 004

Nichigo founded a seminary at Koizumi and then left for Awa, where he founded Hota Myohon-ji Temple. According to various accounts, he would later return to Koizumi and enshrine the image of Nichiren. His eventual successor, Nanjo Nichiden {1340(?)-1416}, a grandson of Tokimitsu, founded Koizumi Kuon-ji there, in 1409.
Mandala Gohonzon # 004 is currently housed at Koizumi Kuon-ji.

The Dai-Honzon of 1274 and the copies of the Aizen & Fudo Kankenki apparently remain at Hota Myohon-ji to this day. Untll recently, the Aizen & Fudo Kankenki were assumed to be forgeries, since there were no known originals. Moreover, they seemed to conflict with perceptions of Nichiren's views on Mikkyo.

Then, about 20 years ago, an obscure temple at Yokohama; Kuon Jyozai-in Honmonji produced the originals. The Aizen & Fudo Kankenki were "newly authenticated and added to the Gohonzonshu in the 1999 edition." It is interesting that the same temple also owns an old wooden transcription of the 1274 Daihonzon. According to Honmon Shoshu, Nichiu took these items from Taisekiji, circa 1483, and hid them at Ide's Cave. Nichiu was a Chief Priest of Taisekiji and proponent of the "Nichiren as True Buddha" concept.

Fudo Myo-o and Aizen Myo-o

Aizen and Fudo are 2 of 8 esoteric Vidya-Raja {Knowlege kings/Myo-O} associated with the Prajna {Wisdom} and Vajra {Tantric, Mikkyo} teachings of Buddhism. In one sense, their frightening appearence serves to scare unprepared neophytes away from the deepest secrets of the Dharma.

"Fudo Myo-o and Aizen Myo-o are sometimes identified with the Ni-o, the Two Kings, who are a dual form of Mahavairochana Tathagata (Dainichi Nyorai), who is a personification of the Dharmakaya or universal body of the Buddha. As such, Fudo Myo-o represents the element of spirit or mind, the Diamond World Mandala, and subjective wisdom; while Aizen Myo-o represents the five elements of earth, air, fire, water, and space, as well as the Womb World Mandala, and objective truth. Together the pair represent all of the things which are united in the universal life of the Buddha - body and mind, wisdom and truth, and the two mandalas. The Two Kings are often found guarding the main gates to temple and monasteries as fierce giant warriors."
-- Ryuei

Says the Flammarion Iconograhic Guide [of the Nio]:
"These two guardian kings are Vajradharas (lit. holders of vajras, thunderbolt holders, called Shukongo-jin in Japan). Or they may be a type of Raksa (man-eating demons of Indian folklore). In Esoteric Buddhism, they represent two aspects of Vairocana (Dainichi Nyorai). In this respect, they are sometimes confused with the wrathful forms of Fudo Myoo and Aizen Myoo. Although similar to these latter forms, they are in fact distinct from them."
Onmark Nio

In Japanese Buddhism, Aizen and Fudo are mainly associated with the Shingon Shu as well the Mikkyo elements of other Schools. The Myo-o served as messengers of Dainichi Buddha, who the Shingon School regarded as the Dharmakaya Buddha, as well as the Eternal Buddha of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra.

In Nichiren's time, Ryobu Shinto, a Shinto-Buddhist Fusion form of Mikkyo, was influential within the Jimon Tendai, Shingon-Ritsu, and Sen'nyuji-Shingon Schools; all of which had a strong presence in Kamakura City, and 'pull' with the ruling Hojo Clan. The Kankenki definitely show that Nichiren was at least influenced by these Kamakura Era trends in Mikkyo thought.

Apparently, in some sense, Nichiren viewed the Shinto Sun Goddess, Tensho Daijin or Amaterasu Omikami, as a manifestation of Dainichi Buddha. However, especially in his later years, it appears that Nichiren sought to distance himself from the more extreme interpretations promoted by some adherents of the Shingon Shinto-Buddhist fusion known as Ryobu Shinto. At any rate, the Nichiren form of Ryobu Shinto is known as Hokke Shinto.

Kankenki Esotericism in Nichiren's thought -
by Robin Beck


- Nichiren, Saint Nichiren 日蓮 -
February 16, 1222 – October 13, 1282
Nichiren and Dragon Legends

Fudo Myo-O Sutra
Bussetsu Sho Fudo Kyo

White Fudo Myo-O and Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism

Hokekyo Mandala 日蓮の法華曼荼羅
and Nichiren

. Fudō Myō-ō, Fudoo Myoo-Oo 不動明王 Fudo Myo-O
Acala Vidyârâja - Vidyaraja - Fudo Myoo .




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