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Enemies find it difficult to attack when two people are together. Therefore, do not keep your brothers at a distance even for a brief period, regardless of what faults they may have; always be close to them. Whenever you get angry, it is clearly written on your face. Please remember that at no time do gods or deities protect those who are short tempered. It is true that you are destined to become a Buddha, but isn’t it regrettable for you to get hurt, pleasing your enemy and causing us grief?

Nichiren wrote this passage in his “Emperor Shushun” Letter (Sushun Tennō Gosho) addressed to his disciple Shijō Kingo. Nichiren knew the temperament of this Samurai warrior, and gave him detailed instructions for how to navigate the political hazards he faced. No matter how vindictive his Lord Ema became, Nichiren reminded him to persist in leading Ema by the Buddha Dharma and to rely on those who kept the Lotus Sūtra with him. As a result, Kingo outlived both Ema and Nichiren himself and is well known as one of Nichiren’s first followers.

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