Letter from Echi
The government’s persecution of me has clearly demonstrated my faith in the Lotus Sutra. There is
no doubt that the moon wanes and waxes and that the tide ebbs and flows. In my case, too, since punishment has already occurred,
benefit must be forthcoming. What is there to lament?
At the Hour of the Cock (around 6:00 P.M.) on the twelfth day, I incurred the wrath of the government authorities.
Placed in the custody of the lord of Musashi, I left Kamakura at the Hour of the Ox (around 2:00 A.M.) on the thirteenth day
for exile in the province of Sado. At present, I am in a place called Echi, which is the domain of Lord Homma, under the supervision
of a person called Uma Tara, a deputy of Lord Homma Rokuro Zaemon-no-jo of Echi. I will probably be staying here for four
or five days.
Your grief is understandable, but because I have been certain from the beginning that this would occur,
I myself do not grieve. Rather, I regret that I have yet to be beheaded. Had I been decapitated on account of the Lotus Sutra
in a past existence, I would not have been born as such a lowly person in this life. By undergoing repeated persecution, just
as is noted in the sutra when it says, "again and again we will be banished," I can erase the grave offenses of my past and,
for the first time, attain Buddhahood. I therefore engage in these difficult practices of my own accord.