Volume 2, No. 10 –
September 21, 1992
Hiroe Clow, SGI-USA Member, Files Libel Suit Against High Priest and the Religious Corporations He Controls
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 17
Hiroe Clow announced today that she has filed a libel suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Nikken Abe, the high priest of Nichiren Shoshu, and several religious organizations under his direct control.
Mrs. Clow, who recently exposed instances of lewd and improper conduct by the High Priest that occurred in Seattle years ago (please see accompanying article), was attacked by Nikken and his agents, verbally and in print, as a liar and perjurer.
Mrs. Clow, a Soka Gakkai member for more than 35 years, said: “Nikken′s recent actions forced me to speak out about his misconduct even though they occurred years ago. After he verbally attacked me for doing this, I felt that I had no choice but to file this lawsuit in order to protect my reputation and to tell Nikken that he cannot continue to abuse his powers as high priest.”
Mrs. Clow is represented by well-known Los Angeles libel attorney Barry Langberg, who represented Carol Burnett in her libel suit against the National Enquirer.
When asked about Mrs. Clow′s case, Mr. Langberg stated: èThis is an unusual and important case. The office of the leader of a great religion has been misused to attack the honor and reputation of Mrs. Clow in retribution for simply telling the truth.î
Mrs. Clow stated that she has compelling evidence that proves that she has told the truth, and that it is Nikken Abe who has spread falsehoods.
In essence, the complaint alleges that, on four separate occasions in July and August of 1992, Nikken used his office to cause the publication of false and defamatory statements regarding Mrs. Clow. On two of those occasions, the defamatory statements appeared in articles published in the magazine Daibyakuho.
The libelous articles falsely accused Mrs. Clow of slandering the high priest by revealing details of instances in which he had conducted himself in a lewd and impious fashion.
The complaint goes on to allege that, on two occasions during that period, Nikken himself slandered Mrs. Clow in speeches delivered to large gatherings of the Nichiren Shoshu clergy.
It is further alleged that defendants knew, or had reason to know, of the falsity of their statements before publication.
Notwithstanding this knowledge, however, defendants published the defamatory material in reckless disregard of Mrs. Clow′s rights. Both the libelous publications and the slanderous remarks were disseminated through Nichiren Shoshu temples in California and were read or heard by large numbers of followers.
Finally, it is alleged that, as a consequence of the defendant′s publication of the defamatory material, Mrs. Clow suffered injury to her reputation and emotional distress, all to her general damage.
At the conference, Mrs. Clow, reading from a prepared statement, said: I am not a liar and a perjurer. I am simply a believer who does not want to see the office of the high priest dishonored.
Again it is my strong conviction that Nikken is unfit to hold this sacred office.
“Today, I have filed a lawsuit against Nikken and the California religious corporations and the Japanese religious organization that he controls in order to restore my reputation and honor.”
Al Albergate, the SGI-USA director of public relations, commented on the suit as follows: èIt has repeatedly been pointed out that High Priest Nikken′s conduct is unsuitable for a religious figure. He has attempted to use his power and authority as high priest to cloud the issue of his behavior and escape any self-reflection or accountability for his actions.
The ′Seattle incident′ has blemished the memory of a historic time in the SGI-USA′s 32-year history. Nikken, the perpetrator of this incident, has used every means possible to discredit Mrs. Clow′s statements, which have been made in all honesty, calling them ′groundless′ or ′falsifications′ or by directly calling her ′a liar.′
“This could be grounds for slander and defamation of Mrs. Clow′s character, for which Nikken will be scrutinized in the U.S. legal system. We will be watching with great interest the proceedings in this case.”
By Dave McNeill
Assistant Managing Editor
DETAILS OF THE ′SEATTLE INCIDENT′ REVEALED
An overview of Nikken′s actions and their ramifications
Since December 1990, High Priest Nikken and the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood have taken one action after another against SGI President Ikeda and all the members of the SGI worldwide: From the SGI president′s dismissal as the head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay believers to refusing to give the Gohonzon to SGI members to excommunicating millions of believers around the world.
At the same time, Nikken has allowed priests and believers to call him the èDaishonin of modern timesî and to say that the Gosho is transient and his teachings true and that because he is the high priest, he should be viewed with the same respect as the original Buddha.
How can someone of his position do such things? How can this man persecute the only correct practitioners of Nichiren Daishonin′s Buddhism and propound false doctrines that contradict everything we read in the Gosho?
To answer these questions we must look into the character of the person. People′s life-conditions are clearly mirrored in their behavior, or as the Gosho says, èThe real meaning of the Lord Shakyamuni′s appearance in this world lay in his behavior as a human beingî (The Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 2, p. 281). Therefore, it is more than appropriate to examine Nikken′s behavior to shed light on his nature.
Like pieces of a puzzle that fit together to reveal a picture, over the past 10 months, many priests have shared stories about what they felt was Nikken′s inappropriate behavior as high priest. As more pieces fit together, the picture of Nikken′s character becomes clearer and we can better understand how he could have turned against the SGI.
This past June, a women′s division member, Hiroe Clow, broke her 29-year silence about Nikken′s behavior in 1963 during the first overseas gojukai ceremonies in history. This latest piece of the puzzle, though nearly 30 years old, fits perfectly with the other pieces.
Incident in Seattle
March 16, 1963. Two Nichiren Shoshu priests depart Japan for America to conduct the first gojukai ceremonies outside of Japan. The two are Nikken Abe, the Nichiren Shoshu Study Department chief, and Juken Omura. (Omura is the current Study Department chief.)
This is truly a momentous occasion in the history of Nichiren Shoshu. At the airport in Japan, Nikken says: èI would really like to accomplish my mission for the future of kosen-rufu in the United States. I state this on behalf of all the priests of Nichiren Shoshu.î
But this auspicious occasion and Nikken′s profound mission belie his behind-the-scenes actions, which threaten to cast a pall over the entire trip.
Nikken Abe and Juken Omura had begun their trip in Hawaii and then moved on to Los Angeles. From there they split up, Nikken taking a northern route across the country and Omura taking a southern route.
In a recent interview, Mrs. Clow recalled: èI was appointed as the Seattle Chapter chief in January 1963. As a newly appointed chapter chief, I really felt responsible for the success of [the overseas gojukai]…. We prayed for its great success and that there would be no accidents, and we looked into every detail to make this first overseas gojukai a most comfortable trip for the two priests from Japan.î
After finishing the gojukai ceremony in Seattle on March 19, Mrs. Clow drove Nikken back to the Olympic Hotel around 10 p.m. A few hours later, Mrs. Clow received a telephone call from police.
The police explained over the phone that they had come across a Japanese man involved in an altercation. The police had asked him what had happened, but he could not speak English. Finding Mrs. Clow′s phone number on his person, they phoned her and asked her to come as soon as she could.
Dismayed, she immediately went to the site the police described. There she saw a Japanese man by two police officers. It was Nikken. When Nikken saw her he kept repeating, èMrs. Clow, thank you very much.î
According to police, they were driving by just as Nikken exited a hotel followed by two women. They were screaming at him, and he was trying to fend them off with his camera.
Unable to believe that Nikken could be involved with prostitutes, Mrs. Clow explained to the police officers that there must be some mistake. Nikken was a great priest from Japan. There must be a misunderstanding because of the language difference, she said.
But for her pleading, Nikken would have been taken to the police station. Because of her explanations and her promise to be responsible for him, however, the police allowed her to take Nikken back to his hotel.
Later she went to the police station and signed documents on his behalf. While at the station, the police informed her of what the women had said.
One of the officers who had been at the scene said that Nikken had asked a prostitute to let him take photographs of her in the nude. The police officer also said that the other woman had stated that she had had sexual intercourse with Nikken, and a dispute began over payment to her.
The next morning Nikken, obviously embarrassed, could not say a word.
His remorse was short-lived, however. On March 20, on the airplane flight to Chicago, Nikken asked Mrs. Clow to change seats with him so he could have the aisle seat.
Though Mrs. Clow asked him repeatedly to fasten his seat belt, he refused. Finally, a flight attendant approached and leaned over him to help him with his seat belt. While she was leaning over, Nikken fondled her. The flight attendant stepped back. Undaunted, Nikken kept calling the stewardess over for no apparent reason, finally making her take a picture with him.
Almost every year since those incidents, until December 1990 when President Ikeda was dismissed as the head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay believers, Nikken, under his wife′s name, sent Mrs. Clow various gifts.
Nine years ago, Mrs. Clow′s daughter was married and Nikken sent gifts to mother and daughter in his own name, including prayer beads made of very expensive Indian jade. Also, Mrs. Clow would receive gifts at her hotel from èAbeî almost every time she went to Japan on a pilgrimage.
At first Mrs. Clow sincerely accepted the gifts with appreciation. Yet looking back and reflecting upon Nikken′s base actions toward President Ikeda and the SGI, she says it has become obvious to her that these were not simple acts of kindness but his attempts to buy her silence.
While in Chicago during that same 1963 gojukai trip, Nikken repeatedly asked her how he could see adult movies or buy nude pictures. Apparently, Nikken thought of America as a land of sexual permissiveness and promiscuity and assumed that Americans would view his requests as perfectly natural.
Another incident that was to flabbergast the members happened right at the beginning of the trip in Hawaii. After the ceremony on March 16, two young men′s division leadersÊ Harry Hirama, now deceased, and T.J. Rife, now Hawaii #2 Joint Territory guidance staffÊcame to the priests′ dressing room and found a Gohonzon in the bathroom located in the dressing room. It was the special large Gohonzon Nikken had used during the gojukai ceremonies.
Thinking that Nikken must be worried about the missing Gohonzons, they immediately went looking for him. Only when they finally found him and returned it did Nikken realize that he had forgotten them and gone to dinner without them. He apologized and thanked the members.
Mrs. Clow and these other members have kept their silence regarding these and other incidents for some 30 years. Wanting to protect the high priest and not wanting to tarnish the significance of this historic trip, Mrs. Clow elected to keep her secret to herself.
Recently she said: èI was concerned that if Nikken′s behavior were revealed, our American organization, which had hosted his visit, and also the Soka Gakkai of Japan, which was responsible for protecting Nichiren Shoshu, would be ridiculed.
èI was also concerned that this incident would tarnish the history of Nichiren Shoshu. I repeatedly told myself that if only I kept quiet, the first overseas gojukai would be recorded as a great success.î
Nikken′s recent actions forced Mrs. Clow to speak out about his misconduct even though it happened years ago. After he verbally attacked Mrs. Clow for doing so, she felt she had no choice but to file this lawsuit in order to protect her reputation and to tell Nikken that he cannot continue to abuse his powers as high priest.
In response, Nikken has denied everything, and articles appearing in the Daibyakuho, a publication of the Hokkeko (an organization of members directly connected to the temple) and controlled by Nikken, call Mrs. Clow′s statements lies and fabrications. Though Mrs. Clow had helped him in his desperate time of need, Nikken now thinks only of himself and questions her integrity.
The articles are based on conjecture, and they reason that simply because Nikken holds the position of high priest, and because he denies the allegations, he must be pure hearted and could never have done such things. Further, the articles assume that simply because the Soka Gakkai questions the high priest, it is evil and arrogant.
One article reads: èThe 1963 gojukai trip was conducted by the [current] high priest. He had just been appointed Study Department chief and was entrusted with this first overseas gojukai trip for Nichiren Shoshu by Nittatsu Shonin, the 66th high priest.
èIt can easily be imagined that he conducted gojukai ceremonies with an intense sense of mission. In light of these circumstances, the allegations brought up by the Seikyo Shimbun and the Soka Shimpo cannot possibly be true. If we ponder [this matter] calmly, we must conclude that the Soka Gakkai′s insidious machination has failed because the high priest himself completely denied the allegations….î
Because Nikken denies the incidents, his supporters contend they didn′t happen. èIf somebody had caused trouble,î the article states, èthat person must have been some other individual. The high priest has never heard of such a report from Clow.î
The article goes on to say Mrs. Clow is a liar because the name on the police report uses a different pronunciation of the Chinese characters in his name.
The police statement reportedly uses the name Nobuo Abe rather than Shinno Abe, which was the name in Nikken′s passport.
But the Chinese characters for Nobuo and Shinno are exactly the same.
It was a perfectly natural mistake for Mrs. Clow to assume that his name was pronounced Nobuo, since that is the more common pronunciation. If Nobuo Abe did not refer to Nikken, then whom did it refer to? (Nikken took the name Nikken after becoming high priest, as is the custom. Abe is his family name.)
Regarding the Gohonzons found in the bathroom in Hawaii, another article claims they must have been discarded by new believers who had just received them at the ceremony. This ignores the facts. First, one of the found Gohonzons was the large Joju Gohonzon used by priests at gojukai ceremonies. It is impossible to mistake the large Gohonzon for the smaller Gohonzon given to members.
Second, the bathroom had been set aside for the exclusive use of the priests. New members would not have gone inside. The authors are quick to blame the members for Nikken′s negligence.
Nikken′s True Character
Here is a priest sent on a profoundly important mission in the history of Nichiren Daishonin′s Buddhism. Not just an ordinary priest, but the Study Department chief of Nichiren Shoshu, the son of a former high priest and a priest himself for some 35 years at the time.
You would think that a priest in his position of responsibility would have been able to focus completely on his mission and encourage the many members who had pioneered Nichiren Daishonin′s Buddhism in America. Yet he was ruled by his base passions and risked his and his religion′s reputation, unconcerned about what the members might feel.
This man has allowed the priests in his sect to call him èthe Daishonin of the modern ageî and to say that believers must have faith in him in order to receive benefit.
The incidents of 29 years ago fit the picture.
It began to take shape with the revelation of Operation C, the priesthood′s plan to destroy the Soka Gakkai; over the months, numerous priests have spoken out concerning the many instances of the high priest′s strange behavior, including repeatedly striking junior priests and easily losing his temper, becoming jealous and holding grudges and allowing distorted doctrines to be propagated.
The list goes on. The picture becomes clearer.
We share Mrs. Clow′s revelations not for the purpose of making self-righteous moral judgements about his behavior, not to sensationalize his behavior in supermarket tabloid style, but to shed light on the man′s character, for people′s behavior mirrors their life-condition.
True, taking a lenient view and looking at each incident by itself, Nikken′s behavior as revealed in Mrs. Clow′s story might be dismissed.
Pieces of a puzzle mean little when looked at individually. But fit the pieces together and the picture becomes clear. Taken together with the numerous other tales of Nikken′s character, her story helps reveal Nikken as he really is.
When we better understand his natureÊwhen we see that he has a history of allowing his baser impulses to get the better of himÊwe can more clearly understand how this man could become jealous of President Ikeda and hold a grudge against the SGI.
And we can see that he does not possess any mystic life-condition by virtue of his being the high priest. Then we can understand how he could take the actions that he has taken, actions that have turned him into an enemy of Buddhism.
Holding this clear picture in hand, we can confidently and with ever greater exuberance, fight this enemy and protect the foundation of kosen-rufu.
An association of priests queries nikken about the charges
The Association of Priests Concerned for Nichiren Shoshu and the Protection of the Law (Yushu Goho Domei), whose goal is the reformation of Nichiren Shoshu from within, sent a Letter of Inquiry to High Priest Nikken on Aug. 25 regarding the èSeattle incident.î This Association is now represented by Mr. Myoei Koitabashi, chief priest of Noei-ji temple in Kyoto; Mr. Hoshin Nakajima, chief priest of Myodo-ji temple in Nagoya; and Mr. Hosho Shiina, former chief priest of Myosetsu-ji temple in New York and current chief priest of Myoe-ji temple in Saitama.
The èSeattle incidentî occurred when then-Study Department Chief Nikken Abe came to the United States in March 1963 to officiate at the first overseas gojukai ceremonies for Nichiren Shoshu. The ceremonies were held for new believers who were sponsored by Soka Gakkai members. After the Gohonzon-acceptance ceremony, he went by himself to Seattle′s red-light district. There, he asked a prostitute to pose nude for photos and had sex with another prostitute, after which he became involved in a dispute with her over payment. He was stopped by police who happened to be nearby. Because he was unable to speak English, the police called Mrs. Hiroe Clow, a local SGI-USA leader, and asked her to come to assist Nikken.
Now, after 29 years of silence, Mrs. Clow, outraged by Nikken′s series of impious actions, decided to speak out about this scandal in order to share the truth about Nikken, who claims absolute sanctity as the inheritor of the Law.
Using the publications of lay societies who support him, Nikken now denies that the incident took place.
Their rationale is that since the high priest says that it did not occur, it could not possibly have happened. However, many priests in Nichiren Shoshu secretly believe that Nikken is indeed capable of such actions.
If Mrs. Clow′s statement is groundless libel, as Nikken asserts, then why doesn′t he take legal action against her? The fact that he does not strengthens her credibility and weakens his claim. The Association of Priests Concerned for Nichiren Shoshu and the Protection of the Law represents the voice of those concerned priests and as such has sent this open letter to the high priest. The Letter of Inquiry consists of a forward and six questions challenging the validity of Nikken′s claim. If the high priest fails to respond, the Association declares that it will strengthen its movement to demand that the high priest resign, taking his silence as an admission of guilt.
To the high priest:
The Association of Priests Concerned for Nichiren Shoshu and the Protection of the Law has stood up to rebuild Nichiren Shoshu, as we disclosed previously in our Declaration, in order to protect the dignity of the office of high priest perpetuated by the successive high priests, and to recover the original significance of the lineage of Nichiren Shoshu inherited since Nichiren Daishonin and Nikko Shonin.
Regrettably, however, it is you, High Priest Nikken, who has completely trampled upon the sanctity of the office of high priest. What has recently been pointed out about your past behavior raises serious questions we cannot afford to overlook. The issue here is your conduct during the first overseas gojukai trip in 1963, which was reported in the June 17 Soka Shimpo and other publications.
When we first read these articles, we could hardly believe them. We had never heard of such behavior. However, it seems clear that what has been reported is based upon trustworthy evidence. An example of such evidence is the fact that you have been sending expensive gifts to a women′s division member who has been aware of your past transgressions. A photo of one of your gifts, that is, a set of very expensive Indian jade prayer beads you sent to a member of her family, was published in the paper.
Our statements here are not based on mere preconceptions about you. However, there are many who, judging from similar stories they have heard of your past behavior, believe that this kind of incident could easily occur. Many priests avoid discussing this incident, but they are all watching to see how you deal with this while deep in their hearts, they are wishing this had never happened or feeling that it should not have happened. They have the uncomfortable feeling that Mrs. Clow′s allegations may indeed be true.
How can we priests explain this to lay believers? If this incident is true, it is very serious, not something you can get away with just because it happened so many years ago. By 1963, when this incident occurred, you had already been practicing true Buddhism for 35 years since your ordination in 1928. As Study Department chief, you held a vital position as an executive of the Nichiren Shoshu Administration.
The èAdmonitions of Nikkoî reads, èUntil kosen-rufu is achieved, propagate the Law to the full extent of your ability without begrudging your life.î A Nichiren Shoshu priest should remember this admonition under all circumstances. However, on the occasion of the first Nichiren Shoshu overseas gojukai ceremony, which was made possible thanks to the selfless dedication of pioneer members in the United States, you represented the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood and then indulged your lascivious desires on the streets at midnight, revealing the baseness of your life-condition. Not only did you bring trouble and discomfort to a local lay believer, but your conduct as a disciple of Nichiren Daishonin and Nikko Shonin was indeed unbecoming and inappropriate to the correct way of the priesthood. This issue raises questions about your fundamental character and quality as a priest; it is a great shame for the entirety of Nichiren Shoshu to have such a person as high priest.
We have already pointed out that the fundamental cause for the current confusion within Nichiren Shoshu lies solely in your short temper, impatience, childishness, cruelty, self-righteousness and megalomania. We now have to add promiscuity to your list of deficiencies.
Nikko Shonin also states in his èAdmonitionsî: èMy disciples should conduct themselves as hallowed priests, patterning their behavior after that of the late master. However, even if a high priest or a priest of profound practice and understanding deviates from the principle of sexual abstinence, he may still be allowed to remain in the priesthood.î[Editor′s note: The implication here is that should a high priest or senior priest misbehave, he should begin his practice over, as though a student priest.] You, as the high priest who has tarnished that seat and destroyed its dignity, must resign immediately. If, on the other hand, the allegations regarding your behavior in Seattle are groundless, you should immediately notify the entire priesthood of this and take resolute steps, including legal action, in order to clear yourself.
Representing the pent-up feelings that smolder among many priests, we would like to ask you to respond frankly about the Seattle incident. We hope that you will give us a clear response within seven days of receiving this letter or at the Teachers Guidance meeting scheduled on Aug. 28-29. If we receive no reply, we will have no choice but to regard it as your acknowledgment that each of the charges against you is true. If this is the case, we will begin to take active steps to stir opinion within Nichiren Shoshu toward your ouster.
1. In the Daibyakuho, the organ publication of the Hokkeko organization, and the Myokan, the organ publication of the Myokanko lay society, you flatly deny the Seattle incident, calling the accusation, ètotally groundless.î Furthermore, you made them publish an article claiming that Mrs. Clow′s statement is completely false. However, if what Mrs. Clow says is true, your statement is an obvious case of defamation and you have left yourself open to a lawsuit. Therefore, we would like to confirm whether you still claim that the Seattle incident is groundless.
2. At the Nationwide Teachers Guidance meeting on Nov. 30, 1991, you stated to the 600 participants, èI don′t mind going to court at all.î If you really mean what you said, you should take legal action against Mrs. Clow and the Soka Shimpo for libel and prove your innocence in court. Simply denying the incident is not good enough to convince the priesthood and the laity. What do you think about this? Do you have any particular reason for not taking legal action?
3. It is reported that on Aug. 20, you dispatched six people to Seattle, including Overseas Bureau Chief Kotoku Obayashi and your son Shinsho Abe. If the incident is untrue as you claim, why were they dispatched there so hastily? ManyÊboth priests and lay peopleÊbelieve that they were sent to Seattle only to assess the evidence against you. What do you say?
4. A high priest having had sex with a prostitute is unprecedented in the history of Nichiren Shoshu. It is an unequivocally ugly and rare situation that the chief executive with absolute religious responsibility has a history of buying sex. For you to remain as high priest will continue to tarnish the dignity of Nichiren Shoshu and disgrace the supremacy of the office of high priest itself. Even before the revelation of the Seattle incident, many people within Nichiren Shoshu had already somehow distanced themselves from you in their hearts. Almost all had been wishing you would resign. Can′t you see this?
We quoted the passage from the èAdmonitionsî that reads: èMy disciples should conduct themselves as hallowed priests, patterning their behavior after that of the late master. However, even if a high priest or a priest of profound practice and understanding deviates from the principle of sexual abstinence, he may still be allowed to remain in the priesthood.î In light of this admonition, you should take personal responsibility and resign from the position of high priest. Doing so is the only way for you to protect the Three Treasures of the Buddhism of Sowing. What do you think about this?
5. Rumor has it within Nichiren Shoshu that a slanderous journalist, Isao Dan, who is the younger brother of a Nichiren Shoshu priest, Kojun Takahashi, recently approached the priests of the Shoshinkai who have contested the legitimacy of your lineage as high priest of Nichiren Shoshu and whom you expelled from the sect. Dan suggested to the Shoshinkai priests that they reconcile their differences with you and return to Nichiren Shoshu. Mr. Dan is one of those you met on Dec. 25, 1990, right after dismissing Honorary President Ikeda as head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations, to initiate a scheme to further attack the Soka Gakkai. We wonder if Dan′s suggestion for a reconciliation was made at your request. Apparently acting as your agent, Mr. Dan reportedly said to the leader of the Shoshinkai, èShall I make a phone call to the high priest right now from here?î Do you deny sending Mr. Dan to represent you to the Shoshinkai?
6. With the revelation of the Seattle incident, you have now become concerned. To augment the power that supports you, you are now attempting to reunite with the Shoshinkai, who once denied the legitimacy of your succession as the high priest of Nichiren Shoshu, simply because they are virulently against the Soka Gakkai. Your action is the same as denying the validity of your own lineage. You do not hesitate to employ any means in order to achieve your end. Through such desperate behavior you are further strangling yourself, burying the lifeblood of true Buddhism in the mud. Can′t you see this?
August 25, 1992
Representatives of the Association of Priests Concerned about Nichiren Shoshu and the Protection of the Law:
THE HIGH PRIEST AND A GEISHA
Traditionally, in Nichiren Shoshu, the 28th day of each month has been designated as the èday of reciting the sutra (okyobi)î to pray for the late successive high priests. However, after Nikken became high priest, he changed this sutra-reciting day to the 25th of the month.
Since monthly pilgrimages are held from the second to the 25th of each month, moving up the sutra-reciting day meant that Nikken would have more free time.
A photo, which was published in the Sept. 2 issue of the Soka Shimpo, the Soka Gakkai youth division′s newspaper, shows Nikken at a party with geisha girls at a high-class inn. The price for inns of this type runs into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Moreover, while he was away from the head temple, he naturally could not fulfill his duty as high priest to conduct ushitora gongyo, the gongyo the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood says has been conducted most earnestly every night by successive high priests for the earliest achievement of kosen-rufu.
Compiled by Dave McNeill
Assistant Managing Editor