Chapter 4. Collusion with Masatomo Yamazaki

Yamazaki’s Own Words Denounce Nikken
In discussing Nikken’s alleged receipt of the heritage, there is another person to whom we need to pay attention. He is the Soka Gakkai’s former lawyer, Masatomo Yamazaki. It was he who first raised questions about the integrity of Nikken’s claim about the heritage.

Yamazaki was planning to put Nichiren Shoshu under his control and he worked to gain Nikken’s trust after his inauguration as new high priest of Nichiren Shoshu. His scheme did not work, however, and he was banned by Nikken from visiting the head temple. In September 1979, Nikken said to Yamazaki face-to-face “You are a big liar.” Naturally, Yamazaki was furious at Nikken and he cursed repeatedly about the new high priest, “That bastard!” or “Damn it.”

What Yamazaki also said to his friends was: “I’m really upset. This makes me want to dedicate my life to fighting against Nikken all the way. That bastard! Damn him!”

“Abe repeatedly disparaged me, saying ‘You’re a big liar. I don’t trust you at all.’”

“Abe, that son of a bitch, said to me ‘Until I say OK, don’t come to the head temple again.'”

“I’ll never forget until I die what that bastard said to me. I’ll kill him for sure. I’ll retaliate against him, no matter what. He’ll see.”

Obviously, Yamazaki was in fury when he said all this.

In those days, Yamazaki often referred to Nikken in his articles in the Shukan Bunshun: “One of the foremost playboys in Nichiren Shoshu.” “Acting as dictator and boasting that ‘no democracy is necessary in Nichiren Shoshu.’” (from the October 30, 1980 issue)

“His faith is frivolous. He embodies selfishness.” “He is a man of secular ambition who is not suitable for high priest of Nichiren Shoshu. He is living his life in a pleasure-seeking lifestyle.” “His behavior is far different  from that of other high priests.” “He just cares about money, and seeks only his own pleasure.” (February 12, 1981 issue)

Yamazaki’s disparagement of Nikken in those days was relentless and vehement.

Articles written by Yamazaki to reveal Nikken’s false claim

Regarding Nikken’s questionable receipt of the heritage, Yamazaki wrote: “In recent years in Nichiren Shoshu, the transferring of the heritage was always conducted in a clear and open manner. If Nittatsu Shonin had transferred the heritage to somebody, he would have conducted it in an above-board, public way. And even if he did not appoint somebody straightaway into the position of high priest, Nittatsu would have first appointed (in the tradition of Nichiren Shoshu) the next high priest into the position of study head.” 

“Nittatsu Shonin mentioned to those close to him his intent to designate specific individuals as his possible successors, but there was no sign of his actually having conducted a transfer ceremony while he was alive. Nobody saw him transfer the heritage to a specific individual." (in the November 20, 1980 issue)

“Ignoring the rules of Nichiren Shoshu, Nikken abruptly became high priest of Nichiren Shoshu based upon his self-proclamation that ‘he received the heritage from Nittatsu Shonin one year ago.’” 

“In the turmoil after the death of Nittatsu Shonin, Nikken Abe nominated himself as high priest.” 

“It is inconceivable in every sense that Nikken could have received the heritage from Nittatsu Shonin. And his claim is illegal in light of the Rules of Nichiren Shoshu.” (February 12, 1981)

In January 1981, some 180 priests were swayed by Yamazaki, and they filed a suit against Nikken, alleging that he has no legitimate status as high priest. This action resulted in Nikken defrocking as many as 160 priests from Nichiren Shoshu. It was an unheard-off incident in the history of Nichiren Shoshu –– the Shoshinkai Incident. 

It was Masatomo Yamazaki who played a chief role behind the scenes of the Shoshinkai Incident. 

“He Should Fall into Hell Time and Again”
Nikken himself referred to Yamazaki at a non-teachers’ meeting on March 30, 1985: “Yamazaki’s thoughts, behavior, and activities are absolutely unpardonable in the eyes of the Buddha. He has committed the sins that would drive him into hell time and again.” 

“In September 1979, I clearly said to him, 'You’re a big liar,' as I sensed he was an incredibly evil manipulator.” 

Nikken must have been extremely disturbed by Yamazaki’s statements concerning his alleged receipt of the heritage and by Yamazaki's assessment of the internal situation of Nichiren Shoshu. Nikken’s statement that “He would fall into hell time and again” indicates the depths of Nikken’s grudge against Yamazaki.

Nikken’s anger at Yamazaki continued even eight years after he took office as high priest of Nichiren Shoshu. Here is the following description from the memo Kawabe wrote on April 29, 1987, about his conversation with Nikken.

“High Priest: There was an incident, while he was chief priest of Josen-ji temple, which involved a water boiler in the temple kitchen. Because Sakudo Yamashita was with his girlfriend at the temple when the incident occurred, it did not turn out to be a big issue. But even today I think this incident was triggered by Yamazaki and Sugano.”

Nikken did not look upon incident of this boiler as a mere accident but part of Yamazaki and Sugano’s plot to kill him.

As mentioned before, Nikken was cornered in the Shoshinkai trials in 1987, especially due to Sugano’s disparaging remarks about him. But it is a very sick thing for Nikken to attribute the incident about the boiler to Yamazaki and Sugano. 

Indeed, in those days, Yamazaki was Nikken’s number one enemy, because Yamazaki was the one who openly denied his legitimacy as high priest.

However, at the beginning of 1991, right after the implementation of Operation C, Nikken apologized to Yamazaki, saying to him through a messenger, “I am sorry I said that time that you were a liar. Please accept my apology.” Nikken exemplifies the point that Nichiren Daishonin made in his writing, “A man of great arrogance follows his enemy.” 

However, this apology by Nikken came to Yamazaki just as he was about to be imprisoned for three years because he was convicted of blackmailing the Soka Gakkai. This meant that Nikken, head of the school of Nichiren Buddhism, who makes his believers worship him as “the Daishonin in modern times,” and who is responsible to teach people a correct way of living –– that Nikken has made an apology to a criminal. His behavior is beyond common sense.

Yamazaki’s Manipulating Letters to Nikken 
Nikken’s collusion with Yamazaki became known to the public around December 20, 1994, when our previous book High Priest’s Great Conspiracy was published. As we reported in the Domei Tsushin (dated December 22), General Administrator Fujimoto and Public Relations Bureau Director Kogaku Akimoto had a confidential meeting with Yamazaki at the Fujimian room at the head temple on December 10, 1997. 

Nichiren Shoshu, which was about to greet another New Year’s Day, went into turmoil when the news of this secret meeting caused lots of speculation in Nichiren Shoshu. Some thought, “The high priest has lost his mind” while others wondered, “Is the Shoshinkai group coming back to Nichiren Shoshu?” In those days, the priesthood of Nichiren Shoshu abhorred Yamazaki. From one source, we gained the following faint-hearted comment, “I believe that the secret meeting was conducted, but I hope that information of the new sweet relationship between High Priest Nikken and Yamazaki is untrue ...”

However, as soon as a new year unfolded, the Chugai Nippo (dated January 7) published the original letters that Yamazaki had written to Nikken. Now it became clear that Nikken and Yamazaki had joined together in opposing the Soka Gakkai, and the priesthood of Nichiren Shoshu uncomfortably greeted the New Year with concerns about the school’s future. Almost all priests worried about the course that Nichiren Shoshu would take. They felt that Nichiren Shoshu was somehow being possessed by destructive forces.

Yamazaki began to send letters, a total of five, to Nikken right after April 27, 1993, the day Yamazaki was released from the prison on parole. It is amazing how dramatically Yamazaki changed his position toward Nikken. Yamazaki writes, “I, with all my heart, praise Your Holiness’ wise decision and historic action (against the Gakkai).”

“Because of Your Holiness’ compassion, the pure flow of the Fuji school has been protected, which future priests will deeply appreciate.”

“The more impeccable your character is, the more sufferings you have to go through.”

“I understand that you have put yourself in a position that is much higher than where you were, so you can fulfill your desire to save more people.”

Yamazaki’s flattering words go on and on in his five letters to Nikken.

When did Nikken become a man of impeccable character in the mind of Yamazaki? 

Yamazaki’s manipulating letters to Nikken

As we mentioned before, Yamazaki used to attack Nikken as a “playboy,” “dictator,” “selfish man of secular ambition” and “man concerned only about money.” Not only that, Yamazaki quoted quite a few priests who knew Nikken very well:

“I was very close to him (Nikken). I taught him how to play a lot, but when it comes to playing with women, he was by nature a better player than I.”

“When his father, Nikkai, died, Nikken was in Yoshihara (an area famous for prostitution). When he returned to his temple, he discovered that his father, the high priest of that time, had passed away, which created a big turmoil in his family and Nichiren Shoshu.”

“Nikken had a mistress in Atami, and he created an ugly scene when he wanted to marry her, while attempting to divorce his wife. His mother tried to stop him, but Nikken would not listen to her. When Nikken resorted to violence against his own mother, she left her home for months. When Nikken ran out of money, he would often visit the temple of one of his seniors early in the morning to borrow money from him. I saw him getting money from his senior priest at the gate of the temple. I also saw his girlfriend hiding behind an electric pole while Nikken was receiving money from his senior priest.”

“Even recently, Nikken was reminiscing about this mistress, of whom he still seems very fond.”

“When he was chief priest of Heian-ji temple, he went almost everyday to either Fukuhara, Kobe, a pink salon in the southern part of Osaka, or a zone for prostitution in Ikoma. He even had the experience of having sex with a woman with whom his disciple had also had sex.”

“Whenever he visited an outlying area, he went out to play around at the night. His wife became concerned about his behavior and decided to accompany him after he became high priest.”

Honestly, Nikken is no different today from the way he used to be. Actually, his desires have been escalating more and more in terms of his thirst for money, pleasure-seeking, disorderly lifestyle, dictatorship, and violence. We wrote about all this in our previous books The High Priest’s Big Scandals and The High Priest’s Bad Behavior.

One of the twenty-six admonitions set forth by Nikko Shonin reads, “My disciples should conduct themselves as holy priests, patterning their behavior after that of the late master” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 1619). This admonition has been heavily tarnished by a high priest like Nikken who embodies corruption and decadence. His behavior clearly disqualifies him from the position of high priest.

Knowing all these aspects of Nikken, Yamazaki shamelessly chose to flatter Nikken. Indeed, Yamazaki is a genius in deception.

Nikken Makes Deal with Yamazaki to Justify His Legitimacy 
What is most interesting is the contents of Yamazaki’s memoir that was published in the Shukan Bunshun –– this is where Yamazaki questioned the authenticity of Nikken’s alleged receipt of the heritage from Nittatsu Shonin. Yamazaki explained about this memoir in one of his letters to Nikken: “I now trust the legitimacy of the heritage you received. I most humbly ask you to believe that you have my wholehearted trust in this matter.”

“I understand I have to do something about what I mistakenly wrote in the Shukan Bunshun, about the heritage you legitimately received from Nittatsu Shonin. I have to make amends about these false statements of mine, so that I can maintain the integrity of my faith and get rid of any possible confusion about the authenticity of the heritage you received.”

It is truly ridiculous to see Yamazaki say “so that I can maintain the integrity of my faith,” even though he is a sheer manipulator who has no faith at all. For Yamazaki to say such a thing is a complete lie, since Yamazaki at that point was fully confident that Nikken did not receive the heritage from Nittatsu Shonin. This point is obvious from the contents of these letters he wrote to Nikken.

“Since the issue of your acquisition of the heritage is so important, you should be most correct in providing information about the method and procedure by which you received the heritage, and in using logic to justify your contention, so that you won’t regrettably create more confusion.”

“I only wrote 40% of what I discovered about the truth of your acquisition of the heritage. I kept to myself the rest of the information to rebut or to prepare for a possible lawsuit in the realm of defamation.”

“The contents of my memoir is not the type of information that can be nullified by a simple abstract denial. If I choose to do so, the Shoshinkai people will denounce me for my betrayal and fight back using the other 60% information.”

What Yamazaki is doing here is threatening Nikken by saying, “What I wrote in the Shukan Bunshun was supported by what I found out about your alleged receipt of the heritage from Nittatsu Shonin. I only published 40% of what I know. The remaining 60% is still in my possession, and the Shoshinkai group may use it to attack you if need be in the future.”

After swinging Nikken’s mind up and down, Yamazaki then shows what Nikken must do to solve his heritage issue.

“First, the Shoshinkai and Nichiren Shoshu must both withdraw their legal cases.”

“Nichiren Shoshu should accept those Shoshinkai priests who want to return to Nichiren Shoshu, and approve the independence of those priests who do not want to return.”

“Next, Nichiren Shoshu should refer to the action it took in 1980 against the Shoshinkai group and make a new official announcement concerning the process by which you received the heritage from Nittatsu Shonin. In this announcement, you should refer to the time of the transfer ceremony, its place, its background, its witnesses, and the content of what the former high priest said to you, and the content of what you discussed at the executive priests’ meeting, etc.” 

“In the past, there were disputes concerning the transmission of the heritage from one high priest to another. The contents of the heritage have been always secret and are matters only between high priests. But it is true that Nichiren Shoshu always explained and clarified what actually happened, each time the heritage was transferred. Giving clear explanations is a matter of common sense in human society. The validity of a position must be validated by the integrity of the person who holds it.”

In short, what Yamazaki is saying is that Nikken should disclose the process of his acquisition of the heritage and thereby regain harmony with the Shoshinkai whom he once excommunicated.

It is noteworthy that Yamazaki is urging Nikken to disclose the time of the transfer ceremony, its place, background, the contents of conversation between the two, and witnesses, if any, knowing it is impossible for Nikken to disclose this.

The only thing Nikken has disclosed about his receipt of the heritage was his announcement at the executive priests’ meeting on July 22, 1989, right after Nittatsu Shonin passed away.

Nikken has disclosed nothing other than that, even in his trials against the Shoshinkai group. He has never referred to anything about the background of his acquisition, the words Nittatsu Shonin uttered to him in transferring the heritage, and any witnesses to the ceremony.

Obviously, the reason why Nikken cannot answer these fundamental questions, is that the ceremony itself did not occur.

In this respect, the following remark by Yamazaki is very interesting: “I will be cooperating with you to choose the best way to make the announcement and choose the contents to disclose so that you won’t fall into a pitfall.”

Yamazaki is a professed liar. And what does it mean when he says “I will be cooperating with you”? It is obvious when you read the following sentence in his blackmail trial. “He shows no sign of any remorse, which is evident in his presenting false evidence and making excuses based upon fabricated stories” (by Judge Makoto Yoshimaru of the Tokyo District Court on March 26, 1985).

Yamazaki has already committed perjury on many occasions at court and presented fabricated evidence to the court as well. It must be so easy for Yamazaki to change his position 180 degrees toward Nikken’s heritage.

Yamazaki’s Deceitful Pose to Nikken
It is very believable that these letters of Yamazaki’s moved Nikken’s heart very much. This is because Nikken is the type of person who takes great high pride in himself. And he is extremely attached to protecting his reputation. He was worried that he would be remembered in the annals of Nichiren Shoshu as the cruel high priest who defrocked so many priests.

The secret meeting held at Fujimian on the grounds of the head temple on December 10, 1994, concerned the issue of the Shoshinkai group’s possible return to Nichiren Shoshu. It is reported that the general administrator and the Public Relations Bureau director represented Nikken’s intent at this meeting.

However, things did not unfold as Nikken had thought or as Yamazaki had wished. Because of the Chugai Nippo’s story, the contents of Nikken and Yamazaki’s scheme came to be exposed to the public.

Nichiren Shoshu was in turmoil when it learned about the existence of the original letters from Yamazaki to Nikken. Nichiren Shoshu priests had been at the mercy of Nikken’s up and down craziness for many years, but this time was so outrageous that would be regarded as one of the wildest ones since Nikken took office.

To reiterate: It was Yamazaki who took the initiative around 1980 (after Nikken became Nichiren Shoshu high priest) in arousing doubts about the integrity of the transfer ceremony that Nikken alleged had taken place between the former high priest and himself. What would happen to the significance of the heritage of Nichiren Shoshu, the cornerstone of faith taught within Nichiren Shoshu, if Nikken, the current high priest of Nichiren Shoshu, chose to collude with the man who was the first to question his legitimacy?

It was also Nikken who unilaterally defrocked the Shoshinkai priests who filed suits against him. Almost all chief priests of Nichiren Shoshu’s local temples, followed Nikken with absolute obedience to him and joined him in denying the Shoshinkai group. They all forced themselves to deny their old comrades in order to protect the sacredness of the heritage of Nichiren Shoshu. Notwithstanding the sacrifice of these priests, Nikken agreed with none other than the chief manipulator of the Shoshinkai incident, and schemed with him to withdraw from those legal cases and allow the Shoshinkai priests to return to Nichiren Shoshu. It was a case of the pendulum’s swinging in one direction beyond the point of no return.

While the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood was in a great turmoil, Nikken found it necessary to reveal his intent further, choosing to have Yamazaki appear in the February 16, 2005, issue of Emyo, the publication of a lay group within Nichiren Shoshu. The article that Yamazaki wrote for Emyo was titled “What I Went Through Before Coming to Respect with Faith the Heritage High Priest Nikken Received from the Former High Priest.”

This sounds like Nichiren Shoshu is forgiving Yamazaki, because Yamazaki changed his mind and apologized to Nichiren Shoshu. But it is obvious that through this article, Nikken tried to wipe out all doubts about the legitimacy of his being Nichiren Shoshu high priest. However, the contents of Yamazaki’s memoir in Emyo were far from convincing about the integrity of Nikken.

Despite Yamazaki’s practical suggestions in his letters, Nikken made Yamazaki apologize in this article, and also defend Nikken’s legitimacy. Since Yamazaki is well-known as a big liar, how can we trust what he says in this article?

Yamazaki’s article in the February 16, 1995 issue of Emyo 

Of course, Nikken has never disclosed anything about the process of his alleged receipt of heritage. This did not help Yamazaki reveal any concrete reasons about why he changed his mind. In this respect, Yamazaki had to say in the article (in order to justify himself), “My attitude may be criticized as unprincipled.” Then he attempts to portray his changed view of Nikken as an expression of courage. He must have had a hard time to deciding how best to present this attitude change.

Despite his apology, Yamazaki had to then put up with the coldness that Nichiren Shoshu priests showed him after his return to Nichiren Shoshu. Most of them maintained their hatred toward him, and none of them regarded him as their strategic leader. None of them sympathized with him. In the final analysis, it was Nikken who used Yamazaki to protect himself.

On the other hand, Yamazaki showed little respect to Nichiren Shoshu. He made the following remarks at another religious organization’s meeting: “Few priests in Nichiren Shoshu believe in or study its teachings. Many priests remain in Nichiren Shoshu for financial reasons, which disgusts me.”

“I freely do my activities without being controlled by any particular religious organization. This applies to Nichiren Shoshu, from which I am free.”

“Mr. S, the founder of this religious organization, is my mentor. I am his disciple.”

These remarks by Yamazaki eloquently show that he aligns himself to Nikken or Nichiren Shoshu only as it benefits himself.

An elderly priest shared his views of the current condition of the heritage of Nichiren Shoshu, “Was there a time in the past when the heritage of Nichiren Shoshu was treated as lightly as today?”

What does Yamazaki’s return to Nichiren Shoshu mean? It means that the heritage of Nichiren Shoshu has been used as a tool to make a deal between the Nichiren Shoshu high priest and a liar such as Yamazaki. Almost all priests of Nichiren Shoshu have to deal with a deep sense of frustration and defeat when they think about the future of Nichiren Shoshu.

Yamazaki Betrays Shoshinkai Group 
Now, let’s talk about the Shoshinkai group that Yamazaki betrayed after fully taking advantage of it. After Yamazaki’s article appeared in Emyo, the group had an urgent meeting and criticisms of Yamazaki were voiced, one after another: “We are clearly deceived by Yamazaki” “We won’t reconcile with him any more,” etc. The meeting was so wild that Nikken and Yamazaki’s plan easily collapsed.

The Shoshinkai group’s reaction to Yamazaki’s betrayal was very understandable, for the group had taken the issue to the court based on its trust of Yamazaki. And as a result, the Shoshinkai priests were expelled from Nichiren Shoshu. Now, Yamazaki had suddenly changed his stance toward Nikken — it was an impossible idea to the Shoshinkai group that it would return to Nichiren Shoshu without Nikken’s apology for his past behavior against the group.

In those days, the Shoshinkai priests commented on Yamazaki, “Yamazaki is like the joker in a 'hichinarabe' card game. It is a convenient card, but if you keep it till the end of the game, you will lose according to the game’s rules.” This statement about Yamazaki is really well said. It implies that Nikken will be a loser in the end unless he severs his ties with Yamazaki.

What Nikken and Yamazaki were afraid of naturally happened: the Shoshinkai group rebutted both of them. Because the Shoshinkai priests once believed Yamazaki, their testimony sounds very real and powerful. For instance, when Nikken apologized to Yamazaki in 1991, he not only bowed to Yamazaki but begged, “Please agree that Nittatsu Shonin transferred the heritage to me.” In his response to Nikken’s pleading, Yamazaki said to the Shoshinkai priests, “That man now understands how powerful I am. He succumbed to me! Ha, ha, ha.” A Shoshinkai priest revealed that Yamazaki was boasting this way.

After the secret meeting in Fujimian at the head temple in January 1995, Yamazaki called a Shoshinkai priest, just before he disclosed his return to Nichiren Shoshu in Emyo, and said: “I’ve decided to return to Nichiren Shoshu. I’ll quit the Shoshinkai. But this does not mean that I’ve forgotten Abe’s past statement that I am a big liar. How could I forget it? He’ll see how great I am. That bastard! I’ll revenge myself. He shouldn’t take me lightly. Anyway, thank you for the support you have given me for a long time.”

According to this statement by a Shoshinkai priest, even after he decided to return to Nichiren Shoshu, Yamazaki was still thinking of revenging himself on Nikken and calling him names behind his back.

The Shoshinkai group’s evaluation of Yamazaki’s apology is precise and revealing: “I could not resist laughing at his statement. I thought of Nikken, the alleged owner of the heritage, who then begged to be endorsed by Yamazaki, the big liar. The authority of Taiseki-ji’s heritage has completely collapsed in my heart.” We share the exact same feeling.

Nichiren Shoshu’s collusion with Yamazaki has completely tarnished the heritage of our school. There is no doubt that Nikken’s collusion with Yamazaki is the darkest news in the history of Nichiren Shoshu.

Yamazaki’s Accomplice’s Revelation Furthers Doubt About Nikken’s Authenticity
The deceitful nature of Yamazaki’s changed position about Nikken’s possession of the heritage was revealed in an unexpected manner last year. A book titled Watashi wa Yamazaki Masatomo o Sagizai kara Sukutta!! (I Saved Masatomo Yamazaki from the Crime of Theft) was published on May 30.The author of this book is Mr. Takatsugu Tsukamoto, a former member of a yakuza group.

Mr. Tsukamoto helped Yamazaki in a number of unethical acts, including Yamazaki’s theft of a 4 billion yen promissory note, Yamazaki’s planned bankruptcy, and Yamazaki’s plan to assassinate a Fujinomiya city councilman. The book was Mr. Tsukamoto’s memoir of his life as Yamazaki’s accomplice — in it, he hoped to repent his past wrongdoings. He also hoped that his revelations would reveal Yamazaki’s corruption.

In this book, Mr. Tsukamoto disclosed what Yamazaki had once said, “Nikken ranks No. 7 in the Nichiren Shoshu hierarchy. Sugano, Nittatsu Shonin’s daughter’s husband who lives in Kunitachi, is Nittatsu Shonin’s successor. Nikken is a wicked man, and although he did not receive the heritage from Nittatsu Shonin, he insisted that he had, and became Nichiren Shoshu’s high priest. Since I was together with Nittatsu Shonin until the last moment of his life, I know he did not transfer the heritage to Nikken. Nittatsu Shonin did not trust Nikken at all.”

In the final chapter of the book, Mr. Tsukamoto refutes Yamazaki’s article in Emyo, “Indeed, Yamazaki has no sense of shame. In this article, he has so casually changed the ideas he has been advocating for more than ten years. How could he do such a thing?”

The climax of Mr. Tsukamoto’s revelation about Yamazaki’s change is about Yamazaki’s true motivation behind it. According to Mr. Tsukamoto, the truth is as follows: One day after Yamazaki was released from the prison, some interesting information came to his attention about a project Taiseki-ji was considering, the construction of a cemetery.

In those days, Yamazaki was in financial difficulty. He said the following to the person who brought this information: “I need a big chunk of money. Now I’ve got a good idea.” Nikken is eager to see me and there is an intermediary who can make harmony between Nikken and me. The deal I’ll propose is that I will approve of the authenticity of Nikken’s heritage, while Nikken allows me to involve myself in Taiseki-ji’s planned cemetery construction project. I think this is a great idea.”

Yamazaki was grasping at Nikken’s weak spot (his lie about his alleged receipt of the heritage from Nittatsu Shonin) in an attempt to make a business deal with Nikken. In other words, Yamazaki’s idea was that because he would not talk about the falsity of Nikken’s heritage anymore, he would get interest in Taiseki-ji’s cemetery construction. All Yamazaki was interested in was money, and the Emyo article he wrote did not come from his heart at all. This fact was revealed by Mr. Tsukamoto.

And there was the following passage in the letter Yamazaki wrote to Nikken right after he took office as the new high priest: “The construction of the cemetery is important strategically, so I would like you to allow me to continue to handle it.”

Yamazaki, who once made an enormous amount of money thanks to his involvement in cemetery construction, must have been thinking that a new cemetery construction project would be the sweetest thing.

At that time, Nikken denied Yamazaki’s offer, saying to him, “You’re a big liar. I don’t trust you at all.” Later, however, once Yamazaki became well-versed in Nikken's fatal weakness, Nikken had no choice but to agree to the cemetery deal.

Thus, the heritage of Nichiren Shoshu was used as part of the deal between Nikken and Yamazaki. The dignity of Nichiren Shoshu has fallen very low.

Yamazaki filed a suit against Mr. Tsukamoto about his revealing book. And it is obvious in everybody’s eyes that Yamazaki will surely lose this lawsuit.

Why in the world did Yamazaki take such suicidal action? It is a common belief within Nichiren Shoshu that Nikken and Yamazaki reached a secret behind the scenes agreement.

According to a document that was circulated within Nichiren Shoshu under the pseudonym “conscientious teachers residing at the head temple,” Yamazaki will deny questioning the legitimacy of Nikken and, as a result, he will gain financial support from Nikken for the purpose of handling the lawsuits he is involved in.

As this document revealed, Shinsho Abe, Nikken’s son, and Yamazaki met in secrecy at Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku on July 28, 2002, to establish an agreement between Nikken and Yamazaki. As if backing up this revelation, the Dai-Byakuho (dated August 16) published a rebuttal to the accusations about Nikken’s legitimacy. This rebuttal, “Refuting the New Religious Organization, Soka Gakkai, and the Reform Priests’ Repeated Criticisms,” was put together by Nichiren Shoshu Youthful Priests' Group Devoted to Refuting Wrong Doctrines.

In this book, a young priest is said to have had a direct interview with Yamazaki — and Yamazaki claimed that all Mr. Tsukamoto’s revelations were nothing but demagogy. However, it is a lie that any young priest met with Yamazaki for an interview. What is mentioned in this article is doubtlessly a product of the secret agreement reached between Shinsho Abe and Yamazaki.

According to a source within Nichiren Shoshu, it is also a lie that this rebuttal booklet was written by a group of conscientious young priests. The truth is that Nikken and other executive priests racked their brains to write this booklet.

In any case, now that Yamazaki has decided to bring the case to court, we will see who is telling the truth. What will Nikken do if Yamazaki loses at court? We will see.