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Uploaded on Aug 7, 2008
Nichiren Shonin, founder of Nichiren Shu Buddhism. Nichiren wrote many copies of the Great Mandala, of which 125 copies are preserved undamaged. None of them, however are identical. This variety shows us the development of Nichiren's thought. The earlist copy is dated the ninth day of the tenth month of 1271, within a month of the Tatsu-no-kuchi Incident, when Nichiren was almost executed. The latest copy is dated the sixth month of 1282, four months before his death. The eight earliest copies, supposed to have been written before the eighth day of the seventh month of 1273, which is said to be the date of his first writing of the Great Mandala, are considered to have been written as a study. The copy dated the third month of 1280, which is now preserved at Myohonji Temple in Kamakura, is regarded [by Nichiren Shu] as the most significant one Nichiren had intended to inscribe. This copy is now designated as the Shutei Honzon, the "Gohonzon Authorized by the Nichiren Sect."