Nichiren (Kanji: ??; born as Zen-nichi-maro (???), Dharma name: Rencho - 16 February 1222 – 13 October 1282) was a Japanese Buddhist priest of the Kamakura period (1185–1333), who developed the teachings of Nichiren Buddhism, a branch school of Mahayana Buddhism.Nichiren declared that the Lotus Sutra alone contains the highest truth of Buddhist teachings suited for the Third Age of Buddhism.
He advocated the repeated recitation of its title, Nam(u)-myoho-renge-kyo and held that Shakyamuni Buddha and all other Buddhist deities were extraordinary manifestations of a particular Buddha-nature termed “Myoho—Renge” that is equally accessible to all.
He declared that believers of the Sutra must propagate it even under persecution.Nichiren was a prolific writer and his biography, temperament, and the evolution of his beliefs has been gleaned primarily from his own writings.
After his death, he was bestowed the title Nichiren Dai-Bosatsu (?????) (Great Bodhisattva Nichiren) by Emperor Go-Kogon (1358) and the title Rissho Daishi (????) (Great Teacher of Rectification) was conferred posthumously in year 1922 by imperial edict.Today, Nichiren Buddhism includes traditional temple schools such as Nichiren-shu and Nichiren Shoshu, as well as lay movements such as Soka Gakkai, Rissho Kosei Kai, Reiyukai, Kenshokai, Honmon Butsuryu-shu, Kempon Hokke, and Shoshinkai among many others.
Each group has varying views of Nichiren's teachings with claims and interpretations of Nichiren's identity ranging from the rebirth of bodhisattva Visistacaritra to the primordial or "true" (??: Honbutsu) Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law.