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1222 - 1282

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Nichiren (16 February 1222 – 13 October 1282) was a Japanese Buddhist priest and philosopher of the Kamakura period.: 609–610 Nichiren: 77 : 1  declared that the Lotus Sutra alone contains the highest truth of Buddhist teachings suited for the Third Age of Buddhism, insisting that the Sovereign of Japan and its people should support only this form of Buddhism and eradicate all others. He advocated the repeated recitation of its title, Nam(u)-myoho-renge-kyo as the only path to Buddhahood 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.: 99 : 442  He claimed the reincarnation of Jōgyō bodhisattva in a past life, and designated six senior disciples, of which the claims to successorship are contested. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Nichiren has received more than 624,055 page views. His biography is available in 38 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 35 in 2019). Nichiren is the 598th most popular religious figure (down from 576th in 2019), the 79th most popular biography from Japan (down from 75th in 2019) and the 2nd most popular Japanese Religious Figure.

Nichiren is most famous for his belief that only chanting the daimoku, or "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo" can lead to enlightenment. He also believed that the Lotus Sutra was the only scripture that could lead to enlightenment.

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  • 4.00

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

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Among religious figures, Nichiren ranks 598 out of 2,238Before him are Angelus Silesius, Jacobus da Varagine, Pope Stephen VI, Pope Severinus, Pope Leo VI, and William Laud. After him are Pope Romanus, Pope Theodore I, Theophanes the Confessor, Tarcisius, Ananias of Damascus, and Gregory Thaumaturgus.

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Among people born in 1222, Nichiren ranks 1After him are Andrey II of Vladimir and Henry III the White. Among people deceased in 1282, Nichiren ranks 4Before him are Michael VIII Palaiologos, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, and Abaqa Khan. After him are Agnes of Bohemia, Mengu-Timur, George Akropolites, Ibn Khallikan, Traidenis, Mechthild of Magdeburg, and Margaret Sambiria.

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In Japan

Among people born in Japan, Nichiren ranks 79 out of 6,048Before him are Kenzō Tange (1913), Tōgō Heihachirō (1848), Shirō Ishii (1892), Emperor Go-Momozono (1758), Tokugawa Yoshinobu (1837), and Kenji Mizoguchi (1898). After him are Emperor Nakamikado (1702), Tsutomu Yamaguchi (1916), Tomoe Gozen (1157), Emperor Annei (-577), Dōgen (1200), and Akira Toriyama (1955).


Among religious figures born in Japan, Nichiren ranks 2Before him are Kane Tanaka (1903). After him are Dōgen (1200), Benkei (1155), Paulo Miki (1564), Mikao Usui (1865), Yamamoto Tsunetomo (1659), Sen no Rikyū (1522), Ikkyū (1394), Dom Justo Takayama (1552), Eisai (1141), and Saichō (767).