Matsuoka Queries

Open letter to Nikken Abe with 70 questions--Queries: 31-35

31. When Nikken appointed Nichiji Hayase’s eldest son (Nichinyo) to be the successor at Hodo-in temple, Nikken should have explained to the public why he appointed the son of the previous chief priest of that temple to be the successor. He should have explained why this is not to be considered a “father-to-son transfer of power.” Because Nikken previously proclaimed a strict prohibition of the hereditary transfer of a temple, he has the responsibility to explain this deviation. If personnel selection were made strictly based on one’s achievements and rank among priests, there would surely have been someone more suitable than Hayase’s eldest son among all the high ranking priests and Noke class priests. Apparently Nikken could not present his any reasons explaining that the example of Hayase is not “hereditary transfer.” Nikken, why couldn’t you?

Another example involving the same temple: When Nichinyo left the post at Hodo-in, Nikken then appointed Nissho Yagi, the Nichiren Shoshu general administrator. The post that Yagi held at Myosen-bo at Taiseki-ji was then filled by his son-in-law, Dogen Munakata—this also indicates blatant use of the supposedly-banned hereditary transfer of the power. Munakata’s perverse personality and lack of ability are well known among the people at the head temple. Simply because he is son-in-law to a powerful man, Munakata got the seat of chief priest at Myosen-ji temple. I have to lament that Nichiren Shoshu’s despicable practice of favoring one’s relatives has come this far.

Furthermore, Nikken’s eldest son, Shinsho Abe, succeeded to the position of chief priest of Myokoku-ji at Itabashi, Tokyo, when Gijyun Hayase, Nikken’s son-in-law, passed away. This is a similar example of the control of the temple by families. Nikken, if you think this is not the case, then I’d like to ask you following question:

32. Why did you appoint Shinsho Abe as a person qualified for the post at Myokoku-ji? Explain, what were the legitimate reasons?

With his abnormal personality, Shinsho Abe is not well-liked among the majority of the priests and people in Nichiren Shoshu. Many of them consider that Shinsho Abe simply rode his father’s coattail to become director of General Administration in Nichiren Shoshu. It was during Nikken’s tenure as high priest that Shinsho became an executive of Nichiren Shoshu and was appointed as chief priest of a large temple. Nikken, you are under suspicion of spreading the unfair favoritism for relatives among Nichiren Shoshu. You should answer my questions with good grace.

Regarding Taiseki-ji’s branch office located in Shoto, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, it has been noted that “the building has opulent and full-fledged traditional Kyoto-style construction, and has a corridor using precious pine wood and a Japanese-style garden, a marble decorated bathtub, 10-million-yen kitchen, a floor heating system for a large house, 10-million-yen Bicho charcoal sheet.” I asked Nikken whether these reports are based on fact. To my query, Nikken totally denied the assumption, simply stating that “you are saying nonsense thus far,” A document dated December 13th, 2005 (pages 118 and 119) stated that “Priests and laity of Nichiren Shoshu recognize that Taiseki-ji’s branch office is built by simple and plain construction and used reasonably.” I asked Nikken about the branch office simply to confirm the truth. Nikken’s thinking—automatically assuming my question is nonsense—is obviously unhinged.

Soka Shimpo (May 17 and November 17, 1999 issues) had already reported in detail about the interior of Taiseki-ji’s branch office in Shoto. My query for Nikken was to confirm the facts based on these reports. The report by Soka Shimpo was based on the report of an actual witness who had looked inside the branch office. According to the Soka Shimpo, the details of 2.6 billion yen to purchase a 350 tsubo (12,450 square foot) branch office, located at one of the most high-class residential districts, are consistent with the sums of 1.5 billion yen for the actual purchasing, 100 million yen for renovation, and another 1 billion yen for housing rehabilitation. For me, that is a really objective explanation and it does make sense. Now I will ask Nikken again.

33. How could you describe the branch office at Shoto as a “simple and plain building,” even though it cost no less than 2 billion yen at the lowest possible estimate?

34. The report about the marble-clad bathroom, 10-million-yen kitchen, etc.—if these are “nonsense” and “arbitrary maniacal presumptions,” then why don’t you open the branch office at Shoto to the public, or at least widely among the priests and laity of Nichiren Shoshu, and prove what you say?

35. At the Gohonzon installation ceremony at the branch office at Shoto, Shibuya, Tokyo, Nikken publicly stated that “he would conduct various meetings” at the branch office. As a matter of fact, a meeting with believers has never been held there. What is the reason for your breaking the public pledge?

In my previous work “Criticism of Nikken Doctrine,” while arguing the negative effects of the married clergy, I had pointed out the suspicion that your wife Masako had squandered nearly two million yen at ultra-rich haute couture establishments and beauty salons in Kyoto between 1990 to 1991. Concerning these reports, I asked Nikken if “these are true or not?” However, the response from Nikken and his associates simply stated that “as for the noble lady of High Priest (Nikken) Shonin…. based on her needs, she did shop in an extremely common manner” (a document dated December 13, 2005, page 116). If that is the case, I will ask you following.