Nichiren was a Japanese Buddhist priest and philosopher of the Kamakura period.
Nichiren 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-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. He claimed the reincarnation of Jōgyō bodhisattva in a past life, and designated six senior disciples, of which the claims to successorship are contested.