Nichiren, born as Zen-nichi-maro, was a Japanese Buddhist priest who lived during the Kamakura period.
Nichiren is known for his sole devotion to the Lotus Sutra, asserting that it was Shakyamuni Buddha's ultimate teachings and was the exclusive method to attain enlightenment. He believed that the Lotus Sutra contained the essence of all of Shakyamuni Buddha's teachings related to the laws of causality, karma, without any distinction to enlightenment. His interpretation of the Lotus Sutra centers on the emphasis of its 16th chapter, The Life Span of the Thus Come One, where he asserts his revelation that the chanting of Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō is the superior practice of today's age of Mappō.
Nichiren strongly proposed the chanting of Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō by attributing the natural and social calamities of his time to his claim that the Pure Land, Zen, Shingon, Ritsu, and Tendai schools were unable to supernaturally protect Japan. Ultimately, Nichiren drew the anger of Japan's ruling Hōjō clan when his two Lotus Sutra-based predictions of foreign invasion and political strife were seemingly actualized by the Mongol invasions of Japan and an attempted coup within the Hōjō clan.