The Nakayama lineage contributed to Nichiren Shu from the Nanboku-cho era to the Muromachi era by sending extraordinary priests, such as Haniya Myosen Nichiei, Kenpon Hokke Shu Nichiju, Honpoji Nabekamuri Nisshin, and Chomyoji Nisshuku, all of whom widely propagated Nichiren Shu throughout Japan.
The Temple Today
The temple is well known throughout Japan as a sacred site of Kito blessing and three Hiho (esoteric methods of practice). People visiting the temple pray to Kishimojin (the beautiful Buddhist goddess, who is blessed with many children, to help people with childbirth and caring for children). It is said that Nichiren Shonin carved the statue of Kishimojin and taught Toki Jonin about the hidden teachings of this goddess during his stay there. In the Edo era, this statue was called Nakayama Kishimojin and worshipped by many people who wished to have good health and children.
This temple is the place for Aragyo, 100-day ascetic practice. In order to become a Shuhosshi (a priest certified to perform Kito blessings) in Nichiren Shu, one must complete the 100-day training starting on November 1 to receive the hidden teaching. This training includes a famously difficult session called Kanchu Suigyo, practice of cold water purification in winter.
Finally, there is a hidden teaching of Bokken Kaji (Kito blessing with wooden sword). This method of Kito blessing is only allowed to be performed by a Shuhosshi. The prayer summons up Kishimojin; apply the juzu to the bokken (wooden sword); chant a prayer to rid all evil and receive the blessings of the Lotus Sutra. Consequently this prayer brings people to rest their minds and pray for the Rissho Ankoku, establishing peaceful country with right teaching.