1-8 Construction at Yoshizaki
About the beginning of the fourth month in the third year of Bunmei, I just happened to go away from a place near the southern branch temple of Mii-dera at Otsu in the Shiga district of Omi province, and traveled around in Echizen and Kaga provinces.
Then, I took quite a fancy to this place called Yoshizaki in the Hosorogi district of Echizen province, and opened up the mountain, which had so far been inhabited by tigers and wolves. Having constructed a temple of sorts on the twenty-seventh day of the seventh month, I have passed time, day after day, until three years of springs and autumns have come and gone.
Since monks and laypeople, men and women, who have flocked here appear to have no special purpose, I have prohibited their visit from this year. For when I consider the primary reason for living in this place, wouldn’t it be a shame that anyone who has received life in the human world and had the rare opportunity to encounter the Buddha Dharma should vainly fall into hell?
I wonder for what purpose have they come here. So I have laid down the rule prohibiting the visit here of those who have no intention of settling the entrusting heart, manifested as the nembutsu, to attain birth in the land of bliss. This is solely because it is not central to seek fame or profit, but the realization of Bodhi in the afterlife is essential.
Let those who see or hear about this not entertain their arbitrary views.
Humbly and respectfully.
9th month, 5th year of Bunmei 
文明第三初夏上旬のころより､ 江州志賀郡大津三井寺南別所辺より､ なにとなくふとしのび出でて､ 越前・加賀諸所を経回せしめをはりぬ｡
よつて当国細呂宜郷内吉崎といふこの在所､ すぐれておもしろきあひだ､ 年来虎狼のすみなれしこの山中をひきたひらげて､ 七月二十七日よりかたのごとく一宇を建立して､ 昨日今日と過ぎゆくほどに､ はや三年の春秋は送りけり｡
さるほどに道俗男女群集せしむといへども､ さらになにへんともなき体なるあひだ､ 当年より諸人の出入をとどむるこころは､ この在所に居住せしむる根元はなにごとぞなれば､ そもそも人界の生をうけてあひがたき仏法にすでにあへる身が､ いたづらにむなしく捺落に沈まんは､ まことにもつてあさましきことにはあらずや｡
しかるあひだ念仏の信心を決定して極楽の往生をとげんとおもはざらん人々は､ なにしにこの在所へ来集せんこと､ かなふべからざるよしの成敗をくはへをはりぬ｡ これひとへに名聞・利養を本とせず､ ただ後生菩提をこととするがゆゑなり｡
しかれば､ 見聞の諸人､ 偏執をなすことなかれ｡
Index of individual letters:
Letters of Rennyo: The Essence of Shin Buddhism (essay/talk by Rev. Daien T. Haseo)
Letters of Rennyo – On Youtube (presented by Rev. Sugahara Yuki)
Complete Letters of Rennyo translation by the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai follow this link to their website to download a copy.
To purchase the book ‘Letters of Rennyo’ , Translated by as part of the Hongwanji Shin Buddhism Translation Series, this is the publication information & link:
- Title ：Letters of Rennyo
- Author ：Shin Buddhism Translation Series
- Language ：English
- ISBN ：4-938490-20-X
- pages ：164
Buy from Hongwanji International Center: https://international.hongwanji.or.jp/html/c3b1p1.html
If you would like a digital copy containing more translated letters than listed above (albeit not translated by Hongwanji), you can download a PDF from the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai (BDK – Amercia) website here: Link: https://bdkamerica.org/product/tannisho-passages-deploring-deviations-of-faith-and-rennyo-shonin-ofumi-the-letters-of-rennyo/
Credits: The text for the Letters of Rennyo as presented on this and subsequent pages was originally shared on the following site : http://www.yamadera.info/seiten/seiten_index.htm
Please report any broken links here