Honmon Butsuryu Shu (“HBS”) is a Buddhist sect originating from Buddha and founded by Nichiren Shonin.
Reciting the phrase “Namu Myoho Renge Kyo” as the principle chant which leads to embracing the Buddhist faith was established by Nichiren Shonin, and reciting this chant with devotion forms the basis of practicing HBS. (The phrase “Namu Myoho Renge Kyo” will also be referred to as “Odaimoku” and as the “Lotus Sutra” in the following text.)
This religion is founded on the basic scripture which Buddha preached at the end, proclaiming of the Lotus Sutra, “This is the foremost instruction”. Thus, “Butsuryu Shu” is said to be a sect established from what Buddha himself proclaimed. The Butsuryushu name was used by Dengyo Daishi and Nichiren Shonin.
The Lotus Sutra consists of 28 chapters, which are referred to as the first 14 chapters (Shakumon) and the latter 14 chapters Honmon). “Honmon” in Honmon Butsuryu Shu is derived from the name of the latter 14 chapters. The first 14 chapters are called Shakumon. The “Shaku” in Shakumon means after, as in what is left in the form of a trace or silhouette. The “Hon” in “Honmon” refers to the beginning, source or origin. So Honmon is the teaching established by the Buddha of essence (Kuon Honbutsu) while Shakumon is the teaching established by Shakubutsu. To explain the difference between the two: If Kuon Honbutsu were the moon, Shakubutsu would be like a reflection of the moon on the water.
In the latter 14 chapters of the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren Shonin specifically considered chapters 15-22 (Honmon Happon) independently as the central scriptures. In the Mappo period, 2,000 years after the passing of Buddha, Nichiren believed the Honmon Happon would be the Odaimoku that would save people of the Mappo period, while accepting his mission of spreading Buddhism following his prior existence as Jogyo Bosatsu. Due to this, the Odaimoku of Honmon Happon is at the center of the Honmon Butsuryu Shu sect.
The head temple (Honzan) of HBS is Yuseiji Temple, which is located in Kitano, in the Kamigyoku district of Kyoto. It is the oldest temple of Nichiren Buddhism in Kyoto. There are approximately 300 HBS temples and branch locations in Japan where various events are held and Buddhist services are performed. Also at these locations, many people seek counsel, and community services and activities are provided.
At present there are temples in the United States, Brazil, Australia, Korea and Taiwan, and there are a growing number of adherents at locations in Italy, England, Sri Lanka and elsewhere.