The Nichiren sect’s first priest to study abroad was Matsuki Bunkyō 松木文恭, a pupil of Arai Nissatsu 新居日薩. Arai promoted the modernization of Nichiren Buddhism, and Matsuki studied English in Shanghai in 1886, and later went to the U.S. In those days, Arai engaged in educational reform of the Nichiren sect and organized subjects such as English and mathematics in the educational structure of Nichiren Buddhism, aiming at educational enrichment. Moreover, he had his pupils study not only at the educational facilities of the Nichiren sect but also at Keiō Gijuku 慶応義塾. Arai recognized the educational importance of the times, and we may conclude that he had Matsuki study abroad so that his pupil could acquire Western knowledge, and pursue language study. This paper considers the conduct of Matsuki and the regulations for students from the Nichiren sect studying abroad.
In the early Meiji era, the government implemented religious policies centered on Shinto which created problems for Buddhist society suffer. However, understanding that there were many problems with these policies, it turned to the use of Buddhism. Meanwhile, the Buddhist community, in order to survive, also proposed the establishment of an organization combining Shinto and Buddhism, which was realized. However, this organization broke up in only three years, and Shinto and Buddhism followed their own paths. Through these movements, the government urged the establishment of a parliament, seeking modernization for each sect of Japanese Buddhism. In this paper, I will consider the transition to the parliamentary system of the Nichiren sect.