Bay at Kominato in Awa Province by Ichiyusai Hiroshige (1797–1858)
According to the lunar Chinese calendar, Nichiren was born on 27th of the first month in 1222, which is 16 February in the Gregorian calendar.
Nichiren was born in the village of Kominato (today part of the city of Kamogawa), Nagase District, Awa Province (within present-day Chiba Prefecture). Accounts of his lineage vary. Nichiren described himself as "the son of a chandala, (despised outcast), "a son born of the lowly people living on a rocky strand of the out-of-the-way sea," and "the son of a sea-diver." In contrast, Hōnen, Shinran, Dōgen, and Eisai, the other founders of religious schools who predated Nichiren, were all born in the Kyoto region and came from noble or samurai backgrounds.
Nichiren's father was Mikuni-no-Tayu Shigetada, also known as Nukina Shigetada Jiro (d. 1258) and his mother was Umegiku-nyo (d. 1267). On his birth, his parents named him Zennichimaro (善日麿) which has variously been translated into English as "Splendid Sun" and "Virtuous Sun Boy" among others. The exact site of Nichiren's birth is believed to be currently submerged off the shore from present-day Kominato-zan Tanjō-ji (小湊山 誕生寺) near a temple in Kominato that commemorates his birth.
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