Shijō Kingo ［四条金吾］ (c. 1230–1300): A follower of Nichiren who lived in Kamakura, Japan. His full name and title were Shijō Nakatsukasa Saburō Saemon-no-jō Yorimoto. Kingo is an equivalent of the title Saemon-no-jō. His wife was Nichigen-nyo and they had two daughters, Tsukimaro and Kyō’ō. As a samurai retainer, he served the Ema family, a branch of the ruling Hōjō clan. Kingo was well versed in both medicine and the martial arts, and in temperament was straightforward, loyal, and passionate. He is said to have converted to Nichiren’s teachings around 1256, at about the same time as Kudō Yoshitaka and the brothers Ikegami Munenaka and Ikegami Munenaga. When Nichiren was taken to Tatsunokuchi to be beheaded in 1271, Shijō Kingo accompanied him, resolved to die by his side. After Nichiren was exiled to Sado Island, Shijō Kingo sent a messenger to him with various offerings. Through this messenger Nichiren entrusted Shijō Kingo with his treatise The Opening of the Eyes, which he had completed in the second month of 1272. A few months later, Kingo himself made the journey to Sado to visit Nichiren.
Sometime after Nichiren returned from Sado and moved to Minobu in 1274, Shijō Kingo tried to convert his lord, Ema, who was a believer of the Pure Land (Jōdo) school and a follower of the priest Ryōkan of Gokuraku-ji temple. Lord Ema did not take kindly to his retainer’s belief in the Lotus Sutra or support of Nichiren, whom Ryōkan hated, and harassed him on that account. At one point, he ordered Kingo to abandon his faith in Nichiren’s teaching, threatening to transfer him to the remote province of Echigo if he did not obey. In 1277 Shijō Kingo happened to observe a debate at Kuwagayatsu in Kamakura in which Sammi-bō, a disciple of Nichiren, defeated Ryūzō-bō, a Tendai priest and a protégé of Ryōkan. Fellow samurai jealous of Kingo saw a chance to disgrace him in the eyes of his lord and reported falsely to Lord Ema that Kingo had forcibly disrupted the debate. This led Lord Ema to threaten to confiscate Kingo’s fief.
Nichiren drafted a petition to Lord Ema on behalf of Shijō Kingo, which he sent to his loyal disciple. Before long, Lord Ema fell ill, and eventually had to ask Shijō Kingo for treatment. He recovered under Kingo’s care and thereafter placed renewed trust in him. In 1278 Kingo received from Ema another estate three times larger than his original one. When Nichiren became ill in his later years, Shijō Kingo attended to him at Minobu. Kingo also attended Nichiren on his deathbed and participated in his funeral. After Nichiren’s death, he lived in retirement at Utsubuna in Kai Province.