four teachers of the three countries ［三国四師］ ( sangoku-shishi): The four teachers Nichiren (1222–1282) listed as having revealed and transmitted the Lotus Sutra correctly. They are Shakyamuni of India, T’ien-t’ai (538–597) of China, and Dengyō (767–822) and Nichiren of Japan. Buddhism originated in India, was brought to China, and made its way to Japan. Thus, these three countries were regarded as the lands of the transmission and spread of Buddhism. In On the Buddha’s Prophecy, Nichiren writes: “The Great Teacher Dengyō says: ‘Shakyamuni taught that the shallow is easy to embrace, but the profound is difficult. To discard the shallow and seek the profound is the way of a person of courage. The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai trusted and obeyed Shakyamuni and worked to uphold the Lotus school, spreading its teachings throughout China. We of Mount Hiei inherited the doctrine from T’ien-t’ai and work to uphold the Lotus school and to disseminate its teachings throughout Japan.’ I, Nichiren of Awa Province, have doubtless inherited the teachings of the Law from these three teachers, and in this era of the Latter Day I work to uphold the Lotus school and disseminate the Law. Together we should be called the four teachers of the three countries” (402).