six senior priests ［六老僧］ ( roku-rōsō): Six priests whom Nichiren designated as his major disciples on the eighth day of the tenth month, 1282, shortly before his death. In order of conversion, they were Nisshō (1221–1323), Nichirō (1245–1320), Nikkō (1246–1333), Nikō (1253–1314), Nitchō (1252–1317), and Nichiji (b. 1250). Of these six, Nikkō was appointed as Nichiren’s successor. After Nichiren’s death, the other five gradually departed from his teachings and, under pressure from the government, declared themselves to be priests of the Tendai school, an established school of the day. Hence, in contrast with Nikkō, they are referred to as the five senior priests. The fundamental differences between Nikkō and the other five lay in their understanding of Nichiren’s teachings. Nikkō regarded Nichiren’s writings as foundational scriptures, calling them Gosho (literally, honorable writings; go is an honorific prefix, and sho means writing), while the five based themselves primarily on T’ien-t’ai’s works. Nikkō revered Nichiren’s mandala called the Gohonzon as the object of devotion, while the five worshiped images of Shakyamuni Buddha. See also five senior priests.