seven guardian spirits ［七鬼神］ ( shichi-kijin): Spirits said to end epidemics. According to the Mysterious Spells for Eliminating the Illnesses of the Five Components Sutra, calling upon the names of the seven guardian spirits puts an end to epidemics and releases people from suffering and affliction. In Japanese transliteration, they are called Mudanan, Akani, Nikashi, Akana, Harani, Abira, and Hadairi. In his work of 1260 titled On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land, Nichiren portrays the misery accruing from the epidemics that afflicted Japan in his time. In listing the various ways people turned to religion and ritual in a desperate but futile attempt to abate them, he says: “Some write out the names of the seven guardian spirits and paste them on a thousand gates” (6).