Toki Jōnin ［富木常忍］ (1216–1299): A lay follower of Nichiren who lived in Wakamiya, Katsushika District of Shimōsa Province, Japan. Because his ancestors owned a manor in Toki, Inaba Province, he was named Toki Tsunenobu. He assumed the name Jōnin, a different reading of Tsunenobu, when he became a lay priest; later he was renamed Nichijō by his teacher, Nichiren. He was also known as the lay priest Toki. He served as a retainer to Lord Chiba. According to one account, he lost his wife and married Myōjō, adopting her son who in 1267 became a disciple of Nichiren and took the name Nitchō. Nitchō was later designated one of the six senior priests by Nichiren. Toki had a son and a daughter by Myōjō. That son, Nitchō (written with different Chinese characters than the name of the adopted son), was appointed the first chief instructor of Omosu Seminary by Nikkō, Nichiren’s successor.
Toki became Nichiren’s follower around 1254, the year after Nichiren first declared his teaching at Seichō-ji. He was a man of considerable erudition, and Nichiren entrusted him with a number of his more important works including The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind, one of his five major writings. After the Matsubagayatsu Persecution in the eighth month of 1260, Toki Jōnin invited Nichiren to live at his residence. Nichiren stayed there for nearly half a year, during which time many people in Shimōsa converted to his teaching. In 1268 the first emissary from the Mongol Empire arrived, demanding that Japan become a tributary to the empire. Declaring this a sign that the prophecy of foreign invasion he made in On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land was about to be fulfilled, Nichiren sent eleven letters of remonstrance to influential political and religious leaders, including the regent Hōjō Tokimune, and demanded an opportunity to defend his teaching in a public religious debate. The following year, Toki Jōnin was summoned to the Office of Legal Affairs of the Kamakura shogunate for questioning together with Ōta Jōmyō and Shijō Kingo, who were also Nichiren’s disciples. Nichiren sent a letter instructing them on how to behave at the place of questioning.
While Nichiren was in exile on Sado from 1271 through 1274, Toki Jōnin, with Shijō Kingo, served as a rallying point for his followers. In 1279, when Nisshū and Nichiben, former Tendai priests who had converted to Nichiren’s teaching, had to flee the Fuji area in the aftermath of the Atsuhara Persecution, Toki Jōnin and his wife, Myōjō, also known as the lay nun Toki, protected them. In addition to The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind, Toki Jōnin received many treatises and letters from Nichiren, including On Taking the Essence of the Lotus Sutra, On the Four Stages of Faith and the Five Stages of Practice, Letter from Sado, and A Sage Perceives the Three Existences of Life.