This is George’s photo for his new book. I’m still working on mine. I think of the legendary Eve of the Bible, a great-spirited she-woman because she was so strong so helped others along. Giving birth to all humanity.
There were great-spirited she-women who were real proven people. They received letters from their mentor in gratitude for their offerings. One woman was known as the “mother of Oto”. Like Sacajewa, she strapped her infant daughter to her back and set W on a journey of weeks, on horseback. She endured unpredictable storms, discourteous service, risked bandits and pirates and shipwreck to seek guidance and offer reassurance to her mentor who had been exiled to a remote island off the coast of northern Japan.
He was so impressed by her struggles and pure seeking spirit that he wrote her a beautiful letter of instruction and encouragement that I read today, “It was almost too amazing to be true,” the Daishonin wrote of his deep emotion on seeing her there on his remote place of banishment.
Then he wrote to her about a half dozen stories from the literature, showing comparable seeking spirits of individuals who had been incarnations of the Buddha. They were stories of unbelievable resolve to seek the Way despite incurring painful results or tests of fortitude.
These stories showed her how much she measured up to previous Buddhas,and also showed her that in her day, her sacrifices had been of the right kind for her times. He said, she was unsurpassed “…the foremost votary of the Lotus Sutra among all the women in Japan.”
To be called a votary of the Lotus Sutra was high praise indeed,for that was how he referred to himself, and he was known as the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law.
He gave her an honorary name that she was to be known as, “Nichimyo” or SunWonderful”.
I would say she was a she-woman of great spirit, comparable to Eve of the Bible becuase she was the “foremost” or the first among all the women of Japan and gives us modern day people someone to look up to and emulate and think about.