Asayama Nichijo

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  • Death: 1577
  • Distinction: Nichiren priest
  • Other names: Nichijô Shonin

Nichijô was a priest of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism from Izumo province and was an ardent opponent of Christianity. In 1568 he convinced Emperor Ôgimachi to issue a decree that ordered the execution of Luis Frois and the banning of Christianity, a measure quickly overturned by Nobunaga. The following year, Nichijô debated religion with Frois and his companion, Brother Lourenço, in the presence of Nobunaga. When Nichijô began to lose the debate, he became infuriated and lunged for Nobunaga's spear, which happened to be sitting in a corner of the room. Nobunaga himself, aided by Wada Koremasa and Sakuma Nobumori, restrained the Buddhist and prevented him from doing any harm to Frois and Lourenço. Nichijô left Kyoto not long afterwards and found service with the Môri of western Japan, whom he assisted in matters of diplomacy.