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In 1279, twenty peasants who were lay followers of the Buddhist teacher Nichiren were summarily arrested at Atsuhara in the Fuji district of Suruga province and were sent for trial to Kamakura, where three of them were beheaded. This incident is known in the history of Nichiren Buddhism as the Atsuhara persecution. The first part of this article outlines the circumstances of the persecution and the political and religious tensions that fueled it and considers how Nichiren was able to persuadedoi:10.18874/jjrs.41.1.2014.153-189 fatcat:ig2lrre4bbhd7bahitjrtxpbl4