"From the seventeenth day of the sixth month of the eleventh year of Bun'ei (1274), when I retired here [Mount Minobu], through the eighth day of the twelfth month of this year , I have not ventured away from this mountain. For the past eight years I have become weaker year by year because of emaciating sickness and old age and my mental powers have waned. I have been ill since the spring of this year, and with the passing of autumn and arrival of winter I have grown weaker by the day and each night my symptoms have grown more severe. For more than 10 days now I have hardly been able to eat anything. Meanwhile the snow grows deeper and I am assailed by the cold.
My body is as cold as a stone, and the coldness in my breast is like ice. At such times, I warm up some sake and consume kakko, and it's as though a fire has been kindled in my heart, or like entering a hot bath. Sweat washes my body and the droplets cleanse my feet.
As I was happily thinking about how I might respond to your sincerity, tears welled up in my eyes...
While I, Nichiren, have been refraining from responding to letters from people on account of my illness, I am so saddened by this matter [of Shichiro Goro's death] that I have taken up my brush to write you. I, too, shall not be long in this world. I believe that I will certainly meet Lord Goro. If I should see him before you do, then I win inform him of your grief. Nichiren" (Gosho Zenshu, pp. 1583-84)