Our History

Celebrating May 3!

Soka Gakkai Day and Soka Gakkai Mother’s Day

Photo: iStockphoto / summertree1914.


May 3 is the day on which our friends around the world rejoice, celebrate and deepen their determination to keep fighting for kosen-rufu.
—SGI President Ikeda

SOKA GAKKAI DAY

At the time of second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda’s inauguration on May 3, 1951, the Soka Gakkai consisted of 3,000 members. During his speech, he declared that he would achieve a membership of 750,000 households in his lifetime. Many people listening that day assumed that he accidentally added a zero to his goal, thinking he meant 75,000. By December 1957, however, the Soka Gakkai accomplished a membership of 765,000.

SGI President Ikeda admires a painting depicting his inauguration on May 3, 1960, as third Soka Gakkai president, May 1993. Photo: Seikyo Press.
SGI President Ikeda admires a painting depicting his inauguration on May 3, 1960, as third Soka Gakkai president, May 1993. Photo: Seikyo Press.

On May 3, 1960, Daisaku Ikeda became the third Soka Gakkai president. He immediately set sail on a journey for worldwide kosen-rufu based on his vow with President Toda. Under his leadership, 12 million members, who share the same commitment as their mentor, have emerged in 192 countries and territories.

In a poem written to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his inauguration, President Ikeda elucidates the significance of May 3:

The spirit of May 3
is always to keep forging ahead,
bravely and vigorously.

I will strive as a disciple!
I will strive as a youth!
In this lifetime,
I will carry out the great struggle for the Law
transcending life and death,
applying myself with
courage and selfless dedication
to advance kosen-rufu
even one more step!
(June 4, 2010, World Tribune, p. 2)

SOKA GAKKAI MOTHER’S DAY

At the First Women’s Division Leaders Meeting on April 27, 1988, President Ikeda named May 3 Soka Gakkai Mother’s Day, praising the mothers of kosen-rufu for their great contributions to humanity.

In his February 2009 poem “A Symphony of Great and Noble Mothers,” he likened the mothers of Soka to the sun—brightest of all: “The 80 years of the Soka Gakkai / have been victorious because of mothers’ prayers! / The 50 years of fierce struggle of the third president / have been triumphant because of mothers’ prayers!

Mother / means someone who is never defeated; / it is another word for a person / who is guaranteed to win in the end” (April 17, 2009, World Tribune Special, p. D).

 

(p. 3)