Forging an Unshakable Castle of Capable People
The Central Executive Committee affirmed its focus on raising a core of capable youth in the chapters toward the 50,000 gathering in 2018.
The entire future
is decided by successors.
If young people
stand up with the life and mission they inherit,
then we can continue
to win forever.
A person who has created
a torrent of capable people
is a true victor.
—SGI President Ikeda, from the poem “Encouragement Throughout the Four Seasons,” March 4 Seikyo Shimbun [tentative translation]
SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 11—As the SGI-USA advances in earnest toward gathering 50,000 capable youth in 2018, the Central Executive Committee met in March to affirm the spirit and framework of building a movement of Soka successors on the frontlines.
In a message read at the CEC’s quarterly meeting, SGI President Ikeda encouraged the members of America to advance as “models of kosen-rufu” by strengthening the powers of faith and practice.
“With the youth in the forefront, please continue forging a strong and unshakable castle of capable people that the entire world will look up to and admire,” President Ikeda also wrote. “And let’s each brightly demonstrate our monumental achievements in human revolution and in kosen-rufu!”
The Central Executive Committee, comprising national and territory leaders, meets quarterly to set the organization’s goals, direction, policies and activity guidelines.
What is the spirit behind gathering 50,000 youth?
President Ikeda declared that he would strive anew toward Nov. 18, 2018—the fifth anniversary of the completion of the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu [in Shinanomachi, Tokyo]. And at the start of the New Year, the Seikyo Shimbun carried the first installment of “Great Mountain,” the first chapter in volume 30 of The New Human Revolution—the final volume of his epic, novelized account of the Soka Gakkai’s history. (See the latest installments on pp. 2–3 of this issue.)
SGI Vice President Yoshiki Tanigawa, during his recent visit to the U.S., posed the question: For us, what does it mean that President Ikeda is putting the finishing touches on his life and eternalizing the foundation of the Soka Gakkai?
“In concrete terms, this means building the ranks of capable youth who seek Sensei as their mentor and who are committed to their vow of realizing their mentor’s ideals and visions,” he said (see April 7 World Tribune, pp. 10–11).
The CEC members discussed that while the 50,000 gathering represents a significant milestone in the SGI-USA, the ultimate purpose is to strengthen the 4 Pillars of Kosen-rufu and build a core of capable youth in each chapter.
What is the framework of the gathering?
• The CEC voted unanimously to hold the 2018 youth gathering in three locations across the country, to be chosen in the fall by the three territories—Central, East and West.
• With the same heart and spirit of the 50,000 gathering, the future division will hold junior high/high school division meetings in the summer of 2018 at SGI-USA Buddhist centers across the country.
SGI-USA General Director Adin Strauss shared with the CEC participants that the “50,000 victory” resides within our own lives. “The decisive factor will be the confidence and conviction that we can bring to bear,” he said. “The primary determinant will be the ferocity of our prayer. I am 100 percent determined to bring this forth from my own life.”
The chapter is the key.
The SGI-USA’s vision toward Nov. 18, 2018, is to build a movement of core youth in each chapter, meaning youth who attend discussion meetings and subscribe to the SGI-USA publications.
Toward that end, the CEC members set the following organizational direction centered on the 4 Pillars of Kosen-rufu.
Encourage youth attendance in the district discussion meetings—especially during the three key months of May, August and November—while striving for a steady increase in participation each time.
Together, all four divisions will work to make discussion meetings more youth friendly.
While members continue to broadly spread Soka Gakkai Nichiren Buddhism, the CEC renewed its focus on introducing youth to the practice toward the nationwide goal of 7,000 youth shakubuku in 2017. Since the start of this year, more than 1,500 young people have joined the practice.
Starting this month, district-through-national youth leaders will begin participating in the Second Class of the Ikeda Wisdom Academy, with its focus on The Opening of the Eyes: SGI President Ikeda’s Lecture Series. The youth study schedule will be communicated to the men’s and women’s divisions, so that they can support promoting attendance at these meetings.
The CEC set a goal of visiting and encouraging 20,000 youth nationwide, conducted by unit-through-national leaders of all four divisions. Their visits will be included in the overall total by recording them at: www.sgi-usa.org/homevisit.