Our History

Night View From the Kanagawa Culture Center

The Kanagawa Culture Center, located in Yokohama, holds profound significance for the SGI.

The night view of the Port of Yokohama taken from the eighth floor of the Kanagawa Culture Center. Photo: David Witkowski.

“From [the Kanagawa Culture Center], I was determined to carry out a new struggle—the true, or “essential,” struggle for the Law that represented the purpose for my appearance in this world.”[1]August 8, 2001, World Tribune, p. 8.
—SGI President Ikeda


Linking the World

The Kanagawa Culture Center, located in Yokohama, holds profound significance for the SGI. In 1979, after Daisaku Ikeda resigned as third president of the Soka Gakkai to protect the members from the machinations of the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood, he chose not to return to the Soka Gakkai Headquarters, but instead went to the Kanagawa Culture Center. He strongly felt that the location symbolized his determination to spread the ideals of Buddhist humanism throughout the globe, as the culture center commands a view of the Pacific Ocean, which links the world.

The “Sunflower 7”

In 1980, one year following his resignation as third Soka Gakkai president, several thousand Soka Gakkai members from Shikoku Island traveled by ship for nearly 23 hours to the Port of Yokohama on three occasions between January and May. The first of these ships was named “Sunflower 7.”

After President Ikeda’s resignation, he was callously forbidden to travel around Japan and give guidance to the members. The Shikoku members, however, decided to go directly to seek their mentor, rather than simply wait until conditions allowed for him to visit them.

Flashlights Waving in the Night

When the ship departed from the Port of Yokohama to return to Shikoku, President and Mrs. Ikeda wanted to give a hearty send-off, but it would be difficult for the members to see them waving in the dark night. So as the ship departed, they decided to wave flashlights from a room in the Kanagawa Culture Center that would be seen by the Shikoku members.

The flashlights used by President and Mrs. Ikeda to see off the members from Shikoku, 1980. Photo: David Witkowski.

This was a memory of the shared struggle of mentor and disciple that the Shikoku members would never forget.

(p. 3)

Notes   [ + ]

1. August 8, 2001, World Tribune, p. 8.