Refreshing Our Youthful Vow on the 60th Anniversary of Kosen-rufu Day
60 Years: Celebrating the Spirit of March 16
Sixty years ago this month, on March 16, 1958, 6,000 youth gathered at the foot of Mount Fuji for a solemn ceremony together with their mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda. Three months earlier, President Toda had achieved his cherished goal to light the torch of happiness for 750,000 households in Japan—Bodhisattvas of the Earth—thus laying the foundation for kosen-rufu in the Latter Day of the Law. Pressing the limits of his own mortality, he then sought to pass on the mission and responsibility for kosen-rufu to the youth, so that the Buddha’s will would continue to develop into the distant future.
In February 1958, just two months before his death, President Toda had charged Daisaku Ikeda, who was then the Youth Division Chief of Staff, with achieving 3 million Soka Gakkai households within the next seven years. He declared: “What a magnificent age it will be when we have ten million people practicing Nichiren Buddhism! I cannot wait” (The Human Revolution, p. 1854). As history has borne out, Daisaku Ikeda, as third Soka Gakkai president, went on to achieve that goal and has since led the spread of Soka Gakkai Nichiren Buddhism to 12 million people in 192 countries and territories, displaying the spirit of a true disciple to make the mentor’s vision a reality. Ultimately, March 16 represents the day when disciples stand up to be counted, refreshing their vow to carry out their mentor’s teachings and fulfill their vow for kosen-rufu. On the 60th anniversary of March 16, we celebrate this essential spirit.