Living Buddhism

Karuizawa

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“And it was here in Nagano, the land of free speech, that I, too, with my mentor’s spirit and beliefs forever engraved in my heart, summoned my courage to speak out for humanism in order to fight against the bestiality of the present-day world rife with evil abuses of power. ”[1]April 10, 1998, World Tribune, p. 11. —Daisaku Ikeda

An oasis of lush greenery imbued with the heart of mentor and disciple

1886: British missionary Alexander Shaw falls in love with Karuizawa as he passes through. He is particularly taken in by its lush greenery and mist, reminding him of his native land. Shaw invites other missionaries and expatriates to join him in establishing a western community in Japan’s scenic countryside.

1894: The Manpei Hotel, one of the first western-style hotels in Japan, is established to accommodate the increasing number of visiting foreigners. Karuizawa increases in popularity as a summer retreat.

1916: Indian poet, author, artist and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore visits Karuizawa. His bust still stands in the town.

1925: Founding Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi takes his disciple Josei Toda to Karuizawa for their first of several visits.

1945–52: Following Japan’s surrender in World War II, Karuizawa becomes a rest and recreation center for U.S. troops and their families.

1951: The first Soka Gakkai member emerges and establishes Karuizawa District.

1957: Second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda travels to Karuizawa with several Soka Gakkai leaders, including Daisaku Ikeda. President Toda explains the Soka Gakkai’s mission to abolish nuclear weapons, and how he must entrust this task to the youth division. He also discusses the reason why he wrote his novel, The Human Revolution. During this trip, Daisaku Ikeda decides to continue writing this novel to ensure the world knows the greatness of his mentor, Mr. Toda.

1978: The Soka Gakkai Nagano Training Center opens on August 18.

1993: On August 6, marking the anniversary of the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima, SGI President Ikeda begins writing The New
Human Revolution at the Nagano Training Center.

(p. 3)

Notes   [ + ]

1. April 10, 1998, World Tribune, p. 11.