Feature

Ikeda Youth Ensemble: “Angels of Peace”

The following is SGI President Ikeda’s encouragement on the founding of the fife and drum corps.

Photo by Sanya Lu.


by Daisaku Ikeda

Written to the young women’s fife and drum corps on September 18, 1971.

Angels of peace, you bearers of culture!
Ah, the fervent breath
of my friends on fife and drum—
you fashion a single ever-fresh flower
dressing up our dreary world.

Marching to the flanks, or forward, or pinwheeling
at the drum major’s bidding,
the elegance of close-order drill
creates a divinely fluid dance flowing from the fervor
that charges your minds, charges your bodies.

Along the chilly paths of discipline
in our chaotic and jaded age,
your radiant circle (a ring of life linked with
precious life)
emits the sparkling good sense of youth
and a well-wrought song of triumph.

Daughters of the nameless masses,
pioneers in smashing the walls between people
as you melt the seasoned ices of ideology,
you are the unofficial envoys—
true and trustworthy angels of peace.

Strangers to political craft,
strangers to diplomatic stratagems,
without speaking a word, you spread our
philosophy of peace,
you extend the frontiers of friendship—
touching the people where they are.

Using neither bullets nor bayonets,
but only simple fifes and drums,
you play the basic rhythms of the Mystic Universe;
none can help responding from deep within.
Certainly you shall spur the world to peace!

Yes, we find in you a florid oasis
greening our spiritual desert:
your lighthearted “Do Re Mi,”
your lyrical and lucid “Moonlight Over a
Ruined Castle,”
your “Symphony of Joy.”

I shall never forget
tears gleaming in the eyes of those angels
who see from afar the bulwarks of world solidarity
beyond the soaring horizon,
I cheer the tunes in every glistening pearly tear.

As you evade the flames of war,
clearing the din of progress
and announcing to all the New Truth,
you light now one, now another
light of life among us.

The lights you’ve lit merge into patterns
spreading everywhere over the gloom,
over the ugliness of these latter days:
your light soon will generate the passion
to fire all our tomorrows.

(p. 32)