Ikeda Youth Ensemble: “Precepts for Brass Band”

The Spirit of SGI Youth Training Groups

Photo by Anthony Wallen.

The following is SGI President Ikeda’s encouragement on the founding of the brass band.

by Daisaku Ikeda
Written to the young men’s brass band in August 1964.

There are no boundaries in religious philosophy. Humankind shares equally the desire for peace and happiness, and religious philosophy is the only means by which this desire can be answered.

Likewise, there are no boundaries in the field of music. Music is sought by all people. It is the flower of culture and art, a language common to the entire world.

Throughout history, whenever a people or nation has actively risen up to seek genuine happiness and peace, the effort has always been based on great new philosophical ideals. The implementation of those ideals, like the current of a mighty river, aroused their spirit and vitality, and invariably this has been expressed through out-standing music that propelled their monumental progress.

By the same token, what does the growth of the Soka Gakkai signify? It reveals the unprecedented growth of the human race, and the construction of the most dignified culture and means for peace. Accordingly, I’m convinced that an underlying source for furthering this grand, historical pursuit for peace lies in the resonant sounds of the Brass Band that flow forth from the earnest faith of its members.

Much of music today is void of great aspiration or deep emotion, catering to those who seek shallow stimulation and momentary pleasures, while opportunities grow increasingly scarce to find music for those seeking genuine inspiration.

Modern music has lost the rich spirit of humanism, no longer possessing the fragrant beauty of art and culture, or the power to inspire vitality and hope for the future. Moreover, it must be said that the declining level of today’s music has played a decisive role in leading so many youth down the path of delinquency.

We must be the ones who break through this state of decline by raising the banner and issuing the clarion call to bring about a new dawn, the construction of a Third Civilization firmly based on this Buddhism for ordinary people. Burning with great hope for the future, let us engage in a grand musical movement, as we sow the seeds for a great new culture of the people. It is my wish that, without having to utter a word, your performances will powerfully move and inspire your listeners to carry out their human revolution with joy and vitality.

Together with the astounding growth of the Soka Gakkai, our Brass Band has also undergone rapid advancement. A strong foundation has been established both within the Soka Gakkai as well as in society.

Furthermore, our future is of the greatest significance. There is no doubt that in the very near future, one year’s growth of the Soka Gakkai will be equivalent to 10 years’ growth. The Brass Band will advance in like manner.

As those active in society, I urge you to convey the true value and understanding of kosen-rufu while taking the lead and contributing to the advancement of culture throughout the world.

At the same time, I ask you to fully realize the mission of the Brass Band within the organization, inspiring millions of Bodhisattvas of the Earth and giving fellow members hope and courage to overcome their sufferings.

In conclusion, I would like to say that your spirit should transcend vanity, as well as musical techniques and ability. The sound of the Brass Band should be the rhythm of faith. It must roar with the sound of passion, as if to crush the angry waves of the ocean. I ask that you advance with the powerful conviction that the hearts of all will be struck by your performance.

With the rise of a great nation and a dynamic generation, people look forward to new talents and the highest standard of music. Those who rise to this challenge are indeed members of the Brass Band, who I entrust to spread, with pride and awareness, your music to all corners of the world.