A New Movement of Human Revolution
The following is an excerpt of Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada’s speech that was delivered on Oct. 7, 2018, at the 38th Headquarters Leaders Meeting of the New Era of Worldwide Kosen-rufu, held in conjunction with the Chugoku General Meeting, at the Hiroshima Ikeda Peace Memorial Hall in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. The text appeared in the Oct. 13, 2018, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.
Congratulations on holding this 38th Headquarters Leaders Meeting of the New Era of Worldwide Kosen-rufu and the Chugoku General Meeting!
Joining us today are 88 SGI members from six countries and territories. Welcome and thank you for traveling great distances to be here!
This marks the 40th year of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between China and Japan, and the 50th anniversary of SGI President Ikeda’s proposal to restore diplomatic ties between the two countries. Recently, a Soka Gakkai delegation visited China to commemorate these milestones, and it ended in great success. Thank you very much for your support!
During our visit, we met with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan. In addition, both the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the China-Japan Friendship Association, which had invited us to China, presented President Ikeda with the China-Japan Friendship Contribution Award. We also renewed our friendship with Tang Jiaxuan, the chairman of the China-Japan Friendship Association.
Vice President Wang, who until last year was a member of the Politburo Standing Committee—a committee of the top leaders in China’s Communist Party—and is a close associate of Chinese President Xi Jinping, said the following: “Taking action based on one’s ideals is the only basis for confirming the truth . . . The true value of one’s actions becomes apparent only by undergoing trials over the course of time and history. In that sense, the significance of President Ikeda’s proposal for the restoration of diplomatic ties, made some 50 years ago, has now been validated. He truly is a person of extraordinary vision.”
I would like to report that our visit to China played an important role in reinforcing the bilateral ties between our two countries and renewing our determination to strengthen the bridges of friendship between China and Japan. We also refreshed our commitment, especially as disciples of President Ikeda, to succeed in carrying out concrete actions to realize his vision.
Now, at this time, with the completion of The New Human Revolution novel, it is up to the disciples of President Ikeda to create a new history. After we achieve victory this Nov. 18, which is the fifth anniversary of the completion of the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu, our next goal will be the 90th anniversary of the Soka Gakkai’s founding on Nov. 18, 2020.
And, as we look toward the 90th anniversary, we must make next year a decisive year to reach one summit after another for the sake of kosen-rufu and make causes for victory in 2020.
Accordingly, the Soka Gakkai’s theme for 2019 will be: The Year of Soka Victory—Toward Our 90th Anniversary. Next year, as we aim toward 2020, let’s resolutely create a history of successive victories, one after another.
In the first essay he wrote after completing The New Human Revolution, President Ikeda writes:
With fresh determination, let us embark anew toward achieving worldwide kosen-rufu, the goal of world peace that humankind so earnestly longs for.
I will advance. Please advance, too.
I will fight. Please fight, too.
I will win. Please win, too.
Let us join together to spread the great light of human revolution and compose a new and magnificent epic of Soka mentor and disciples! Our journey to fulfill our vow will go on forever! (published in the Sept. 15, 2018, Seikyo Shimbun)
Sensei’s sole concern is the happiness of every single member. Therefore, there will be no “Soka Victory” without the victory of every one of us. We each must raise the banner of justice to fulfill our vow with our mentor, while striving to advance kosen-rufu and engage in dialogue to “establish the correct teaching for the peace of the land.” In so doing, let’s expand our life condition, accumulate good fortune and create lives of victory.
Let us decide to make The Year of Soka Victory the “year of victory for mentor and disciple” as we achieve complete victory in all our endeavors!
Meeting With Friends and Having Heart-to-Heart Dialogues
How can we help even one more member stand up, and how can we help everyone bring forth their full potential? What I learned from Sensei is the spirit of “perceiving the true aspect of reality” (see The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 267).
For President Ikeda’s first visit to China (in 1974), I was selected as one of the members of the delegation. And I began making preparations by interviewing people involved in Sino-Japanese relations and reading reports of those who had visited China. I thought I should start my efforts by creating an atmosphere for studying. So, I bought many thick books on China and piled them high on my desk in the planning office. Eager to make our historical first visit to China a great success, I single-mindedly devoted myself to this kind of preparation.
During this time, President Ikeda unexpectedly came by our office. I was pretty sure he would encourage us, saying, “You’re working so hard!” But I had completely missed the mark.
There will be no “Soka Victory” without the victory of every one of us.
He said in a strict tone: “This is exactly what I was afraid of. Just piling up all these books won’t help you understand China. You’ll end up swayed by biases that’ll keep you from seeing the real picture. What’s most important is that as Buddhists you are able to ‘perceive the true aspect of reality.’ So that you’re not swayed by any prejudice or bias, please get rid of all this material! Get it off this table!”
So saying, he walked to the table and swept all our books and papers onto the floor.
It was an eye-opening moment for me. For this first visit to China, we had been preoccupied with showing how much we were preparing, but ended up being swayed by the biases in the material we had collected. Sensei keenly saw through this and gave us strict guidance.
In applying this idea to fostering capable people, we can’t understand the true nature, the true heart of each member just by seeing them at meetings or planning activities. As Sensei stated in his guidance, the key is in “perceiving the true aspect of reality.” It’s my conviction that when leaders make the effort to visit each member, they establish heartfelt bonds through such personal interactions, and this helps each member attain victory. This is what it means to achieve “Soka Victory.”
Soon after the Treaty of Peace and Friendship was signed between China and Japan, President Ikeda made his fourth visit to China in September 1978. During that visit, he suggested to those he was with to sing a song, and the song they sang together was the song of Chugoku “Ode to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth.”
Let’s make great advancements in our own human revolution that resonate with that Chugoku song “Ode to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth,” as we make efforts toward this Nov. 18, the fifth anniversary of the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu, and into next year, The Year of Soka Victory—Toward Our 90th Anniversary! WT