World Seikyo Center Opens
On Nov. 16, SGI-USA representative leaders attended a commemorative ceremony for the Soka Gakkai World Seikyo Center in Shinanomachi, Tokyo. The official opening was two days later, on Nov. 18. The building serves as the new headquarters for the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.
During the ceremony, the attendees learned about the origins of the Seikyo Shimbun and how second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda shared the dream of creating an organizational newspaper with his young disciple, Daisaku Ikeda, on Aug. 24, 1950, when his businesses were facing extreme setbacks. President Ikeda at the time couldn’t afford a winter overcoat, yet he took on the mission of actualizing this vision, and the first issue was published on April 20, 1951.
A few days after the ceremony, SGI-USA representatives joined members in hand-delivering the Seikyo Shimbun to readers in Tokyo. Following are their impressions.
North Zone Young
Seikyo Shimbun deliverers wake up between 3 and 4 a.m., because they want to have the papers in readers’ hands before breakfast. What struck me was their attention to detail for every subscriber. Each month, the local women’s division members compile an updated list of subscribers that includes details such as how they prefer to have their paper delivered.
On the day we joined them, the local women’s leader had informed the members about us, and many of them woke up at 3 a.m. to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for our safety!
These members truly carry out Sensei’s spirit to treasure the person in front of them. Translating what I learned from this experience, I want to pour my whole life into encouraging the person in front of me, regardless of the circumstances.
West Territory Young Men’s Leader
I am so appreciative to have joined the “uncrowned heroes” of the Soka Gakkai, a term that President Ikeda uses to describe the Seikyo Shimbun deliverers. This experience gave me a glimpse into why they are just that.
I have never seen Tokyo so empty than at 3 a.m., when we left to meet deliverers for their route. Nobody sees what these heroes do every morning; they are truly “uncrowned.”
I learned from this experience how the deliverers take that extra step to care for their members. I am, likewise, determined to go one level deeper in caring for my members. This experience also showed me the importance of our publications, and I will do my best to share this spirit with other young men’s division members.
Southwest Zone Young
It was raining when we met with a local leader to deliver the newspaper. The first thing he mentioned was that we could not let a single drop of water get on the newspapers, because they were personal letters of encouragement from President Ikeda to the members and must be protected.
At one home, we were asked to leave the paper hanging in the mail slot so it could be accessed easily by an elderly member. The leader told us that, if he returned the next day and the paper was still hanging there, they would check to make sure the member was OK.
The two things I took away from this experience were the importance of member care and cherishing our publications. I am determined to know my young men’s division members in the same way, and to treasure my publications so that I can share Sensei’s personal letters of encouragement with them. WT