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Ikeda Sensei

Imparting Hope and Inspiration to All

Kaneko Ikeda Orchids, a gift from Singapore Soka Association, grace the grounds of the SGI-USA Florida Nature and Culture Center, Weston, Fla. On the occasion of Mrs. Ikeda’s 75th birthday, on Feb. 27, 2007, the Singapore National Botanical Garden named the new hybrid orchid in recognition of SGI Honorary Women’s Leader Kaneko Ikeda’s ceaseless efforts for peace. Photo by Mary D’Elia.

From the April 13, 2019, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.

Nichiren Daishonin cites the words, “Since the Law is wonderful, the person is worthy of respect; since the person is worthy of respect, the land is sacred.”[1], [2]

Today, our members everywhere are engaging in dialogue to share the ideals of Nichiren Buddhism and bring genuine peace and happiness to the places where they live. Their efforts are steadily increasing the ranks of respectworthy “friends in the orchid room,” and creating sacred “treasure lands” embodying the principle that the saha world is in itself the Land of Eternally Tranquil Light.[3]

Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, is most certainly applauding us wholeheartedly. He also assures us that all our efforts for kosen-rufu “will implant benefits and roots of goodness in our life”[4] and become eternal “memories of our present life in this human world.”[5]

Whenever I drive through Tokyo’s Ichigaya area, a place that holds many fond memories, I recall my youthful days of shared struggle with my mentor, Josei Toda.

I know he would be absolutely delighted to see how Ichigaya and other areas where he worked for kosen-rufu are flourishing today, and how many wonderful members are energetically carrying on his work.

In May 1951, soon after his inauguration as second Soka Gakkai President, Mr. Toda moved his business offices to the three-story Ichigaya Building near the former outer moat of old Edo Castle. The editorial office of the Seikyo Shimbun was set up there, followed by a branch office of the Soka Gakkai Headquarters. This was also where the daily morning lectures of “Toda University” took place.

In addition, President Toda provided daily guidance and support to members from a room in this building, heartily encouraging those who came to him with all sorts of urgent problems. He would tell them: “If you practice the Daishonin’s Buddhism, you will not fail to become happy. Advance with the heart of a champion! Live out your life proudly as an honorable member of the Soka Gakkai!”

After being encouraged by Mr. Toda, everyone returned home with beaming smiles, as if they had been transformed. Their problems had not gone away, but the courage and hope they gained allowed them to put their problems in perspective with the dauntless conviction that they embodied the invincible power of the Mystic Law.

The Soka Gakkai, united by the bonds of mentor and disciple, is a gathering of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. As proud champions of kosen-rufu, changing karma into mission, let us continue to expand our network dedicated to happiness and peace in the places we have chosen to fulfill our vow.

When I worked for Mr. Toda at the Ichigaya Building, I always greeted everyone with youthful good cheer and energy. I interacted sincerely and openheartedly with all sorts of people, members and nonmembers alike. I struck up a friendly acquaintance with the building’s receptionist, the owners and staff of a small diner two buildings down and the vendor who sold potted plants outside the building. They all came to have a deep understanding and appreciation of the Soka Gakkai’s activities.

The Lotus Sutra states, “The seeds of Buddhahood sprout through causation.”[6] The dialogues being carried out by our youth division members today are creating the causes for the flowering of a brilliant future. I can’t wait to see that happen

April 14 is the day in 1960 when I finally decided to accept the many repeated requests I had received to become the Soka Gakkai’s third president.

I resolved that the time had come for me to repay my gratitude to my mentor as his direct disciple, and to join with our members to carry on our struggle to shape the direction of history in Japan and the world.

That was almost six decades ago. As we approach another May 3, Soka Gakkai Day, let’s continue to make allies of everyone around us, warmly imparting hope and inspiration to all, and make the song of our brilliant victories resound far and wide!


  1. From T’ien-t’ai’s Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra. ↩︎
  2. “The Person and the Law,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1097. ↩︎
  3. See “On Establishing the Correct Teaching,” WND-1, 23, 25. ↩︎
  4. “On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime,” WND-1, 4. ↩︎
  5. “Embracing the Lotus Sutra,” WND-1, 64. ↩︎
  6. The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 75; see “The Properties of Rice,” WND-1, 1117. ↩︎

Let’s Perform a Joyous Song of Spring!

The Noblest Way to Live One’s Youth