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Ikeda Sensei

Let’s Experience the Essence of Human Revolution


From the July 5, 2019, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.

I would like to express my sincere sympathies to all those affected by the recent unprecedented rains in Kagoshima, Miyazaki, Kumamoto and other parts of Kyushu [the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands].

Through faith in the Mystic Law, we can “lessen karmic retribution” and “change poison into medicine.”

On July 3, 2019, my wife, Kaneko, and I visited the Tokyo Makiguchi Memorial Hall in Hachioji, Tokyo. Recalling the spirit of first Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, who traveled all the way to Fukuoka and other parts of Kyushu, we prayed earnestly for the speedy recovery of the areas affected by the downpour, and for all heavenly deities and Buddhas to firmly protect our beloved members in Kyushu.

On display at the hall is a much-read copy of Nichiren Daishonin’s writings, which belonged to Mr. Makiguchi, who died in prison for his beliefs. This is the heart of the hall, which is dedicated to fostering champions of kosen-rufu.

Mr. Makiguchi highlighted in his copy the following passage from the Lotus Sutra:

As the light of the sun and moon
can banish all obscurity and gloom,
so this person as he advances through
the world
can wipe out the darkness of living

Citing this passage during an interrogation in prison, Mr. Makiguchi proclaimed the true purpose of Nichiren Buddhism and the validity of the Soka Gakkai, the organization practicing in exact accord with its teachings.

He often told the members to the effect: “We’re trying to faithfully carry out Nichiren’s intent, so what could possibly be holding you back? Buddhism is not an intellectual game. Its purpose is to liberate the land and the people from suffering.”

What an immense source of pride it is for us to have such a founder. The best way for us to repay our debt of gratitude to him is to go out among the people and into society just as he did, and engage steadfastly in dialogue to realize the Daishonin’s ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land.” Let’s dispel the darkness of suffering with the Buddhism of the Sun.

July marks the anniversaries of several never-to-be forgotten events in the history of kosen-rufu.

On July 6, 1943, Mr. Makiguchi and his disciple, [second Soka Gakkai President] Josei Toda, were arrested for refusing to bow to the demands of Japan’s wartime militarist authorities.

Fourteen years later, on July 3, 1957, on my way from Hokkaido to Osaka [to appear for questioning in relation to the Osaka Incident],[2] I made a brief stopover at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, where Mr. Toda handed me a copy of his just-completed novel, Human Revolution.

In the novel’s “Afterword,” which I read on the plane, he wrote, “My cherished wish is that you fight courageously against the three powerful enemies, vanquish the three obstacles and four devils, and experience the true great benefit of faith, the essence of human revolution.”

I would like to share these stirring words of Mr. Toda with my trustworthy members of the young men’s and young women’s divisions, who are exerting themselves energetically in their anniversary month. [The young men’s division was founded on July 11, and the young women’s division on July 19, in 1951.]

I am certain that both Presidents Makiguchi and Toda would applaud the tireless efforts of our members, who forge ahead wearing the “armor of perseverance” (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 233).

The members of the Kansai women’s division, with whom I have shared countless joys and hardships together over the years, once asked me what it means to wage a fierce struggle for kosen-rufu.

I replied with a smile that even when waging a fierce struggle, we can speak in a calm tone and remain pleasant as we try and get our point across. In short, the most important thing in an intense struggle, I said, is the unwavering determination to persevere and win in the end, whatever the circumstances—the firm resolve to triumph over all and achieve one’s goals.

The tougher the challenges we face, the more we should strive to strengthen our bonds with our fellow members, supporting and encouraging one another as we move forward in harmony and good cheer.


  1. This passage originally appears in The Lotus Sutra and Its
    Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 318, as well as in the letter “This
    Person Advances through the World,” The Writings of Nichiren
    Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 101 ↩︎
  2. Osaka Incident: The occasion when SGI President Ikeda, then Soka Gakkai youth division chief of staff, was arrested and wrongfully charged with election law violations in a House of Councillors by-election in Osaka in 1957. At the end of the court case, which continued for more than four years, he was fully exonerated of all charges on Jan. 25, 1962. ↩︎

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