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Ikeda Sensei

Let’s Perform a Joyous Song of Spring!


From the Feb. 24, 2019, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.

Women whose hearts shine like the sun can brightly illuminate their families, communities and society.

While striving valiantly amid the Atsuhara Persecution, Nanjo Tokimitsu and his family were beset by a series of harsh trials, including economic hardship and the sudden death of loved ones. But despite this, Tokimitsu’s mother, the lay nun Ueno, remained undefeated.

Nichiren Daishonin praises and commends her brave efforts in overcoming a winter of adversity, stating, “Your joy at the beginning of spring has unfolded like the cherry blossoms and waxed full like the moon” (“The Gift of Clear Sake,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1091).

Now, all over the world, women’s and young women’s division members are cheerfully moving forward with the conviction that “winter always turns to spring” (“Winter Always Turns to Spring,” WND-1, 536). Together they embody the principle of “cherry, plum, peach and damson” (see The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 200). I am sure that Nichiren would praise them most highly.

Feb. 27 [Mrs. Ikeda’s birthday] is a day that many SGI organizations, including in the United States, Brazil and New Zealand, celebrate as Women’s Day.

And in Japan, March 3—the Doll Festival, or Girls Day—is celebrated as the Young Women’s Division Vow of Youth Day, Osaka Women’s Division Day and Trailblazing Kyushu Women’s Day.

When talking with women’s and young women’s division members, my wife, Kaneko, always expresses her gratitude for their tireless efforts and speaks of her hopes that they will continue moving forward cheerfully and positively, with smiling faces.

My mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, often said that problems and sufferings deepen and strengthen our faith, and cause flowers of happiness to bloom in the future.

Forty years ago, I was subjected to a storm of hatred and jealousy. At that time, I made the Kanagawa Culture Center in Yokohama, which overlooks the ocean, the base for my activities, and devoted myself to engaging in dialogue with as many people as possible, both members and nonmembers alike.

I fondly recall my wife and I encouraging a Kanagawa women’s division member of Cuban nationality, who was struggling with many difficulties. I said to her that by striving in faith she would definitely be able to develop a life state that would allow her to travel freely between Japan and Cuba in the future.

Vowing to sow the seeds of peace and hope in her beloved homeland, she introduced her parents and her younger sister living in Cuba to Nichiren Buddhism. This became the starting point for the development of a magnificent gathering of Bodhisattvas of the Earth in that country, and today, the sun of the humanistic principles of Nichiren Buddhism is brightly illuminating Cuban society.

We can make the greatest causes in the most difficult times. This is the power of the Mystic Law that enables us to change poison into medicine.

Nichiren also wrote a letter of encouragement to the lay nun Sennichi, a dedicated follower on Sado Island (part of present-day Niigata Prefecture), who steadfastly shared his teachings to bring peace to the land and worked hard to assist and support her fellow practitioners. In it, he said, “When the lion king . . . roars, the hundred cubs will then feel emboldened, and the heads of those other beasts and birds of prey [who seek to attack them] will be split into seven pieces” (see “The Drum at the Gate of Thunder,” WND-1, 949).

Nothing reverberates louder than the voices of justice, conviction and encouragement of the women of Soka.

All of our members, sharing a vow from the remote past, are truly inspiring. In the most difficult times, they encourage and support one another, and triumph over adversity together.

The time has also come for the men’s division, the golden pillars of kosen-rufu, who celebrate the anniversary of their division’s founding on March 5, to stand up with fresh resolve.

With the united prayers of the Soka family, let’s activate the positive forces of the universe and perform a song of spring in harmony and high spirits!

Nagano and Beginning The New Human Revolution

Imparting Hope and Inspiration to All