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“Nothing Is Impossible”

Masayo Mukumoto at her home in Gardena, Calif. Photo by STEPHANIE MIYAMAE.

by Masayo Mukumoto

I learned the spirit of financial offerings from my mother. When she joined the Soka Gakkai in Japan in 1962, my family’s business had gone bankrupt, and we had many financial problems. I was 19, and the only one working. I couldn’t afford lunch, so I would tell my co-workers that I was leaving to eat, but then go window shopping for an hour before returning.

My mother chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo so much during that time—many times overnight—to transform our karma. She also gave a small financial offering to the Soka Gakkai every month with appreciation.

Almost 10 months later, the owner of our building sent us a check for a large amount to move out. We didn’t even have a bank account at the time! The first thing my mother bought was a big altar for the Gohonzon.

A treasured photo of Mrs. Mukumoto taken by SGI President Ikeda during his 1987 visit to Los Angeles. COURTESY OF MASAYO MUKUMOTO.

In 1987 (after I had moved to the U.S.), SGI President Ikeda came to Los Angeles, and I was asked to support behind the scenes. Just as I was about to leave, my sister-in-law broke down and told me that we were losing our home. Despite my challenges, I decided that most important was to stay on the path of my vow, like my mother had done, and support Sensei’s activities.

One day during his stay, I was working behind the scenes when I had a moving encounter with him. Sensing that I was struggling, he asked whether he could take a picture of me and pulled out a Polaroid camera. Afterward, he handed the photo to me and said, “This is for you.” I was so moved that I went to the back room and cried. I didn’t tell anyone what I was going through. I had just decided: I’m going to support Sensei’s activities for peace. I realized then that President Ikeda understands what’s going on in your heart.

After we lost our home, we sued the bank for cheating us out of our home. The court case went on for seven years. At the last moment, an attorney for the bank called us and said she’d like to support our side. We won a large settlement that enabled us to purchase two new homes, including the one I live in and open for activities today.

I have so much appreciation for the Gohonzon, Sensei and the SGI. Whatever problem I have, I know I can challenge it through chanting, shakubuku and contribution. Nothing is impossible. WT

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Changing My Family Karma