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Ikeda Sensei



This is a new photo essay series Treasures of the Four Seasons by SGI President Ikeda. This text originally appeared in the April 1, 2018, issue of Boys and Girls Hope News, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly newspaper for the elementary school division.

Our planet Earth is a beautiful, living art museum. In all places and through all seasons, it fills us with delight.

Each time of year has its wonders—the lovely flowers of spring, the bright blue sky and ocean of summer, the red and gold leaves of autumn, and the joyful New Year celebrations of winter.

Each day, throughout the changing seasons, we are able to make fresh discoveries, noticing something beautiful or exciting that we hadn’t the day before. Such experiences lighten our hearts and bring a bounce to our step.

My dear friends of the elementary school division, let’s set out together to find the treasures of the four seasons that are all around us!

Congratulations on the start of a new school year![1]

In this season of spring, I am reminded of the Japanese children’s song “Tulips.”[2]

Blooming, blooming
The tulips are blooming
In row upon row
Of red, white, and yellow
Each flower
Is beautiful!

Tulips were first cultivated in Japan about 100 years ago. They come in different colors—not just the red, white and yellow described in the song, but also in pink, purple and many other hues.

Similarly, you probably have many different kinds of friends in your class: chatty friends, quiet friends, energetic friends, mild-mannered friends … Each is unique in their own way. You might not get along with some of them, but I’m sure that if you look closely, you’ll discover their good points, too.

The person who wrote the song “Tulips” sought to convey the message that every flower has a positive quality, and to encourage us to find it.

This song was written in 1931, the year after the Soka Gakkai was established. The first and second Soka Gakkai presidents, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda, founded our organization based on their wish to enable all children to reveal their full potential and cause flowers of happiness to blossom in their lives.

How can you discover the good qualities of those around you? It starts by being brave and taking action. For example, you can be the one who greets others with a cheerful “Good morning!” each day. If someone is kind to you, you can respond with a sincere “Thank you!” This is how you build heart-to-heart bonds with others. It is the first step to becoming friends.

It is my hope that all of you will discover many good points about your friends as you strive to be kind and considerate to others. Please be confident and continue developing your own good points as well.

I am praying that, in a year from now, your efforts will have caused bright and happy smiles to adorn your faces and those of the people around you.


  1. The Japanese school year starts in April. ↩︎
  2. Lyrics by Miyako Kondo, music by Takeshi Inoue. ↩︎

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