Skip to main content

The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu

Volume 11: Chapter One—Light of Dawn

Chapter Summary

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

On March 10, 1966, Shin’ichi Yamamoto visited Brazil for the first time in five-and-a-half years. Since his first visit in October 1960, the Soka Gakkai membership in Brazil had grown to 8,000 member households. On March 13, Shin’ichi planned to attend a grand culture festival in São Paulo. The Brazilian mass media, however, had spread false claims that the Soka Gakkai was a dangerous organization attempting to undermine the social order. In response to this reality, Shin’ichi encouraged the Brazilian members saying that the three obstacles and four devils had arisen as a result of their organization’s remarkable growth.

On March 11, Shin’ichi toured Rio de Janeiro. He was also interviewed by a well-known Brazilian journalist with the goal of correcting prejudices and misunderstandings toward the Soka Gakkai.

On March 13, the day after Shin’ichi arrived in São Paulo, he attended the South America Culture Festival, which was held under police surveillance. The Brazilian members resolved to transform Brazil into a country that understood and praised the efforts of President Yamamoto and the Soka Gakkai more than any other country in the world.

In March 1974, when President Yamamoto was scheduled to visit Brazil again, his visa was denied and he was forced to cancel his trip. The Brazilian members, however, strengthened their resolve, saying, “We will definitely welcome President Yamamoto to Brazil again!” They determined to gain such a level of trust in society that the Brazilian president himself would invite him. Then, in 1984, Shin’ichi was finally able to realize his next visit to Brazil, this time at the personal invitation of the nation’s president. SGI-Brazil had broken through the deep darkness that had shrouded its path and was finally greeting the brilliant light of dawn.

Unforgettable Scene

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

Roaring Cheers of Joy in Brazil

In March 1974, the SGI members in Brazil eagerly awaited welcoming Shin’ichi Yamamoto with a culture festival. However, due to misunderstandings about the Soka Gakkai, the government did not issue necessary visas and, at the last minute, his trip was cancelled. A call was placed to the leaders in Brazil to inform them about the cancellation.

Just then, [Kaoru Tahara’s] voice was replaced by another over the phone lines. “I hope you’re all right. You must be strong!” It was Shin’ichi Yamamoto.

Saiki responded energetically, trying to rouse his own courage: “I’m fine!”

“I’m sure this is difficult for you, and I can imagine how disappointed and frustrated you must feel, but this is all part of the workings of the Buddha’s wisdom. No doubt it has profound significance. There are times when a present victory actually plants the seed for future failure or defeat, as well as times when a present defeat creates the cause for an enduring future victory. Now is the time for the Brazilian members to rise up and use this challenge as the starting point for dramatic advancement that will lead to tremendous new growth and development. It is your firm resolve based on faith that will enable you to achieve this.

“In the long run, those who have suffered, who have endured the greatest hardship, always become strong. That is a fundamental tenet of Nichiren Buddhism. Though I am not able to visit you now, I will definitely make it there to encourage all of you at some point.” (The New Human Revolution, vol. 11, pp. 60–61)

■  ■  ■

Feelings of disappointment and frustration ignited a flame of determination in the hearts of the Brazilian members. Through dedicated effort and prayer, the members gained the trust of their local communities. Then, in February 1984, by invitation of the president of Brazil, Shin’ichi’s visit was finally realized.

Shin’ichi also poured his life into inspiring the members in each area he visited. On February 25, he made an appearance at the Ibrapuera Gymnasium, the state sports arena in São Paulo—where members were rehearsing for the Brazil Grand Culture Festival that would be held the following day—to encourage the participants. Shin’ichi was determined to meet with and encourage as many Brazilian members as possible. When he stepped into the arena, he was met with joyous cheers and thunderous applause. Everyone had been eagerly anticipating this encounter.

He then walked once around the arena stage, raising his arms in the air as he did so in greeting to the participants. Later, speaking into a microphone, he said with deep emotion: “I am so happy that after eighteen years I am at last able to meet with all of you, my dear friends and noble emissaries of the Buddha, on this wonderful occasion! …

“One can only imagine the struggles you have faced and just how valiantly you have forged ahead in solid unity in order to arrive at this point. I would like to convey my most profound respect and appreciation to all of you. In my heart, I am embracing each and every one of you and shaking your hand.”

■  ■  ■

Vigorous applause echoed throughout the arena and then the members broke out in a rousing Brazilian cheer, expressing their joy and commitment.

É pique, é pique, é pique, pique, pique!
É hora, é hora, é hora, hora, hora!

They cheered with all their might, the eyes of many red and swollen with tears. (NHR-11, 78–80)

Key Passage

The path of faith is by no means smooth. There are steep hills to climb and storms to endure. But whatever happens, I hope you will not be defeated. This is how we demonstrate actual proof of faith. (NHR-11, 42)

Commentary on Volume 11

Volume 11: Chapter Two—Pioneering New Frontiers