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The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu

Volume 12: Chapter One—Fresh Hope

Chapter Summary

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

On May 3, 1967, a headquarters general meeting, marking Shin’ichi Yamamoto’s seventh anniversary as third Soka Gakkai president was held at the Nihon University Auditorium. In a penetrating analysis of current social conditions, he addressed the issue of human alienation, declaring that Nichiren Buddhism has the power to open the way to a new spiritual civilization.

After the general meeting, on May 13, Shin’ichi departed on a guidance trip to the United States and Europe. When he had visited Honolulu seven years earlier, only 30 or so people were present at the discussion meeting he attended. The membership in Hawaii had since grown to over 2,000 households, and the organization had developed into a major base of activities for the entire Pacific region.

On May 15, Shin’ichi and his party traveled to Los Angeles, where he suggested creating a joint headquarters in order to establish a firm foundation for tremendous growth. On May 17, he arrived in New York. There, he encouraged many youth, including dancers and other artists.

Then, on May 20, in Paris, he attended a Gohonzon-enshrinement ceremony at a newly established community center located in the suburb of Neuilly. Shin’ichi spoke about the importance of winning each day, stating, “The accumulation of each person’s determination and each person’s triumph leads to great victory” (The New Human Revolution, vol. 12, p. 52).

He also visited Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands, wholeheartedly encouraging the youth, who reminded him of new spring leaves that symbolize hope.

Unforgettable Scene

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

Courage and Wisdom Emerge From Earnestness

May 3, 1967, marked the seventh anniversary of Shin’ichi Yamamoto’s inauguration as third Soka Gakkai president. Just 10 days later, he departed for Hawaii, the first stop of his overseas guidance trip.

As in 1960, Shin’ichi was determined on this trip to meet with as many people as he could, encourage them and infuse their lives with a strong sense of mission …

As Shin’ichi Yamamoto shook hands with the members, he unceasingly encouraged them. To one elderly person, he said: “Please live long. Victory in life is not determined by fame or social position. It is decided by how joyfully and dynamically you live out your life. Your living this way will be wonderful proof of the power of faith.”

Shin’ichi then remarked to a young man standing nearby: “Please become a champion of faith. This means creating your own history of kosen-rufu without being defeated by your weaknesses. This is how I have lived my life, and I can confidently say that doing so becomes our greatest treasure.”

Accurately discerning what was on each member’s mind, Shin’ichi’s words struck a deep chord in their hearts and caused a surge of joy and courage to well forth from within them.

That night, during a discussion back at the hotel, an American leader of Japanese descent asked Shin’ichi: “As I listened to you speak with the members, I was astonished at how you knew just what to say to each person. How do you do that?”

“It’s because I am absolutely earnest,” Shin’ichi replied.

He employed no secret or special technique.

Everything comes down to earnestness. When we are earnest, we tap into our courage, strength and wisdom. Earnest people are not rash, careless or negligent, and therefore they are not defeated. Their lives shine with sincerity and integrity.

Shin’ichi found just the right words because he poured his energies into every encounter with the attitude that he might never again have the opportunity to meet that person. Single-mindedly determined to grasp what each person was feeling, their struggles and their situations, he spoke to them from his heart, praying sincerely for their development and growth. (NHR-12, 14–16)

Key Passage

Everyone has their own unique path in life, and there are many ways to live. But no matter what path we follow, if we dedicate ourselves to the great mission of kosen-rufu, we are sure to bring out our highest potential and lead a victorious life. (NHR-12, 30)

Commentary on Volume 12

Volume 12: Chapter Two—Community Spirit