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The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu

Volume 12: Chapter Two—Community Spirit

Chapter Summary

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

After returning to Japan from his trip to the U.S. and Europe, without much rest, Shin’ichi quickly set out to encourage members living in Osaka, Shiga and other prefectures in Japan.

On June 23, he traveled to Matsushiro in Nagano Prefecture.

For two years since 1965, an earthquake swarm (a group of frequent, relatively small tremors) had been taking place in Matsushiro. In November, Shin’ichi said to a leader who was sent there to offer support: “The members in Matsushiro have a strong love for their community … I hope each of them will become a person their fellow citizens can rely and depend on, a person who is dedicated to protecting the welfare of the community” (The New Human Revolution, vol. 12, p. 99). Based on their resolute determination to share Buddhism, the members there stood up to transform their community into a realm of peace and tranquillity.

Moreover, Matsushiro leaders voluntarily went out to check on their fellow members and encourage them after a big earthquake. Before long, this network of support expanded naturally to include not only Soka Gakkai members but all residents living in the community. When Shin’ichi visited the Matsushiro Community Center in June 1967, he urged the members to never be defeated by their hardships, to create a model organization and to establish a “safe and tranquil” realm as taught in the Lotus Sutra (see The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 272).

In July, Shin’ichi traveled to the Kyushu, Chubu and Tohoku regions. In August, he visited Hyogo, Fukui and Toyama prefectures. On August 15, he went to Takayama City in Gifu Prefecture, where he expressed his hopes for the members to “build a magnificent garden of happiness” and “a wonderful community of human harmony” in Hida, an area where farmers rose up to fight an oppressive government during the Edo Period (1600–1868).

Unforgettable Scene

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

Our Resolve Brings Forth Power

Worried about taking on leadership in his youth, Nagano Joint Headquarters Leader Yukio Akaishi went to Shin’ichi Yamamoto’s apartment to talk about this with him. To ease his mind, Shin’ichi invited him to go to a bathhouse together to continue their conversation.

As they sat soaking in the big tub, Yukio Akaishi said to Shin’ichi Yamamoto: “You have so many different responsibilities and are far busier than I am. How is it that you are always so calm and collected? … ”

“If I appear that way, it’s because I am completely committed to what I’m doing. I’m in a position that requires me to be on my toes every moment. I need to ensure that [Josei] Toda can initiate an everlasting current of kosen-rufu while he is alive. To do that, the Soka Gakkai cannot afford any missteps or defeats. It is my responsibility to see that everything is successfully carried through.

“If we were to suffer defeat, Mr. Toda’s vision of kosen-rufu would collapse. I have firmly resolved not to be the kind of disciple who would allow his mentor’s plans to fail. A disciple who would let that happen is ultimately nothing more than a ‘parasite in the lion’s bowels.’

“That’s why I mustn’t fail. It’s my destiny to win. If you are absolutely determined to win and pray wholeheartedly for that result, then courage, wisdom and strength will well forth from the depths of your being.”

Akaishi nodded thoughtfully as he listened to Shin’ichi speak.

“If you are passive and simply follow instructions, your life will be dull and stagnant. You will be no more than a slave to your circumstances. But if you take the initiative and courageously rise to every challenge you encounter, you are living the life of a champion. Your life condition will soar and you will experience boundless joy.

“Depending on whether you take an active or passive approach, though your day-to-day activities remain the same, you will feel an enormous difference in your inner commitment and sense of personal fulfillment. And naturally you will see results. As long as you are going to participate in Soka Gakkai activities, I hope you will do so as a leading protagonist, boldly taking action in a way that suits you.”

■  ■  ■

After their bath, the two men returned to Shin’ichi’s apartment …

“Let’s give our all to working for kosen-rufu. Let’s struggle together. Let’s devote ourselves fully to our goal. It doesn’t matter if no one else sees your efforts; the Gohonzon knows everything.” (NHR-12, 115–17)

Key Passage

If you failed yesterday, then win today. If you were defeated today, then win tomorrow. And if you won yesterday and today, make sure you keep doing so. (NHR-12, 138)

Volume 12: Chapter One—Fresh Hope

Volume 12: Chapter Three—Dance of Life