Skip to main content

The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu

Volume 3: Chapter One—Westward Transmission

Chapter Summary

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

On January 1, 1961, Shin’ichi Yamamoto wrote a waka poem that he presented to his wife, Mineko. It read:

On this New Year’s morning,
I pray
for kosen-rufu in Asia.

His next overseas trip, starting on January 28, would be an 18-day journey through Hong Kong, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), India, Burma (now Myanmar), Thailand and Cambodia.

At the New Year’s gongyo meeting held at the Soka Gakkai Headquarters, one leader read a waka poem by second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda:

To the people of Asia
who pray for a glimpse of the moon
through the parting clouds,
let us send them, instead,
the light of the sun.

On January 2, Shin’ichi visited his mentor’s grave to pay his respects and to report about his upcoming travels toward fulfilling Mr. Toda’s cherished dream for kosen-rufu in Asia.

This trip signified another step toward the westward transmission of Buddhism prophesied by Nichiren Daishonin. To commemorate the occasion, the headquarters staff made efforts to prepare several items that Shin’ichi planned to inter at Bodhgaya in India, the site of Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment. The items included a copy of “On the Three Great Secret Laws” and a stone plaque engraved with “Kosen-rufu in Asia” in Chinese characters.

Shin’ichi had a hectic round of commitments to fulfill before his departure. He attended inaugural meetings of newly formed chapters throughout Japan, including three general chapters in Kyushu as well as Tokyo’s Josai, Tonan and Edogawa chapters.

On January 28, Shin’ichi and his party flew to Hong Kong where they attended a discussion meeting and formed the first district in Asia outside Japan. While gazing out at the sea from the summit of Victoria Peak, Shin’ichi expressed his high hopes for Hong Kong, saying: “Let’s make Hong Kong a port of happiness. From here, we’ll send the light of happiness and peace to all of Asia” (The New Human Revolution, vol. 3, revised edition, p. 64).

Unforgettable Scene

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

Dedicate Our Lives to Fulfilling the Highest Mission of Kosen-rufu

On January 28, 1961, Shin’ichi Yamamoto set out for Hong Kong, which he designated as the initial stop in his first trip for peace in Asia. The following day, as he waited to board his flight to Ceylon (Sri Lanka), he encouraged his fellow comrades in Hong Kong.

To the members, [Shin’ichi Yamamoto] said: “There are little more than a dozen of you here now, but in 20 or 30 years, several tens of thousands of members will appear. You are the ones who will write that history.”

“Life is like a dream. It is as fleeting as a drop of dew that evaporates in but a moment. Nevertheless, if we gather many drops of water, we can create a great river that enriches the land. That being the case, why not dedicate our lives to fulfilling the highest mission—that of kosen-rufu—and thereby enrich our own lives as well as society and create a hope-filled land of eternal happiness.

“Our fellow members in America have stood up. The members in Brazil have stood up. Now it’s your turn here in Hong Kong to stand up as forerunners for the rest of Asia. Please join me in this endeavor!”

■  ■  ■

At last the plane was airborne. Visible from the window were the craggy brown slopes of a steep mountain. It was Lion Rock.

In Hong Kong, young lions had now awakened and risen. Their strength was still small. But Shin’ichi was confident that Hong Kong would one day become a great “lion of kosen-rufu” that would pave the way to a new era for Asia. Brimming with hope, he continued on his journey to accomplish the westward transmission of Buddhism. (NHR-3, revised edition, 64–65)

Key Passage

Behind the development of every capable individual there is invariably a warmhearted senior in faith who has provided unstinting nurturing and encouragement. The contributions of such people, often hidden from the spotlight, are truly commendable and will, without question, enable them to reap immeasurable benefit and good fortune that will pervade the three existences—past, present and future. (NHR-3, revised edition, 43–44)

Commentary on Volume 3

Volume 3: Chapter Two—India