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The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu

Volume 7: Chapter One—The Flower of Culture

Chapter Summary

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

“Great religion always gives birth to great culture” (The New Human Revolution, vol. 7, p. 1)—Shin’ichi Yamamoto believed that kosen-rufu is a movement to illuminate the hearts of humanity with the compassionate light of Buddhism and bring to blossom exquisite flowers of peace and culture.

In 1962, Shin’ichi focused his efforts on cultivating seeds for cultural growth. He established the Oriental Science Institute (later the Institute of Oriental Philosophy) in January.

On August 1, he attended the first Education Department National Convention. The Fuji Wind Ensemble was also formed that month, followed by several other performing groups.

In addition, regional youth sports meets called “Festival of Youth” took place throughout Japan. And at the September Headquarters Leaders Meeting, Shin’ichi announced that the Academic Department and Arts Department would be formed as part of the Culture Bureau.

While music festivals took place throughout Japan, Tokyo held its first culture festival that was created by the local members. Shin’ichi praised everyone, declaring that this wonderful culture festival clearly demonstrated the triumph of the human spirit.

Amid the joyful growth and festivities in the Soka Gakkai, in October, the Cuban Missile Crisis[1] brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of an all-out war, but the crisis was averted.

In November, the Soka Gakkai achieved its goal of a membership of three million households. This was second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda’s cherished dream that Shin’ichi had pledged to accomplish. Shin’ichi deepened his resolve to accomplish kosen-rufu, pledging to himself that next he would achieve a membership of six million households.

Unforgettable Scene

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

A Vow Only Has Meaning if it Is Fulfilled

In November 1962, the Soka Gakkai achieved its membership goal of three million households. Shin’ichi Yamamoto, upon hearing this report, made his way to the Gohonzon room.

Shin’ichi’s resonant daimoku [chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo] filled the room. Facing the Gohonzon and visualizing his mentor’s face, he spoke to him in his heart: “Sensei! I have finally, finally fulfilled my promise to you of realizing a membership of three million households. This achievement attests to the united purpose of the disciples whom you trained and nurtured. It is the fruit of their united efforts.”

Mr. Toda had entrusted Shin’ichi with achieving this immense target on February 10, 1958—the day before Toda’s fifty-eighth birthday, just two months before he died. Shin’ichi had returned to Tokyo that morning on an overnight train from the Kansai region, where he had gone to encourage members. From the station, he immediately made his way to his mentor’s home …

In December 1957, the Soka Gakkai realized Mr. Toda’s cherished life goal—750,000 member households.

Mr. Toda looked intently at Shin’ichi as he continued: “We must hurry, Shin’ichi. Do you think you can achieve three million households within the next seven years?” This was clearly Toda’s grand vision for kosen-rufu, arrived at after long and deep consideration. But Toda knew that Shin’ichi must accomplish it.

Shin’ichi replied without a moment’s hesitation: “Yes, I will do it. I feel even more determined. I am your disciple. I will realize your dream without fail. You can count on it.”

“I knew I could,” said Toda with a contented smile.

Mr. Toda’s wish became Shin’ichi’s pledge. The great aspiration of achieving kosen-rufu had been passed from mentor to disciple. Shin’ichi never forgot for a moment Mr. Toda’s words that day. And now, after devoting every last ounce of his energy to this arduous struggle, he had fulfilled his vow to his mentor.

A vow only has meaning if it is fulfilled. Disciples fulfill their promises and achieve actual victory.

The achievement of three million member-households did not take place without enormous effort. The fierce determination and all-out struggle of Mr. Toda’s true disciple and successor, Shin’ichi, touched and inspired his fellow members, creating a powerful surge of action to spread the Daishonin’s teachings. (NHR-7, 73–75)

Key Passage

The courage of one individual who possesses a spirit that burns like the sun will touch and inspire countless others. This is the unchanging formula for achieving the spread of the Law, that most difficult of all undertakings. (NHR-7, 77)


  1. Cuban Missile Crisis: A 13-day (October 16–28, 1962) confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union sparked by the American discovery of Soviet ballistic missile deployment in Cuba. The confrontation is often considered the closest the United States and the Soviet Union came to a full-scale nuclear war. ↩︎

Commentary on Volume 7

Volume 7: Chapter Two—Fresh Growth