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The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu

Volume 7: Chapter Two—Fresh Growth

Chapter Summary

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

On January 8, 1963, Shin’ichi embarked on his trip around the world to lay the groundwork for the future of worldwide kosen-rufu.

His first stop was Hawaii, where he attended the Hawaii Conference, which doubled as the inaugural meeting of Hawaii Chapter. After urging the members to “unfurl the great banner of propagation of the Law here in Hawaii” (The New Human Revolution, vol. 7, p. 113), he held a question-and-answer session.

The next day, Shin’ichi and his party visited the island of Kauai.

On January 10, they arrived in Los Angeles. Two days later, they attended the America West General Meeting, where they announced the opening of the Soka Gakkai community center in Los Angeles.

Witnessing the members experiencing benefits and joy, Shin’ichi remarked, “Only after surviving the harsh trial of winter can seeds burst into fresh growth in the springtime” (NHR-7, 141).

On January 13, Shin’ichi and the accompanying leaders traveled to New York, and, that evening, they attended the America East General Meeting, where New York Chapter was established. Noting the vital role of the United States in international politics, he emphasized that if Buddhism could spread here, it would create great momentum toward world peace. And for this reason, Shin’ichi expressed his hopes for the members’ genuine happiness and his anticipation of their wonderful efforts to share Buddhism.

Confident that young Bodhisattvas of the Earth were beginning to sprout across the United States, nurtured by the sunlight of the Mystic Law, Shin’ichi departed for Europe.

Unforgettable Scene

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

Develop an Expansive Life State That Encompasses the Entire Universe

On his visit to Hawaii in January 1963, Shin’ichi met with Emiko Haruyama, the vice women’s leader for the U.S. and young women’s leader for North America.

[Emiko] Haruyama’s mind had been filled with things she wanted to report and discuss with President Yamamoto, but when she actually sat face to face with him, she was at a loss for words. Sensing her difficulty, Shin’ichi asked, “So, how are things in America?”

Haruyama had no idea how to respond, but a moment later she found herself blurting out, “Sensei, America is a very big country … ”

These words articulated Haruyama’s feeling that, despite exerting herself and traveling around the country, none of her efforts had produced any visible results.

Smiling, Shin’ichi said to her: “I’m well aware of that. But, you know, I tend to regard America like my own backyard. It’s a question of elevating your life condition. For example, a stone wall that seems infinitely high when seen from the ground is no more than a slightly raised boundary line when viewed from an airplane. Similarly, if your life condition changes for the better, so will the way you view and respond to things. You’ll find yourself surmounting every adversity and hardship with composure and thoroughly enjoying the drama of life.

“Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo earnestly, with strong determination, provides the impetus to fundamentally transform our state of life,” he said. “By breaking through our limits and obstacles with chanting and courageous action, we gain access to a higher state of life. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo extends across the entire universe. Don’t the Daishonin’s writings say that ‘when one attains the Buddha way … one’s body and mind at a single moment pervade the entire realm of phenomena’ (“The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 366)? The Daishonin’s Buddhism enables us to transform ourselves and develop an expansive state of life that encompasses the entire universe.”

Those words struck Haruyama powerfully and brought a sudden realization. “That’s right,” she thought. “It’s not because America is large, but because my life condition is so narrow and limited that I’ve let the realities of my situation overwhelm me. Sensei certainly doesn’t see America as being far away. It wasn’t my being far from Japan that was making me unhappy, but that my spirit had drifted far from his.”

She felt as though a thick fog had suddenly cleared. (NHR-7, 102–04)

Key Passages

Each day is of vital importance. Each second is decisive. Only when we strive to the limit of our ability to open the way ahead, seizing each moment and using it valuably, can we ensure that a brilliant future awaits us. (NHR-7, 93–94)

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The course of history is determined by the people. When we each challenge our limitations and give full play to our unique potential, becoming the protagonists in the drama of our lives and spheres of endeavor, the door to the new era for humanity definitely opens. (NHR-7, 99)

Volume 7: Chapter One—The Flower of Culture

Volume 7: Chapter Three—Early Spring