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The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu

Volume 9: Chapter Two—Young Phoenixes

Chapter Summary

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

On June 1, an announcement was made that the high school and junior high school divisions would be established within the youth division. On June 7, Shin’ichi Yamamoto attended the inaugural ceremony of the Tokyo No. 2 Headquarters young men’s high school division. On January 15, 1965, the junior high school division was established, and then on September 23, the elementary school division was formed. Shin’ichi placed his full attention on fostering the high school division members in order to develop them into leaders who could take responsibility for the future of the Soka Gakkai.

On the evening of October 1, 276 high school division corps leaders from the Tokyo metropolitan area attended the flag-bestowing ceremony at the Soka Gakkai Headquarters. Shin’ichi offered personal words of encouragement as he presented one flag after another to each of these “young phoenixes”—leaders of the next generation.

In the November 1965 issue of the Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal, Shin’ichi composed an editorial containing guidelines for the high school division titled “Young Phoenixes Soar Into the Future!”

The article overflowed with his earnest wish that the high school division members soar into the new century with “Study First” as their eternal guideline.

On January 8, 1966, Shin’ichi began a series of monthly lectures on Nichiren Daishonin’s writings for high school division representatives. Shin’ichi established two groups made up of those who had completed the first class of the lecture series: the Hosu-kai for the young men, and the Hosu Group for the young women. Even after the lecture series, these groups continued to meet and receive encouragement from Shin’ichi. Pouring his entire soul into encouraging the future division members, he unleashed a great river of Soka successors for the twenty-first century.

Unforgettable Scene

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

Faith Shines in a Person Who Surmounts Difficulties

On July 16, 1966, Shin’ichi Yamamoto attended an outdoor training session for the high school division’s Hosu-Kai and Hosu Group (Hosu means phoenix in Japanese). During the question-and-answer portion of this event, Kimiko Kudo, a young woman whose leg was damaged by polio, began crying as she expressed her worries and fears about her future.

The more she thought about her great mission to work for kosen-rufu, the more overwhelmed she felt and was unable to see a way out of her present situation. She seemed to really be struggling.

Just then Shin’ichi said sternly: “Faith isn’t sentimentality. Crying won’t solve anything!”

Tension filled the room and everyone fell silent. Shin’ichi looked straight at Kimiko Kudo and said in a firm tone of voice: “You have the Gohonzon! You mustn’t be swayed. What good is it to feel sorry for yourself because of your disability? No matter how much you pity yourself, it won’t change anything. Everyone has some kind of problem to deal with. There is not one person in the world blessed with everything. To be a Soka Gakkai member is to bravely challenge every situation and circumstance, and become a victor in life. The question is not what will happen to you; it’s what you’re going to make happen.

“If you really wish to be a teacher, then decide that you’re going to, no matter what. If you don’t have the money for college, you can work part time to pay for it. Or you can work during the day and go to night school.

“Dedicating your life to your mission is not some kind of idealistic talk. It isn’t an intellectual game. Faith is realizing where you are and triumphing over reality. The light of faith shines in a person who surmounts difficulties.

“Your mission is to become the strongest, brightest and most pure-hearted of all, regardless of your circumstances, and to live a life in which you can declare that you are supremely happy.”

Kudo bit her lip and nodded repeatedly as she listened.

Shin’ichi continued: “That’s right. Don’t be defeated. Whatever happens, don’t let yourself be defeated. Become strong and do your very best!”

Shin’ichi’s words were strict but also overflowing with kindness. (The New Human Revolution, vol. 9, pp. 153–54)

Key Passages

The purpose of faith is to cultivate a rich spirit and build a framework for living our lives … That’s why it’s important to have faith from a young age. (NHR-9, 95)

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Those who have awakened to their mission for the sake of the future are strong. The moment they do so, their latent abilities immediately come to the fore. (NHR-9, 128)

Volume 9: Chapter One—A New Era

Volume 9: Chapter Three—Brilliant Light