One Youth. Infinite Hope.

I Am an Artist for Kosen-rufu

Yoko Ihaza


by Cameron Washington
Los Angeles

When I started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in 2008, I had just gone through a breakup, graduated from college and felt the mounting pressure and expectation to get a job. All the while, I was at a loss as to what my future would hold. I was searching aimlessly for some sense of purpose and to feel deep happiness and fulfillment.

Since then, I’ve become a woman I’m proud of. In terms of my own lack of confidence and courage—something that I had struggled with my whole life—my Buddhist practice has become a well that I can draw from over and over again, just as Ikeda Sensei says. With this, I am always reminded of how infinitely capable I am. It is so comforting to know that I can become the kind of person who, no matter what, will always have direction in my life. I can become the kind of person who is deeply convinced that through my own efforts, just as I am, I can forge any path.

I am a filmmaker, writer and poet, and I have consistently been led from project to project based on my prayer. First and foremost, I am an artist for kosen-rufu. Everything I am able to produce is an opportunity to create value and to inspire others. I think that the heartbeat of art itself should and always be imparting hope to people all over the world.

“One Youth. Infinite Hope.” is not just a campaign or a collection of words. Based on this Buddhism, it’s exactly what will determine the future of our world.

It’s an impassioned declaration and a call to action based on our vow as Bodhisattvas of the Earth. As an artist, a sister, a daughter and a young women’s leader in the SGI, nothing brings me greater joy than fighting to awaken youth to the dignity of their own lives.