Setting Out Anew on Our Journey for Victory
Oct. 4—In virtual celebrations across the nation, SGI-USA members joined commemorative general meetings broadcast by locale to mark the 60th anniversary of kosen-rufu in the U.S., while making a fresh departure at the start of this crucial decade leading up to 2030.
Sixty years ago, on Oct. 2, 1960, Ikeda Sensei took his first step on American soil, embarking on his maiden voyage to spread Nichiren Buddhism throughout the world. In a poignant message, Sensei called on the SGI-USA members to fix their gaze on the next decade, toward the Soka Gakkai’s 100th anniversary in 2030. “These next 10 years will be a critical juncture for humanity,” he said (read full message).
“Now, united in our network of ‘many in body, one in mind,’ let’s raise the banner of our vow for kosen-rufu. Let’s set out anew on our journey for victory in our human revolution and the triumph of the people!”
The meeting opened with powerful video-collage performances by the Fife and Drum Corps (“Youth With a Noble Vow”) and Brass Band (“Song of Crimson”).
Elected officials throughout the country also paid tribute with messages, proclamations and other commendations (see full list below). Among them, California Gov. Gavin Newsom sent a letter praising Sensei and the SGI for standing at the “forefront of creating a more equitable and just California.”
The 60th-anniversary celebrations also honored the pioneers who, alongside Sensei, built the foundation for kosen-rufu in America. Twenty-eight members who began practicing Buddhism between the 1950s and ’70s shared moving experiences at their respective meetings.
Katsu Greenwood, who is 93 years old, helped pioneer the kosen-rufu movement in the Southwest. Based on her Buddhist practice, she found meaning in her wartime experiences as a youth in Japan and overcame marital challenges. Her husband, an American serviceman, won over his drinking problem and eventually became a Soka Gakkai member. When he was diagnosed with throat cancer and given three months to live, Mrs. Greenwood chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo fiercely for his health. In the end, her husband prolonged his life by two years. Before passing away peacefully in his sleep, he wrote a letter to Mrs. Greenwood saying, “I deeply appreciate Ikeda Sensei and SGI members.”
Today, she is a member care advisor, and her daughter, grandson and grand-daughter take leadership in the SGI-USA organization, while her great-grandson is an elementary school division member. “Now I have accomplished the Soka Gakkai’s eternal guideline of ‘Faith for a Harmonious Family,’ she said. “As long as I live, I would like to support members’ happiness and accomplish my mission for kosen-rufu.”
In a video message, Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada reminded the SGI-USA members that Sensei’s epic autobiographical novel The New Human Revolution opens with his historic arrival to America on Oct. 2, 1960. He referred to the novel as a splendid record of the Soka Gakkai’s fighting spirit for kosen-rufu and a crystallization of the heart of mentor and disciple. “When our future comrades read this work 100, 1,000 and 10,000 years from now, they will surely be able to engrave that same spirit in their lives,” President Harada said.
He also conveyed Sensei’s seminal guidance introduced at the 46th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting on Aug. 26, 2020:
The decade from the Soka Gakkai’s 90th anniversary to its centennial in 2030 will be crucial. We must be even more determined to show victorious proof of our own human revolution, to transform all great evil into great good and to effect a powerful change in the destiny of all humankind. (read full message)
“Let us deeply engrave this guidance in our hearts as we aim toward the next 10 years, while joyfully, harmoniously and courageously expanding the world’s foremost network of happiness,” President Harada said in parting words.
In a nod to their mentor’s expectations and hopes, youth across America capped off the general meetings linking hearts to perform the new SGI youth song, “Eternal Journey With Sensei” (the Song of Our Vow), which includes the stanza:
From every corner of the world, we
are leaping up to dance
As the Bodhisattvas of the Earth,
united as one, we advance!
We’ re awakened to our mission,
lighting hope in everyone
With our shared pledge, we disciples
will soar to victory now
Pioneers! O Pioneers!
Honoring the 28 pioneer members who shared their profound faith experiences at the 60th anniversary commemorative meetings held by locale nationwide.
America Celebrates Oct. 2
Celebrating the 60th anniversary of Ikeda Sensei’s first trip to the U.S.
- California Gov. Gavin Newsom—Letter of Recognition
- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot—Resolution: Dr. Daisaku Ikeda named an Honorary Citizen
- Colorado Gov. Jared Polis—Proclamation: “Dr. Daisaku Ikeda World Peace Day”
- The City of Garland, Texas, Mayor Scott LeMay—Letter of Acknowledgement
- U.S. House of Rep. Hank Johnson, Jr.—Proclamation: “Dr. Daisaku & Mrs. Kaneko Ikeda World Peace Day” in the 4th Congressional District of Georgia
- Hawaii Gov. David Ige—Certificate of Recognition to Daisaku Ikeda, Certificate of Recognition to the SGI and a video message
- City of Highland Park, N.J., Mayor Gayle B. Mittler—Proclamation
- Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell—Proclamation: “60th Anniversary of Dr. Daisaku Ikeda and Mrs. Kaneko Ikeda, Vow for World Peace Day”
- Houston, Executive Director/Co-Founder of The Center for the Healing of Racism, Cherry Steinwender—Letter of Congratulations
- King County (Seattle, Wash.) Executive Dow Constantine—Proclamation: “Daisaku & Kaneko Ikeda SGI World Peace Day”
- Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman— Proclamation: “Dr. Daisaku Ikeda Peace Day”
- Los Angeles City Councilman Herb Wesson, Jr.—Certificate of Congratulations and Recognition
- Manhattan Borough, N.Y., President Gale A. Brewer—Proclamation: “Daisaku Ikeda Appreciation Day”
- U.S. House of Rep. Dina Titus—Certificate of Special Congressional Commendation: “Dr. Daisaku Ikeda Peace Day” in the 1st District of Nevada
- New York City Council member Carlina Rivera—Letter of Congratulations
- The City of Torrance, Calif., Mayor Patrick Furey—Certificate of Recognition and a plaque: Daisaku Ikeda named an Honorary Citizen
- Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser—Proclamation: “World Peace Day”