Skip to main content

Ikeda Sensei

Advancing Together on Our Shared Journey of Mentor and Disciple

Brass Band and Fife & Drum Corps

Translated from the December 15, 2020, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.

Commending a disciple who persevered in faith and sincerely supported him throughout the four seasons, Nichiren Daishonin writes, “Not a single one of them [your offerings in faith] will fail to bring you benefit” (“A Harsh Winter Deep in the Mountains,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 2, p. 806).

None of our devoted efforts for kosen-rufu is ever in vain.

Particularly, over this past year, our members everywhere have striven tirelessly, undefeated by any challenge. They have fought their hardest, praying for the peace and security of their lands based on the humanistic principles of Nichiren Buddhism and using their creativity and ingenuity to stay connected and encourage one another. The Daishonin is surely praising them most highly.

The compassion and wisdom of Nichiren Buddhism shine ever brighter in times of adversity.

Referring to Shakyamuni, Nichiren writes, “He was the first Buddha to appear in this saha world of ours, which previously had not known any Buddha, and he opened the eyes of all living beings” (“The Tripitaka Master Shan-Wu-Wei,” WND-1, 170). Buddhas are defined by taking the lead to impart hope and courage in a world filled with suffering.

Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, declared: “Now, at the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law, I, Nichiren, am the first to embark on propagating, throughout Jambudvipa [the entire world], the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo”[1] (“The Actions of the Votary of the Lotus Sutra,” WND-1, 764–65).

He also urges, “My disciples, form your ranks and follow me” (WND-1, 765). It is our greatest pride and honor as Soka mentors and disciples to be following in the Daishonin’s footsteps, striving as trailblazers in the compassionate propagation of the Mystic Law toward the realization of world peace.

Especially in Kyushu, our members have made “trailblazing” their motto. Trailblazing means leading the way forward to the very end. This was the pledge the members and I made in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, in 1977, amid a struggle against great obstacles. Our courageous members in Kyushu—known from ancient times as “the land of fire”—have forged ahead, one in mind, in accord with that pledge.

In December 1981, in Oita, Kyushu, I presented the poem “Youth, Scale the Mountain of Kosen-rufu of the 21st Century.” Next year will mark four decades since we began our counteroffensive for truth and justice.

The passionate, trailblazing spirit burning in the hearts of our pioneer members in Kyushu is being carried on not only by our youth there, but throughout Japan, the rest of Asia, and the entire globe—not least South Korea and India, which have been holding regular exchanges with Kyushu members.

In December 1955 prior to the Osaka Campaign,[2] I was engaged in an intense, all-out struggle. At that time my mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, told me reassuringly: “Dai, suffering is unavoidable in life. Only when you suffer can you understand faith and become a person of substance.”

Our mentor deeply understands the feelings in our hearts.

I am inspired and heartened to see so many young successors today making unsparing efforts to support our members and advance our movement. This year’s World Youth General Meeting (held on September 27) also drew praise and admiration from leading thinkers around the globe.

As humanity confronts shared challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic and climate change, there is an urgent need for a new vision for global society.

That is why I call out to you, our young global citizens of Soka! Let us continue to wisely spread our philosophy of respect for the dignity of life, promote altruistic value creation and expand our network of respect for all people as we advance together on our shared journey of mentor and disciple, a journey of unending hope and victory.


  1. Myoho-renge-kyo is written with five Chinese characters, while Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is written with seven (nam, or namu, being comprised of two characters). Nichiren Daishonin often uses Myoho-renge-kyo synonymously with Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in his writings. ↩︎
  2. Osaka Campaign: In May 1956, the Kansai members, uniting around a young Daisaku Ikeda, who had been dispatched by second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda to support them, introduced 11,111 households to the practice of Nichiren Buddhism in a single month. ↩︎

Let’s Continue Our Endeavor to Elevate the Life State of All Humankind

Expanding a Hope-Filled Network of Happiness and Peace