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Ikeda Sensei

Prayer Infused With A Vow Brings Forth Courage, Wisdom and Strength

Merethe Svarstad Eeg / EyeEm

Mensaje de la señora Kaneko Ikeda para la División Juvenil Femenina y la División Femenina

이케다 가네코 SGI 명예여성부장 메시지


I feel truly fortunate to be able to live my life and to work for kosen-rufu year after year alongside you, the members of our Soka family around the world, together creating wonderful memories of our “present life in this human world.”[1]

I am happy to say that SGI President Ikeda, who turned 92 at the beginning of this year, remains in good health and high spirits.

When he was young, my husband had a weak constitution. After he became third Soka Gakkai president at the age of 32 (on May 3, 1960), we greeted each anniversary with deep gratitude that he had survived another year to carry on his efforts for kosen-rufu. Now, 60 years later, he continues to take the lead in ensuring the eternal transmission of the Law. This is all due to the great benefit of prolonging one’s life through faith in the Mystic Law. Above all, it is thanks to the sincere prayers of members throughout the world. This is something our family always talks about and is profoundly grateful for.

Whenever I read the Seikyo Shimbun,[2] I have immense appreciation for those who deliver the paper each morning. Its pages brim with photos and stories attesting to the dynamic development  of worldwide kosen-rufu.

This fills me with joy, as it does my husband. On many occasions over the years, he has penned words of encouragement over articles in the paper and presented them to members.

A decade ago, he wrote such words for me on a page describing how our movement was winning trust in society. They read: “The world’s foremost organization / Realizing kosen-rufu and peace / A tremendous victory!—I know our mentor Mr. Toda would be overjoyed by this!”

When we visited the magnificent World Seikyo Center completed last year, he remarked again and again how he wished that second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda could see it.

Stones from countries all across the globe have been placed in the base of the Buddhist altar in the new center’s main Gohonzon room, Genron Hall. So, too, have copies of publications from SGI organizations around the world. While we were there, my husband and I prayed that the light of the Soka Gakkai’s message for kosen-rufu—that is, world peace—will shine brightly from this great bastion of the pen.

Toward the end of last year, we received the news that my husband’s overseas publications now surpass 2,000 and have been translated into 48 languages. We are deeply indebted to all those who have spared no effort in undertaking the translation, editing and publication of these works.

In his novel The New Human Revolution, my husband chronicles the important role that U.K. members played in his dialogue with British historian Dr. Arnold J. Toynbee (1889–1975), including transcribing each daily session from tape recordings. I was happy to read a recent report from an SGI-Europe women’s leader whose great pride it is to have been a part of this history.

As we mark the 45th anniversary of the publication of this dialogue, Choose Life, our global citizens of Soka are carrying out the “dialogues for peace to unite humankind” that were the wish of Dr. Toynbee and the mission he entrusted to my husband.

Our voices vigorously chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and sincerely sharing Buddhism with others are creating countless waves of happiness and peace.

In a letter to the lay nun Sennichi, who earnestly encouraged and steadfastly protected her fellow practitioners while living amid harsh conditions on distant Sado Island, Nichiren Daishonin writes, “A woman who embraces the lion king of the Lotus Sutra never fears any of the beasts of hell or of the realms of hungry spirits and animals.”[3] He promises her that a woman who embraces the Mystic Law, as well as all her family members and loved ones, will never be unhappy, no matter what difficulties may arise. And he teaches her to have invincible faith in the face of any challenge.

Having invincible faith starts with chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, with praying earnestly and wholeheartedly to the Gohonzon, determined to break through all obstacles without fail.

Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo infused with a vow brings forth the courage to ride out the roughest waves of adversity. It produces the wisdom to change poison into medicine and move everything in a positive direction, vibrantly creating value. And it causes abundant strength to brim within us, enabling us to encourage our friends who are suffering and realize happiness for both ourselves and others.

This is the triumphant drama of human revolution, of transforming karma into mission.

The women’s division in Japan is now shining a light on women under the age of 50 as protagonists in shaping the new era, calling them the Young White Lily Generation.[4]

This is an important period in women’s lives when they face many of their biggest changes and challenges. My husband has actively supported women in this age group with heartfelt encouragement over the years.

Jan. 25, 1962, was the day when the trial concerning the Osaka Incident[5] came to its end after four-and-a-half years, and my husband was declared innocent of all charges. Returning to the Soka Gakkai Kansai Headquarters, he made his way to the Gohonzon room along with members who had shared his struggles and joys. There, he caught sight of a young Kansai women’s division member who, while battling her own illness, had also prayed fervently for victory in the court case. “Everything’s all right now!” he said to her, and asked her to lead them in chanting.

Everyone chanted for her recovery and for the resounding victory of all members in their struggles for justice and happiness.

Soon afterward, the women’s division member recovered, demonstrating wonderful proof of the principle that “Myo means to revive.”[6] Today, 58 years later, she continues to engage energetically in Soka Gakkai activities, an inspiring example for all.

The heart of the Soka family is to treasure each individual and foster the potential of young people as we advance harmoniously and in high spirits along the great path to realizing kosen-rufu, that is, peace and happiness for all humanity.

At the New Year’s gongyo meetings held throughout Japan this year, an uplifting video of members from the United States, India and Europe happily striving and singing together was shown. The Seikyo Shimbun also features photographs of smiling members from around the world on a daily basis.

Today, friends and thinking people everywhere remark on the fact that the smiling faces of SGI members are found across the globe.

The friendly smiles of our members are beacons of hope showing that everyone can reveal the nobility and brilliance of Buddhahood in a way that is true to themselves.

In this Year of Advancement and Capable People, let us use our voices even more to encourage others and create an ever-growing blossoming of smiling “human flowers,”[7] each unique and beautiful. Let us light the way to a peaceful future where all people can live in harmony.

I am sincerely praying for the health, safety and happiness of all our women’s and young women’s division members, who shine as bright suns of kosen-rufu in the places where they have chosen to carry out their vow.

Kaneko Ikeda
SGI Honorary Women’s Leader


  1. “Questions and Answers about Embracing the Lotus Sutra,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 64. ↩︎
  2. The Seikyo Shimbun is the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper. ↩︎
  3. “The Drum at the Gate of Thunder,” WND-1, 949. ↩︎
  4. At the Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting held on Nov. 18, 2019, the women’s division leader announced that its members under the age of 50 would be referred to as the Young White Lily Generation. “White Lily” is one of the symbols of the women’s division. In conjunction with this new development, the Young Mother’s Group in Japan has been dissolved and absorbed into this larger group. ↩︎
  5. Osaka Incident: The occasion when SGI President Ikeda, then Soka Gakkai youth division chief of staff, was arrested and wrongfully charged with election law violations in a House of Councillors by-election in Osaka in 1957. At the end of the court case, which continued for more than four years, he was fully exonerated of all charges. ↩︎
  6. “The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra,” WND-1, 149. ↩︎
  7. The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 142. ↩︎

Spreading Happiness and Joy

Shouldering the Destiny of Humankind