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Guidance for Leadership

Raising Our Youth Into Capable Champions

Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada speaks at the 45th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting celebrating the start of the Year of Advancement and Capable People, Tokyo, Jan. 11. Photo by Seikyo Press.

The following is an excerpt from Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada’s speech at the 45th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting, held on Jan. 11 in Tokyo. The original text appeared in the Jan. 17 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.

My heartfelt congratulations on the holding of this meeting!

To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Soka Gakkai’s founding as well as to honor the 800th anniversary of Nichiren Daishonin’s birth (in 2022), we will publish a new Japanese edition of The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin on Nov. 18, 2021.

Under SGI President Ikeda’s supervision, the new edition will incorporate features that will enhance its readability, particularly for younger audiences. Moreover, Nichiren’s handwritten letters that were discovered after the current version was published will also be included.

We will always find in the Soka Gakkai, the essential spirit that is timeless and unchanging, regardless of the era or the environment we live in. That spirit, which is grounded in faith, is based on the study of Nichiren’s writings and our direct connection with him, as well as the stand-alone spirit based on the oneness of mentor and disciple.

When President Ikeda traveled to Hawaii, marking the first step for worldwide kosen-rufu [in 1960], he was greeted at the airport by a young man whom he appointed as a group leader. At the time, Sensei said to him: “In Japan, a group leader is usually responsible for about 100 members. You won’t have any members to begin with, but you’ll be a group leader nonetheless. Based on this awareness, it will be up to you to build a group through your own efforts. This is the true way of the Soka Gakkai organization.

“[Second Soka Gakkai President Josei] Toda once said: ‘Youth, stand alone! Another will definitely appear and a third will soon follow!’ To strive with this spirit is to be a true youth of the Soka Gakkai” (The New Human Revolution, vol. 1, pp. 53–54). The very essence of the Soka Gakkai spirit is distilled in that guidance.

Let us never forget that kosen-rufu has developed until today thanks to the stand-alone spirit and lionhearted efforts of the Soka Gakkai’s three founding presidents—and in response to their mighty call, youth the world over also stood up like young lions.

Ten years ago, on the eve of our 80th anniversary, Sensei declared the following to youth division members: “President Toda never coddled the youth … My fellow youth division members and I, uniting solidly together, responded wholeheartedly to our mentor’s aspirations and trust. That was our great pride. I wish to emphasize that this coming year of the Soka Gakkai’s 80th anniversary is the time for the present youth, carrying on this tradition, to victoriously open the way forward in all areas.” (Jan. 22, 2010, World Tribune, special insert, p. D)

As for the men’s and women’s division members, being overprotective or excessively hands off is not true compassion. In order to raise young people as truly capable champions, we need to persevere in our prayers for them, warmly offering encouragement and specific guidance. Let’s all support the youth together.

As our propagation rapidly advances, there is one point that I would like to raise—nothing is more important in this effort than to steadfastly visit and encourage members, and to hold inspiring discussion meetings.

Sensei always started a new campaign by offering guidance in faith and encouragement to every member. During Kamata Chapter’s February 1952 propagation effort, he focused on the unit—equivalent to today’s groups—personally going from house to house to encourage each unit leader, who was battling at the forefront.

When he led a propagation campaign in Katsushika, Tokyo, he set the lofty goal of having every member learn gongyo correctly.

If he had a meeting to attend, he made sure to arrive early and visit members who lived in the neighborhood—such was the level of his commitment and execution.

Another decisive point in encouraging the members is holding great discussion meetings.

In the “Fierce Struggle” chapter of The New Human Revolution, volume 27, Sensei explains: “As venues where everyone enthusiastically shares their real-life experiences of putting the Buddhist teachings into practice, discussion meetings are examples of carrying out Buddhism in society.

“As such, please always remember that the advancement of kosen-rufu begins and ends with discussion meetings” (June 2018 Living Buddhism, p. 54).

Both members and nonmembers alike are filled with joy when they hear faith experiences and guidance brimming with conviction.

The discussion meeting is the place of propagation where people can share and unite their hearts, and it’s also the primary stage on which to raise individuals.

Let’s advance as we expand our ranks of new members. Thank you very much!

SGI President Ikeda’s Guidance
The Next 10 Years: A “Turning Point  for Humanity”

The following are excerpted quotes from SGI President Ikeda’s guidance, which was conveyed by Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada at a general prefecture leaders meeting, held on Jan. 10 in Tokyo. The text appears in the Jan. 11 Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.

“The 10-year period from the 90th to the 100th anniversaries of the Soka Gakkai will mark a period of vital importance that will be a turning point for humanity.” (Dec. 18, 2019, Seikyo Shimbun, tentative translation(

• • •

“During this 10-year period toward the 100th anniversary, you must resolutely win each struggle and campaign before you. In doing so, you will construct a rock-solid foundation for the eternal perpetuation of the Mystic Law in the Latter Day.” (Dec. 20, 2019, Seikyo Shimbun, tentative translation)

• • •

“Keeping our focus firmly on this important decade that holds the key to peace and prosperity for our planet, let us bravely make the causes for great victory in kosen-rufu and in our lives.” (Feb. 7, 2020, World Tribune, p. 2)

3 Important Points for Propagating Buddhism

1) “The first is to have courage . . . If you courageously speak up and share Nichiren Buddhism with someone, the seeds of Buddhahood will be sown in his or her life, even if that individual doesn’t take faith at that time. The day is certain to come when those seeds will sprout, grow and flower.”

2) “The second important point is gratitude . . . To always have gratitude for the Soka Gakkai, our mentor and our fellow members for teaching us about Buddhism—such a life is truly profound, beautiful and strong.”

3) “The third important point is sincerity . . . Ultimately, it is our sincere behavior, our prayers and our thoughtfulness that will move others to start practicing. Our genuine concern for them will resonate in their hearts and inspire them to embrace faith.” (Nov. 1, 2013, World Tribune, p. 7)

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