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The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu

Volume 18: Chapter Four—Dynamic Strides

Chapter Summary

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

At the New Year’s gongyo meeting in 1974, Shin’ichi Yamamoto shared these words from Nichiren Daishonin: “When great evil occurs, great good follows” (“Great Evil and Great Good,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1119). With the conviction to turn turmoil and upheaval into hope, Soka Gakkai members commenced the Year of Society.

On the 19th, Shin’ichi traveled to Kyushu in southwest Japan to join the Kyushu University Group General Meeting. The following day, he attended the 22nd Nationwide Youth Division General Meeting. There, the youth adopted an appeal to defend the modern Japanese Constitution, while also launching a major antiwar publishing campaign and a petition to gather 10 million signatures for nuclear abolition.

On January 26, Shin’ichi left Kago-shima for Hong Kong. On his first visit in 1961, the membership there consisted of about 10 households. However, within a span of 13 years, that number had grown to more than 8,000 households. Members had remained undeterred by misunderstanding and criticism, while steadily developing trust in society.

On the 28th, a celebration marking the 13th anniversary of the Hong Kong kosen-rufu movement was held at the Hong Kong Community Center. Shin’ichi offered three guiding principles, the first being: “Since Buddhism must be practiced in daily life, let’s enable every member without exception to demonstrate proof of benefit” (The New Human Revolution, vol. 18, p. 304). After the meeting, he and his wife, Mineko, changed into festive Chinese costumes prepared by the members and joined a celebration in the garden of the community center.

During this trip, he also visited the University of Hong Kong, Chinese University of Hong Kong and other places to promote educational and cultural exchanges. He also attended a meeting of the Soka Gakkai Southeast Asian Buddhist Cultural Council. He continued making dynamic strides forward to advance worldwide kosen-rufu.

Unforgettable Scene

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

An Unwavering Wish for Our Friends’ Happiness

In January 1974, Shin’ichi Yamamoto attended a Nationwide Youth Division General Meeting where Soka Gakkai Young Women’s Leader Mikako Kitsukawa addressed how young women can overcome the tendency to seek happiness outside themselves.

The effort to transform ourselves into a strong, dynamic and broad-minded person is called human revolution. Mikako Kitsukawa declared that this itself is the purpose of faith.

She also noted that wanting to have good friends yet avoiding close involvement with others out of fear of being hurt is a sign of a deep-rooted distrust of people. She continued: “If we cannot believe in the goodness of others as well as our own potential and strength, we will become cowardly and alienated. But Buddhism teaches that we all equally possess a shining individuality and that the life state of Buddhahood exists within us.

“Based on this principle, our division has forged, through mutual trust, support and encouragement, a network of young women who sparkle with unrivaled brilliance.”

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“Our heartfelt concern for others will naturally result in Buddhist dialogue. Friendship leads us to share Buddhism with others, which in turn makes that friendship strong and lasting.

“Such refreshing life-to-life interaction based on firm conviction in faith is vital in order to revive contemporary society, rife as it is with mistrust and suspicion. … As young women’s division members, let’s resolve to take on any hardship for the happiness of our friends. Regarding that effort as our greatest joy, let’s actively share Nichiren Buddhism with others!”

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Taking on the challenge to share Nichiren Buddhism with others as a member of the young women’s division is extremely important as it creates a solid foundation for oneself as a Buddhist and builds good fortune.

Efforts to spread Buddhism don’t always bear immediate fruit. But if we continue to talk about Buddhism with our friends, planting the seeds of Buddhahood in their lives, and forge lasting friendships with them, the day will come when they will awaken to faith in Nichiren Buddhism. There’s no need to rush things. What’s important is our wish for our friends’ happiness and having the courage to talk to them about Buddhism. That courage will be transformed into compassion.

It is also vital, for the future of kosen-rufu, that the members of the men’s and women’s divisions cherish and support our young people and that they do their utmost to foster them. (NHR-18, 263–65)

The chapter summaries were originally published in the April 1, 2020, Seikyo Shimbun, while the “Unforgettable Scenes” were originally published in the April 8, 2020, issue.

Key Passage

The advance of kosen-rufu does not depend on circumstances. As long as members are filled with joy, confidence and a sense of mission, the great path forward will forever be open. (NHR-18, 287)

Volume 18: Chapter Three—Moving Forward

Excerpts From Nichiren’s Writings in Volume 18