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The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu

Volume 18: Chapter Three—Moving Forward

Chapter Summary

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

On November 10, 1973, Shin’ichi Yamamoto began visiting members in the Shikoku region of Japan.

Leading up to this visit, members in Ehime Prefecture engaged in an all-out effort to increase guest subscriptions to the Seikyo Shimbun to promote understanding of the Soka Gakkai in their communities.

At the Matsuyama Community Center, Shin’ichi admired the potted chrysanthemums grown by the Seikyo Shimbun deliverers, proposing that these volunteers be called “Chrysanthemum Friends.”

On the 12th, he traveled to Kagawa Prefecture, where he paid his respects to cherry trees planted in honor of a late student division leader who had earnestly exerted himself for kosen-rufu.

On the 13th, while on his way to Toku-shima Prefecture, Shin’ichi encouraged an elderly women’s division member who exuded a fresh seeking spirit. He then attended the Tokushima Prefecture Leaders General Meeting where he stressed that every Soka Gakkai member is “the treasure of the age, a precious jewel of society” (The New Human Revolution, vol. 18, p. 223).

In 1973, the “oil shock” that led to inflation and an economic recession also caused immense hardship for many members. On November 23, Shin’ichi met with the members in Tokyo, urging them, “Please don’t allow yourselves to be shaken by these current hardships, but use them as an opportunity to demonstrate wonderful actual proof of your faith” (NHR-18, 228).

In December, the Soka Gakkai Headquarters General Meeting was held for the first time in the Kansai region. There, Shin’ichi stressed that the construction of a new age required the transformation of the people’s lives. With 1974 designated as the Year of Society, members began their bold advance to usher in a new era of humanism.

Unforgettable Scene

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

Chrysanthemums Exuding Beauty and Sincerity

In November 1973, Shin’ichi Yamamoto visited Ehime Prefecture. Amid their arduous efforts to increase subscribers to the Seikyo Shimbun, the newspaper deliverers also decorated the Matsuyama Community Center with chrysanthemums to welcome him.

In May, soon after launching their full-fledged subscription campaign, the [Seikyo Shimbun] deliverers had begun to raise the chrysanthemums after discussing the idea with the local distributors. Most of them had no experience raising chrysanthemums, but they patiently watered the plants, chanting and caring for them, in an effort to present President Yamamoto with large, beautiful blossoms.

Some of the deliverers’ plants were attacked by insects, and they had to start over again from seedlings. But as challenging as it was, they didn’t give up. The chrysanthemums grew and began to bud, fostered by the loving attention of the deliverers. Encouraged and inspired by the growth of their flowers, the deliverers in turn devoted even greater efforts to expanding Seikyo Shimbun readership. They struggled with all their might. The chrysanthemums bloomed beautifully, becoming symbols of the tremendous victory of these uncrowned champions.

Those who strive the hardest savor true joy, vitality and fulfillment.

Excited to show Shin’ichi the flowers they had raised, the members took their pots from their homes to the community center. They had given their plants names such as “Pioneer,” “Friendship,” “Daimoku” and so forth. Their sincere spirit was even brighter and more beautiful than the blossoms.

White, yellow, magenta, purple—Shin’ichi admired the colorful chrysanthemums on display. Pointing to flowers in the second and third rows, which were harder to see, he said, “Those have nice names.” They were labeled “Shared Struggle” and “Kosen-rufu.” As flowers, they were not the most perfect shape, which is why the local leaders had placed them in a less conspicuous position. But in the imperfect blossoms, Shin’ichi perceived the sincerity of the members who had worked so hard to grow them.

“I can see that everyone put their all into growing these flowers. They are flowers of the heart, flowers of victory. I am deeply touched by everyone’s noble efforts.” (NHR-18, 177–78)

Key Passages

We cannot ask others to change our karma for us. Only through our own sincere and earnest faith can we dispel the clouds of fundamental ignorance and cause the sun of Buddhahood to rise brilliantly within our hearts. (NHR-18, 187)

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Genuine faith is in fact the driving force for all our efforts. It enables us to tap our inner power that cannot be defeated by any hardship, and strengthens us as individuals. (NHR-18, 194–95)

Volume 18: Chapter Two—Gratitude for One’s Mentor

Volume 18: Chapter Four—Dynamic Strides